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Deforestation is the cutting down of trees in woods and forests.

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Introduction

Deforestation Deforestation is the cutting down of trees in woods and forests. There are many reasons why deforestation still goes on in the modern world, even though we know of the impact of destroying habitats. It occurs all over the world but concentrates mainly on the equatorial rainforests of North and South America. Rainforests used to cover 14% of the entire Earth, but deforestation has depleted this figure to 7%, this equates to 1.5 acres lost each second in today's world. Rain forests are complex ecosystems that are basically self-sufficient when healthy. However, they are not easily restored once removed from an area. A healthy rain forest will thrive by recycling most of the nutrients needed for plant growth between living plants, animals and decaying organic matter without outside intervention; however, it needs a large number and variety of living things to do this. Once a portion is deforested, it is unlikely that it will grow back to resemble its past condition without a large amount of human intervention. In its place, a less diverse number of species will grow that will eventually exhaust the landscape of nutrients and therefore not be truly sustainable. Therefore, the loss of a rainforest is permanent. The biggest use of the wood cut down is in the timber industry. Wood has always been used in the building of dwellings for the population of the world for centuries. ...read more.

Middle

The mining of minerals in South America has meant that large areas of trees have been destroyed in order to create large quarries. The richest mineral reserves are found in rainforests. The process of mining gold in rainforests includes blasting large pits out of the rock with dynamite and ore is sprayed with cyanide solution, which draws out the gold. This deadly chemical then washes into local water supplies. In Romania two years ago, 1.5 million people were affected when a large volume of cyanide-contaminated water was released into the River Tisza and River Danube. One hundred tonnes of fish were killed. The mines are destroying thousands of acres of forest and habitats each month. In Ghana, approximately fifty-four thousand acres of rainforest are destroyed as a result of mining. In Panama, mining projects look set to take over around 2,500 hectares of forests. The roads and infrastructure of the mine and not the quarry itself will only occupy this land. Copper exploitation in Canada is also threatening the livelihood of the rainforests ecosystems in Central America. The main worry for environmentalists and the world's population is that many species are being lost as their habitats are being destroyed. In a rainforest, certain small areas are individual, specific habitats themselves. This means that if one small area of the rainforest is cleared, it could mean that a whole series of species are wiped out. ...read more.

Conclusion

The value of the herbal remedies and cancer cure originating from the forests is estimated to be worth around $25 million (around �17.5 million) each year. Even so, it is though that this value only accounts for two to three percent that have been discovered. Two and a half acres of Amazon rainforest are estimated to contain 900 tons of plants. The worth of these medicines has increased the demand for the plant life in tropical rainforests, which could save the plight of woods around the world. Work has been done to protect the shear wealth of the rainforest ecosystems of the world. In America, leaders have marked rainforest areas as land that belongs to the federal government. Schemes like this need to be established in the future to save the plight of the rainforests of the world. Renewable resources have to be utilised better to replace the trees already lost through construction of wood products and other produce from the rainforest. If trees have to be used in the production of items essential to life, such as paper and houses, then more tree farms need to be set up to provide controlled deforestation. Replanting schemes could be employed in areas where rainforests have already been destroyed. Committees could be formed that continually assess the state of the forest areas and analyse development programs. This information could be then used by governments to observe the full extent of the damage they are causing and work out solutions to combat their loss. ...read more.

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