Thousands of Rain forest trees are being cut down or burnt to make space for farmland, roads, buildings or mines. Every second, an area of Rain forest the size of a football field is destroyed. When trees are removed, rain washes away the the soil. Serious flood may occur. Many plants and animals are losing their homes and becoming extinct. Half the world’s Rain forests have already been destroyed. If this is allowed to continue, by the Year 2010 only Zaire and Brazil will be left with significant areas of Rain forest.
Uses of the Rain forest
Much of the woodwork in our homes comes from the Rain forests. Tropical timber (Hardwood) is also used by the construction industry and a proportion is also used for logs and pulp for paper products. Developing countries are under pressure to exploit their Rain forests. Some of this comes from importers. In India, most timber produced is used for firewood. Unrestrained logging causes widespread devastation and opens up untouched areas for development. Carefully managed plantations could preserve forests and also earn money.
The Greenhouse Effect
Carbon Dioxide together with water vapor that collects in the form of clouds, absorbs energy that bounces from the Earth to the air, trapping heat in the same way that glass hold warmth in a greenhouse. This is called the Greenhouse Effect and it keeps our planet warm. But if too much carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere it could become so warm that harmful changes to the climate could take place. The major human contribution to this enhanced effect are fossil fuel use, FOREST CLEARANCE, agricultural practices and the use of hydro-carbons. Therefore, Rain forests need to be preserved to help the balance of the Greenhouse Effect at acceptable levels.
Conservation is the protection and wise management of the environment. People need to practise conservation to ensure that the environment can provide for their needs and that of future generations and all living things. Without conservation, all the resources necessary for life – air, animals, energy, minerals, soil, water and plants including our Rainforests, would be damaged, wasted or destroyed.