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This AS Geography Report explores deforestation.

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AS Geography "Deforestation" Written & Edited By Ben Arrigoni Date February/March 2003 Introduction This AS Geography Report explores deforestation. Why does deforestation occur? What areas of the world suffer from deforestation? What are the main reasons? Why is deforestation a cause of conflict between many groups of people? These questions and more are answered in this report. Deforestation is the removal of large areas of forest in order to use the space for other purposes, such as development and crop growing. There has been dramatic deforestation across the world as a whole. Around 35-40% of the original forest has been removed by felling, grazing or burning. The vegetation we replace it with is often smaller and less species rich, this has caused the overall biomass of the Earth to fall. Which areas of the world have suffered from deforestation? Before the beginning of the twentieth century the greatest impact of deforestation was in temperate climates, such as the Mediterranean and Asia. Deforestation rates are much higher today, and the location of deforestation has change too. Today's tree fellers are more commonly seen in South America and Indonesia. Map (South America > Brazil, Peru) Map (Indonesia > Borneo, Sumatra) Other areas do suffer from deforestation, just not on the scale that South America and Indonesia do. ...read more.


The recession caused devaluation in the local currency, this meant other countries could buy more timber at a cheaper price and so the demand for the wood increased, therefore increasing the rate of deforestation to accommodate for the extra demand. (diagram to show rate of deforestation in the amazon rainforest) The map on the previous page shows the rate of deforestation across Brazil's Amazon Rainforest. Blue areas on the map show the greatest deforestation, light green areas show areas of moderate deforestation, and dark green shows areas where little deforestation has occurred. To really realise the extent of deforestation in the rainforests, the following facts and figures may help to comprehend how serious the situation is/will become. FACTS AND FIGURES OF DEFORESTATION The world's rainforests will have vanished in their entirety within 100years of the present day. In 1800 there were 2.9bn hectares of tropical rainforests, today there are 1.5bn hectares remaining. Between 1960 and 1980, 445million hectares of rainforest were cleared. We lose 50 species every day (or 2 p/hour) due to deforestation. Over 50% of Earth's species live in the tropical rainforests. Outline the social, economic and political causes for deforestation Deforestation has more impacts to people than simply cutting down trees. The affects on social, economical and political aspects can be as severe as the environmental issues. ...read more.


This results in the Moi people having no power over who intrudes on their land, and deforests their living areas. Is it possible to manage tropical rainforest on a sustainable basis? At the present time, the management of deforestation of the tropical rainforest is not as good as it perhaps should be. There is more deforesting than there is replanting, this results in a reduction in the tropical rainforest biomass which is essential to maintain nature's equilibrium. In order to keep this equilibrium, which nature could manage perfectly if it weren't for human intervention, the replanting of trees is needed. One suggestion to adhere to this would be to force timber companies who deforest the rainforests to replant a given number of hectares of trees for every hundred hectares they deforest. In an ideal world, both these figures would be the same; so for every 100ha of deforestation there would be 100ha of replanting. This would keep things balanced. Something that would need to be considered if this law were to be imposed is that the replanted rainforest would take hundreds, if not thousands of years to grow back to its original condition. Considering that if deforestation continues at its present rate, without any new laws being introduced, all of the world's rainforests will be depleted in 100yrs time. This is why replanting needs to begin now. Sources http://eces.org/articles/static/98990280082136.shtml http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/topics/rainforest.html http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Deforestation/ THANK YOU FOR READING THIS DEFORESTATION REPORT ...read more.

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