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Geography importance of the tropical rainforest

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Introduction

Importance of Tropical Rainforest to Humans They provide a home for indigenous people Many indigenous people have been living in harmony with the rainforest for thousands of years, depending on it for their food, shelter and medicines. When oil and logging companies come to remove vast areas of forest, they bring diseases which the indigenous people have no resistance to, threatening their survival. Often they are also forced to move away from their homes to unfamiliar places, sometimes even being killed in the process. Rainforest pharmacy The tropical rainforest is known as the 'world's largest pharmacy.' This is because more than 25% of our modern medicines originate from tropical forest plants. ...read more.

Middle

The rauvolfa shrub found in Asian and African forests is used to cure high blood pressure and mental illness. Rainforests and the native populations who discovered these medicines could hold the cure too many more diseases if we would only nurture the forests and allow their people to show us. Other important forest products Many foods we consume today such as nuts, bananas, coffee and spices, and industrial products such as rubber, resins and fibers, were originally found in tropical rainforests. Unsustainable Management of the Tropical Rainforest The destruction of Amazonia The rainforest's ever-wet climate provides excellent conditions for optimum plant growth, and thee biodiversity of trees, vines, shrubs and plants reaches almost unbelievable levels. ...read more.

Conclusion

Major crops such as soya beans are grown on old rainforest soils in Brazil. In neighboring Costa Rica, around one-third of all cleared rainforest land is used for cattle ranching. Migration of farmers Landless farmers migrate into Amazonia along the new roads. They cut down forest for firewood or clear land to grow crops on. As a result the pattern of deforestation often follows the road network. Construction The construction of new roads, for transport and communications, such as the Trans-Amazon Highway, leads to forest loss. Lastly the building of hydro electric dams along the Amazon's tributaries flooded forest valleys. The Grande Carajas development programme brought iron mines and aluminum plants to places where virgin forest once stood in Brazil. Use of wood as fuel led to further clearances. ...read more.

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