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Environmental Impacts Of Deforestation In Third World Countries

3962 words - 16 pages

Executive Summary
Why are the rainforests so important to human and animal life? Scientists believe the rainforest are considered the “world’s lungs” and actually eliminates CO2 from the atmosphere and provides oxygen for every living creature. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are realizing the importance of the discovery of anti-cancer drugs that are only found in plants in the rainforest. We are not thinking of the consequences that deforestation of the rainforest will have on the Earth. We need to stop the deforestation and the destruction of the rainforest before it is too late.
It is said that Mother Earth has given many responsibilities to the trees. Without the trees in the ...view middle of the document...

When rain forests are cut down, much of the moisture in the ecosystem is lost, leading to droughts and further devastation of species (Jeantheau, 2006). More than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests and one-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin (Rainforest Facts, 1996).
According to Rainforests Facts, in 1950, about 15% of the Earth's land surface was once covered by the rainforest. Today, more than half of the rainforest has already been destroyed by fire. In less than fifty years, more than half of the world's tropical rainforests has been eliminated by fire and chainsaws, and the rate of destruction is still increasing (Rainforest Facts, 1996). It is amazing to me that more than 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day.
Just as scientist(s) are beginning to appreciate the true value of the rainforest, through deforestation we are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures and thoroughly understand their true value. Rainforests once covered 15% of the earth's land surface; at the present time they only cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in fewer than 40 years (Rainforest Facts, 1996).
It has taken over a millions years for a rainforest to have evolved into the incredibly complex environments they are today. Rainforests represent a store of living and breathing renewable natural resources that for eons, by virtue of their richness in both animal and plant species, have contributed a wealth of resources for the survival and well-being of humankind. These natural resources have included basic food supplies, clothing, shelter, fuel, spices, industrial raw materials, and medicine for all those who have lived in the forest (Rainforest Facts, 1996).
The global economy has tripled in size and the world population has increased by 30% since 1980. Consumption of everything on the planet Earth has increased and at a cost to our ecosystems (Rainforest Facts, 1996).
Rainforests are full of ecological and mineral riches and can be fascinating and exotic places to visit. However, if we continue to exploit these riches, without realizing the consequences to the rainforest every living creature would be impacted. Scientists believe the destruction of the rainforest has a direct connection to global climate changes that we see today and are a danger to all living creatures on earth (Jeantheau, 2006).

The Amazon
The Amazon rainforest represents 54% of the total rainforests left on Earth. The Amazon consists of 2.5 million square miles. (Rainforest Facts, 1996). The Amazon covers more than 1.2 billion acres, representing two-fifths of the South American continent, and runs through nine South American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
The Amazon rainforest is the world's greatest remaining natural resource and is the...

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