Tropical forest is the
habitat of more than half of the worlds’ approximately 10 million species of
plants and animals. This shows how significant it is (to) the ecosystem. The
rainforests once covered 14 percent of the Earth, but now they only cover about
6 percent of the Earth (Rainforest Statistics Facts, 2018). The statistics show
how vulnerable rainforests are currently. Therefore, this essay will consider
the causes and effects of the deforestation of the rainforests.
The massive deforestation
occurred because of human population and development growth and agriculture
activities undertaken by humans. After hundreds of decades, the population of
the world has rapidly increased which raises the demand on human needs such as
clothes, houses and food. This situation takes place especially in poor
countries. Growing population has negative impacts on the economy of certain countries
as it leads to poverty. The countries could not afford to control the exceeding
needs by the people. Therefore, they desperately destroy their environment by
cutting trees in order to gain some income . They implement farming in the
rainforest land, for instance, millions of poor Brazilians have begun to farm.
It is noted that “the population living in the Amazon basin in 2007 was
estimated to be 33.7 million – an increase from the 5 million that lived there
in the 1970s” (Stenstrup, 2009, pp. 63-75). Simultaneously, more trees are cut.
In addition, as one country (starts) to develop, many infrastructures are
built. Thus, a large amount of forests is being cut for building roads to make
it easier for transportation from one place to another. Not only that, but the
areas deforested also include large dams, mining, tea, rubber and oil palm
plantations (Golden and Miller, 1994). Even though development of the country
is a good advancement, nevertheless the environment is affected as many trees
are being cut.
Another cause of immense
deforestation of rainforests is agricultural activities made by humans. Despite
the 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 has
demolished the rainforest. This is because of the method used, which is slash
and burn technique (Stenstrup, 2009). Moreover, trees are cut down and burned
to 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 by
almost 142,000 square kilometres per year the tropical rain forest shrank
worldwide. While in Amazon’s rainforest, the scale of cattle ranching and
soybean production for world markets are highly significant reason of
deforestation occurred there (Rebecca, 2007). Therefore, the agriculture in
every country should be reduced as it will also slow down the deforestation
The third cause of
deforestation of rainforests is economic pressure. A country’s economy is not
stable, if the government has many debts. The unpaid and large amounts of money
have become a pressure. Many of the countries are categorised as poor country.
Consequently, the government allows the citizen to do more deforestation in
order 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 uncontrolled
deforestation of rain forests, there are a few consequences that need to be
focused on. The effects are biodiversity loss, excessive carbon emissions to
the atmosphere and infertile soil.
First of all, the main
effects of deforestation of rainforests that could be clearly seen are
biodiversity loss. Many people do not know the benefits that they can gain from
the tropical forests. There are several types of tropical species that have a
significant potential as a cure of chronic diseases to human. There is a native
plant of Madagascar that is particularly effective to cure two forms of cancer.
However, the species was close to extinction in consequence of threatened
habitat due to deforestation (Pakenham, 2005). Thus, researchers also do not have
the opportunity to make more research on these species in order to produce
medicinal drugs. Not only the plants, but also all kinds of animals including
insects are driven into extinction at a faster pace. In addition, deforestation
also increases the vulnerability of some species of plants and animals.
Therefore, if deforestation is not curbed earlier, the biodiversity might be
Another effect of
deforestation on the rainforest is carbon emission into the atmosphere. Trees
are cut in a considerable number. Thus, the ability of the trees to do the
process of photosynthesis cannot be continued as normal anymore as there are
only small amount of trees left in the forest. Thus, causes the increasing rate
of carbon dioxide that cannot be absorbed by the trees. In addition to it, more
carbon dioxide released due to the method slash and burn used to clear the
forest. The burning has released excessive amount of carbon dioxide and give
more negative effects to the environment. Consequently, this becomes a major
contributor to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect is a situation when the
gases trap heat from sun on Earth’s surfaces and causes a gradual rise in the
temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere (Collins English Dictionary, 2018). Simultaneously,
global warming occurs which only bring harms to living things. Hence, in order
to reduce the global warming, deforestation has to be slowed down.
The last effect of
deforestation on the tropical forest is the soil become infertile. Eventhough
the ash produced after burning the forest for agriculture help to supply
nutrients for crops, however, it only remain for a few years. After that, the
soil 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 the
animals cause the ground to be compacted. The trees planted for forest recovery
cannot afford to grow in compressed soil (Rebecca, 2007). Hence, replanting
trees activities is impossible to be achieved.
It is evidently shown that
the unsustainability of the ecosystems is attributable to humans’ activities,
which is deforestation. In order to reduce the deforestation, people need to
avoid all of the possible causes listed above. However, if the countries
related ignore all of it, then the ecosystem will be affected even more
Effects. (2009). Nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 24
January 2018, from
Golden, A. and Miller, M. (1994)
reprinted in Global Resources: Opposing Viewpoints (1998) from San Diego
Union-Tribune, Feb. 2. Pp. 47-53
Greenhouse effect definition and meaning
| Collins English Dictionary. (2018). Collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 16
January 2018, from https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/greenhouse-effect
(2007) What if we do nothing? Rainforest
destruction. London: Franklin Watts.
Chapter 2, pp 8-13
Pakenham, K. J. (2005) Making
Connections: a strategic approach to academic reading (2nd ed). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. pp 205-207
Rainforest Statistics Facts. (2018).
Savetheamazon.org. Retrieved 16 January 2018, from https://www.savetheamazon.org/rainforeststats.htm
Rainforest Statistics Facts. (2018). Savetheamazon.org.
Retrieved 23 January 2018, from https://www.savetheamazon.org/rainforeststats.htm
A. (2009). In Diminishing Resources:
Forests. Greensboro, N.C.: Morgan Reynolds Publishing. Chapter 4, pp 63-75