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Deforestation in the Worlds Tropical Rainforests

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Introduction

Deforestation in the Worlds Tropical Rainforests Deforestation is principally the large-scale removal of forest, prior to its replacement by other land uses. Deforestation is the product of the interaction of the many environmental, social, economic, cultural, and political forces at work in any given region. Deforestation is often a process that involves competition amongst different land users for scarce resources, which can be enhanced by counter-productive policies and power-less institutions. It creates wealth for some, poverty for others, whilst almost always bringing serious environmental damage. Tropical rainforests tend to grow where the climate is hot and humid all year round with little temperature fluctuations, accounting for the fact that most of them lie between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. Although rain forests account for only 7% of Earth's land surface, more than half of all creatures and vegetation reside there. Deforestation in tropical rainforests is currently proceeding at about 17 million hectares each year or 65,000 square miles. The majority of the tropical rainforests currently under threat lie on the continents of South America (The Amazon), Africa (in Nigeria and Madagascar), Asia (Laos and Thailand), Australia, and Central America (Mexico). ...read more.

Middle

This corresponds to an area the size of Massachusetts being affected each month. An indirect cause of tropical deforestation is third-world debt, as nearly all of the countries containing tropical rainforests owe many billions of US dollars to either the World Bank or to the International Monetary Fund. They in turn are forcing third world countries, mainly in Latin America, to destroy their rainforests in order to reduce their debt. The World Bank has suggested that Brazil should only preserve and manage only 50 000 square kilometres, or 1.4 percent, of its rainforest. This in essence is totally unreasonable as third world debt can never be paid off even it the rainforests where completely destroyed. Brazil spends over 40 percent of the money it earns on exports on the yearly interest on its foreign debt, which totals over $100 billion. At the expense of rainforest management programmes and human quality of life. Deforestation can be most noted in some of the world's largest rainforests and in areas where there has been a significant reduction in the rainforests original size. This would include the Amazon rainforest (Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador) ...read more.

Conclusion

Deforestation in its entirety is the result of many direct actions stimulated by various root causes, meaning if we were to take action it would require us to focus on the many fronts or issues it poses, not just one or two. Long-term effort is required to encourage sustainable forest management, in order to achieve this the environmental, social, and economic aspects of management must be balanced despite the septic-ness of many national policies. As deforestation can produce both benefits and costs, it is important to estimate the gains and losses for each possible act of deforestation. The UN has recommended that every nation should preserve at least 12 percent of its represented ecosystem, though this is unlike to be enforced. Deforestation is seen overall as a social or economic safety regulator by political minds in the third world, as they tend to think that giving people forestland will ease any politically sensitive problems, such as rural development. In economic terms, the tropical forests destroyed each year represent a loss in forest capital valued at US $45 billion (Hansen, 1997). By destroying the forests, all potential future revenues and future employment that could be derived from their sustainable management for timber and non-timber products would disappear. ...read more.

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