Tropical forest is thehabitat of more than half of the worlds’ approximately 10 million species ofplants and animals. This shows how significant it is (to) the ecosystem. Therainforests once covered 14 percent of the Earth, but now they only cover about6 percent of the Earth (Rainforest Statistics Facts, 2018).
The statistics showhow vulnerable rainforests are currently. Therefore, this essay will considerthe causes and effects of the deforestation of the rainforests. The massive deforestationoccurred because of human population and development growth and agricultureactivities undertaken by humans.
After hundreds of decades, the population ofthe world has rapidly increased which raises the demand on human needs such asclothes, houses and food. This situation takes place especially in poorcountries. Growing population has negative impacts on the economy of certain countriesas it leads to poverty. The countries could not afford to control the exceedingneeds by the people. Therefore, they desperately destroy their environment bycutting trees in order to gain some income . They implement farming in therainforest land, for instance, millions of poor Brazilians have begun to farm.It is noted that “the population living in the Amazon basin in 2007 wasestimated to be 33.7 million – an increase from the 5 million that lived therein the 1970s” (Stenstrup, 2009, pp.
63-75). Simultaneously, more trees are cut.In addition, as one country (starts) to develop, many infrastructures arebuilt.
Thus, a large amount of forests is being cut for building roads to makeit easier for transportation from one place to another. Not only that, but theareas deforested also include large dams, mining, tea, rubber and oil palmplantations (Golden and Miller, 1994). Even though development of the countryis a good advancement, nevertheless the environment is affected as many treesare being cut. Another cause of immensedeforestation of rainforests is agricultural activities made by humans. Despitethe fact that agriculture is one of the biggest sources of income for a nation,the excessive forest clearing which is undertaken for cattle ranching have hasdemolished the rainforest.
This is because of the method used, which is slashand burn technique (Stenstrup, 2009). Moreover, trees are cut down and burnedto provide hardwood, land for agriculture and also for settlements (Pakenham,2005). The agricultural activities have taken considerable areas of rainforests(Gillis, 1996 as cited in Golden and Miller, 1994) in the early nineties byalmost 142,000 square kilometres per year the tropical rain forest shrankworldwide. While in Amazon’s rainforest, the scale of cattle ranching andsoybean production for world markets are highly significant reason ofdeforestation occurred there (Rebecca, 2007). Therefore, the agriculture inevery country should be reduced as it will also slow down the deforestationoccurred. The third cause ofdeforestation of rainforests is economic pressure. A country’s economy is notstable, if the government has many debts. The unpaid and large amounts of moneyhave become a pressure.
Many of the countries are categorised as poor country.Consequently, the government allows the citizen to do more deforestation inorder to gain money. In order to get a short-term gain, humans cut the trees,as they desperately need money to pay the debts (McLeish, 2007). As a result of uncontrolleddeforestation of rain forests, there are a few consequences that need to befocused on. The effects are biodiversity loss, excessive carbon emissions tothe atmosphere and infertile soil.
First of all, the maineffects of deforestation of rainforests that could be clearly seen arebiodiversity loss. Many people do not know the benefits that they can gain fromthe tropical forests. There are several types of tropical species that have asignificant potential as a cure of chronic diseases to human. There is a nativeplant of Madagascar that is particularly effective to cure two forms of cancer.However, the species was close to extinction in consequence of threatenedhabitat due to deforestation (Pakenham, 2005). Thus, researchers also do not havethe opportunity to make more research on these species in order to producemedicinal drugs. Not only the plants, but also all kinds of animals includinginsects are driven into extinction at a faster pace. In addition, deforestationalso increases the vulnerability of some species of plants and animals.
Therefore, if deforestation is not curbed earlier, the biodiversity might befully destroyed. Another effect ofdeforestation on the rainforest is carbon emission into the atmosphere. Treesare cut in a considerable number. Thus, the ability of the trees to do theprocess of photosynthesis cannot be continued as normal anymore as there areonly small amount of trees left in the forest.
Thus, causes the increasing rateof carbon dioxide that cannot be absorbed by the trees. In addition to it, morecarbon dioxide released due to the method slash and burn used to clear theforest. The burning has released excessive amount of carbon dioxide and givemore negative effects to the environment. Consequently, this becomes a majorcontributor to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect is a situation when thegases trap heat from sun on Earth’s surfaces and causes a gradual rise in thetemperature of the Earth’s atmosphere (Collins English Dictionary, 2018). Simultaneously,global warming occurs which only bring harms to living things. Hence, in orderto reduce the global warming, deforestation has to be slowed down.
The last effect ofdeforestation on the tropical forest is the soil become infertile. Eventhoughthe ash produced after burning the forest for agriculture help to supplynutrients for crops, however, it only remain for a few years. After that, thesoil cannot be used for agriculture anymore as it has became infertile soil (Stenstrup,2009). Above than that, cattle pasture activities also affect the soil as theanimals cause the ground to be compacted.
The trees planted for forest recoverycannot afford to grow in compressed soil (Rebecca, 2007). Hence, replantingtrees activities is impossible to be achieved. It is evidently shown thatthe unsustainability of the ecosystems is attributable to humans’ activities,which is deforestation. In order to reduce the deforestation, people need toavoid all of the possible causes listed above. However, if the countriesrelated ignore all of it, then the ecosystem will be affected even morecritically.