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Deforestation In Rain Forests Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 3023 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Deforestation in all Rain Forests is a major issue. Natural forests are cleared through logging and/or burning. Deforestation is being caused by people cutting down the trees for wood, agricultural space and urbanization space. Two cause of deforestation are conversion of forests and forest degradation. Conversion of forest means other land uses including pulp, palm, and soy plantations, and things like roads and other infrastructure. Forest degradation comes from fires, illegal and unsustainable logging, fuel wood harvesting, and climate change. 12 to 15 million hectares of forest are lost each year and are responsible for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Tropical forests are where deforestation is most prevalent, and holds more than 210 gigatonnes of carbon. There are many effects of deforestation like reduce biodiversity, release of greenhouse gas emissions, disrupts water cycles, increases soil erosion, and disrupts livelihoods. There are always two sides to a controversial issue.

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The first sides that I am going to be talking about are the pros for deforestation. There are many pros for deforestation like that it will help bring income for families and creates jobs, build homes, and uses wood in their daily lives. In addition, there are many wood products out in the world, and creating grazing and farming lands. Also, some forest areas contain natural resources, so mining will take place instead. Overall, there are many pros to deforestation, but people are causing extra damage, so the cost becomes expensive.

There are many benefits to deforestation; it helps out people all around the world. Cutting down the trees would help bring in income for families. Logging corporations help with economy by creating jobs for people. Having the trees cut down, would help build shelters, and homes for people. People use wood for everything, like cooking and a source of energy which helps with daily lives. Wood products such as tables, chairs, dressers, wheel-barrels, construction of doors, window frames, crates, coffins, furniture, plywood sheets, chopsticks, household utensils and other items. The price of the wood is sold to wealthy people who pay 100 times more than the locals. Create land for farming and grazing land for cattle is the largest causes of deforestation. Some forested areas contain other natural resources, such as iron ore or mineral deposits. Deforestation is caused by companies that go in and mine for these resources. Most of the rain forest timber on the international market is sold to rich countries. People who have moved into rain forest areas and established small-scale farming operations cause more harm by cutting down more tree on top of the corporation log large areas of the rain forest. These are the landless peasants who have followed roads that have already damaged rain forest areas. The additional damage they are causing is extensive. Shifted cultivators are currently being blamed for 60% of tropical forest loss.

On the other hand, there are many cons to deforestation. What we don’t realize how much damage that we cause. Some of the cons to deforestation are that there is a reduction in biodiversity, and some of the animals are being affected by this. In addition, climate change, soil erosion, and nutrients are lost to deforestation. Another con of deforestation is the increase with greenhouse gas emissions, which will affect the water cycle causing soil erosions. The last con to deforestation is that it will disrupt animals and people living there.

Biodiversity is mixture of animals, plants, humans and other organisms living together. Deforestation and forest degradation can cause biodiversity to decline. People rely on the forests, through small-scale agriculture, for hunting and gathering and by harvesting forest products. Indigenous people, plants and animals are driven out, and many plants and animals may become extinct. When forests are destroyed, wildlife is deprived of their habitat pushing them into populated areas. “Considering that about 80% of the world’s documented species can be found in tropical rain forests, deforestation puts at risk a majority of the Earth’s biodiversity”(wwf).

Some animals that are being harmed by deforestation are spider monkey, Manatee, and Bengal tiger. For an example the spider monkey mainly live high up in the canopy and depends on trees and other vegetation to survive. The spider monkey also uses plant to get their food. Spider Monkeys eat fruits, leaves and nuts and occasionally insects. Spider Monkeys are located in Central and South America and some parts of Mexico. Another species threatened by deforestation is the manatee which is related to the elephant. Also manatee lives all around the world, mostly in tropical warm water areas range in central South American water that flows through the rain forest and as far north as Florida. The last species of animal that are affected deforestation is the Bengal tigers can be found in southeast Asia in parts of India, China, Bangladesh and Indonesia as well as other southeast Asian countries. The Bengal tiger is endangered. The tiger is losing its native land to loss of habitat push the tiger into more populated areas.

Climate change, soil erosion and nutrients are lost making the ground insecure. Since the ground is insecure and lack of plant life holding water creates flooding in watersheds. Increased soil erosion from lack of trees and water accelerates rates of soil erosion, by increasing runoff and reducing the protection of the soil from tree litter. The flooding will also cause landslides to form. Deforestation also disrupts water cycle. As a result of deforestation, trees no longer evaporate groundwater, which can cause the local climate to be much drier. In addition, it will also dry out parts of the world or flood other parts of the world.

A good example about the climate change is that in the “Mediterranean, summers have become hotter, with less and less humidity and more winds. With these kinds of conditions, it will help create forest fires. There are also more intensive rains and storms during winter which leads to increased vegetation, which in summer dries out and becomes fuel for fires (wwf)”. With different climate changes, there are always more chances for forest fires happening.

Global warming which is caused by large amounts of Carbon dioxide floating in the atmosphere. The rays of the sun go through the atmosphere, but become trapped in the atmosphere, causing the temperature of the planet to rise. Deforestation accelerates this by reducing the number of tree’s, which help to convert Carbon dioxide into oxygen. “Deforestation causes 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of these, carbon dioxide emissions represent up to one-third of total carbon dioxide emissions released because of human causes (wwf)”.

The last cause of deforestation is that it disrupts people and animals living there. Deforestation pose severe social problems and leading to violent conflicts in resources. Rain forests are destroyed by heavy machinery used to penetrate the forests and build roads causes extensive damage, and gathering only few logs are gathered. Trees fallen and soil is compacted by heavy machinery which does not allow forest’s regenerate.

Local tribes and people are disrupted; birds and animals are dislocated by logging which plays a major role in deforestation. Roads that built in rain forest which poor farmers use to get in to the rain forest and cause more deforestation.


My position on the issue about wanting to save the rain forest and stop deforestation. I believe that the cons out way the pros because there are many threats, but there are all different kinds of solutions. One of the treats is that animals are losing their habitat and forest is being lost. In addition, the rain forest affects the climate because it helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Also, you would see different climate patterns and sometimes soil erosions. In addition, there is also illegal lodging. Some of the methods that we could possibly do are to restore forests that we are destroying, so that we can fix up the parts that we messed up. I think we have get out there and let more people know so we will be able to stop it. In addition, I think we should enforce the laws and treaties that are out there in order to achieve zero deforestation. I believe that if we do not stop deforestation, we won’t have a planet where we are able to breath clean air and loss all different kinds of species and plants. Overall, I believe that we should save the rain forest and stop deforestation before it gets too bad.

Discussion on my Position

There are many threats to deforestation in rain forests. Some of the threats that we are causing is the logging interests for cutting down rain forest for timber that we use in flooring, furniture, and other items. Hydroelectric projects flood acres of rain forest which means habitats are lost and forest communities and wildlife have to move. In addition, mining operations helps clear forest to gain natural resources, but they contaminate the forest eco-system with their runoff. Another threat to deforestation is a bunch of different types of industries and even sometimes the government. The first type is power plants and other industries because they cut and burn trees to help generate electricity. The second type of industry is paper industry because they turn huge tracts of rain forest trees into pulp. The third is governments and industries because they clear and cut forests away, to help make way for service and transit roads. Agricultural interests are also a major cause of deforestation. For example, cattle industry is one of them because they use slash-and-burn techniques to clear ranch land and the soy industry to clear forests for cropland. In addition, farmers like to slash-and-burn rain forest for firewood and to make room for crops and grazing lands. The last threat of deforestation is building roads because they are clearing the forests to make roads. In addition by making roads through the habitat, we are endangering the wildlife habitats, so we might get rid of amazing specie because it no longer has it habitat to live in. The last thing with building roads is that it helps provide a good access point for illegal loggers and other business operations to gain more access to the forest.

Biodiversity is a major part of the world. It does not affect only humans, but it can also affect species and plants. In the rain forest, many different types of species and plants live there. For example, “1,500 species of flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 species of reptiles, 60 species of amphibians, and 150 different species of butterflies.” In addition, there are many species of fish living near the rivers. For instance, in this quote “there are more fish species in the Amazon river system than in the entire Atlantic Ocean (savetherainforest.org)”. In Indonesia and Malaysia, more and more trees are cut down to produce palm oil, resulted in the loss of habitat for the native orangutans. With the loss of many trees many animals are becoming homeless that soon more animals will show up under the Endangered Species Act. The last thing is that “Rainforests are home to two-thirds of all living animal and plant species on the planet, with hundreds of millions of species still undiscovered” (coolingearth.org).

The rain forest helps with keeping the air clean and the water cycle on track. It also helps with soil erosions. It cycles the Carbon dioxide and creating less CO2 emissions. “A hectare (2.471 acres) of rain forest absorbs one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year (savetherainforest.org)”. From people clearing and destroying the rain forest is creating a less places for CO2 to be absorbed. Since people are removing trees, we are just helping with Global warming. This relates to Global Warming because the “Rainforests are critical to global weather systems acting as the world’s thermostat” (cooleath.org). In addition, with the climate being so weird, there are chances of more flooding in some areas and in other area dryness.

There are several methods out to stop deforestation and for saving rain forests. The first method to help stop deforestation is reforestation. Basically what I am talking about is that we can replant trees that we cut down. In addition, you join environmental awareness groups that would help you advocate about reforestation. The second method to stop deforestation is support laws and programs that are made to protect forests and to end deforestation. One program that made a difference is the Forestry Action Plan. The third method to stop deforestation is that you should only cut down mature trees and keeping the younger trees intact. For every tree that is lost, you should try to replace it with another one. The fourth method to stop deforestation is by using recycle items, so you would not need to replace new raw material. The last method is that you can limit your consumption of products that contain palm oil. For example, you can limit your consumption on breads, chocolates, and even some cosmetics such as shampoo, soap or toothpaste. When I talk about the consumption of products, I also mean your food consumption like that you can roast or boil your foods.

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There are many laws and treaties out there to help achieve zero deforestation, but we have to try harder. I believe that if we all try to work together I am sure that we will be able to achieve what we want. Some of the laws that we can use are the Wilderness Act, Lacey Act, and the Roadless Rule. Theses can help protect the U.S. forests and stop illegal wood products from entering the U.S. marketplace. Another law is The Tropical Forest and Coral Conservation Reauthorization Act 2009 to help give “developing countries a financial incentive to promote environmental conservation within their own borders” (coolearth.org). One of the treaties that we use is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The reason why we use this treaty is to “help protect forests and the endangered plant and animal species that rely on forest for habitats” (greenpeace.org).


During my research about deforestation in rain forests, some questions came up about it. The first question is what would be the point of replanting the trees if you are just going to cut the tree down again? The second question that came up during my research is if we have all these different kinds of laws, then why don’t we see changes? In addition, why don’t they try to enforce the laws better?



Work Cited:

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