The Role of Poverty and Overpopulation 3. Additional Information For more on the causes of rainforest destruction, link to World Rainforest Movement "Deforestation, in other words, is an expression of social injustice " - Marcus Colchester According to Professor Norman Myers, one of the foremost authorities on rates of deforestation in tropical forests, "the annual destruction rate seems set to accelerate yet further, and could well double in another decade" Myers As Myers points out, "we still have half of all tropical forests that ever existed". In order to save rainforests, we need to know why they are being destroyed.
The Disappearing Rainforests We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries. Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.
Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.
Experts estimates that we are losing plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50, species a year.
As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations, even by world giants like Mitsubishi Corporation, Georgia Pacific, Texaco and Unocal.
There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less thanIn Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 's. With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species.
As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing. Most medicine men and shamans remaining in the Rainforests today are 70 years old or more. Each time a rainforest medicine man dies, it is as if a library has burned down.
When a medicine man dies without passing his arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants.
If Amazonia were a country, it would be the ninth largest in the world. The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the "Lungs of our Planet" because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen.
More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest. More than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests. One-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin. Its bountiful gifts to the world include fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and tomatoes; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, tumeric, coffee and vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews.
At least fruits are found in the rainforests; of these only are now in use in the Western World.
The Indians of the rainforest use over 2,The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest intact forest. It’s home to more than 24 million people in Brazil alone, including hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Peoples belonging to different groups.
Bill condemned by environmentalists for unraveling Amazon protections would allow ethanol production, driving more deforestation About results for Amazon rainforest + . The Amazon rainforest is now capturing one third less of the carbon in our atmosphere than it did just ten years ago, and losing an alarming number of trees each year.
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The Amazon rainforest covers an area nearly the size of the contiguous--or "Lower 48"--U.S. states.
It is home to one-fifth of the plant and animal species on Earth and bears the nickname the "Lungs of the World," because it pumps vast amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere and removes huge amounts.