Deforestation is the destruction ofindigenous forests and woodlands
In a forest the crowns of individual trees touch to form a single canopy. In a woodland, trees grow far apart, so that the canopy is open.
Conversion of forests and woodlands to agricultural landto feed growing numbers of people.Development of cash crops and cattle ranching, both ofwhich earn money for tropical countries.Commercial logging destroys trees as well as opening upforests for agricultureFelling of trees for firewood and building material; theheavy lopping of foliage for fodder; and heavy browsing ofsaplings by domestic animals like goats.
The carbon cycle. Forests act as a major carbon storebecause carbon dioxide is taken up from the atmosphereand used to produce the carbohydrates, fats, and proteinsthat make up the tree. The water cycle. Trees draw ground water up throughtheir roots and release it into the atmosphere(transpiration). With removal of part of the forest, theregion cannot hold as much water. The effect of this couldbe a drier climate.
Soil erosion and the loss of a protective cover ofvegetation more soil is lost. The result of soil erosion is the silting of watercourses, lakes and dams.Extinction of species which depend on the forest forsurvival. Forests contain more than half of all species on ourplanet - as the habitat of these species is destroyed, so thenumber of species declines.
Next time you buy a hamburger from a big fast foodchain, think about where the meat has come from - dontbe afraid to ask the manager if you dont know. If it hasbeen imported from south or central America, the chancesare that rainforest has been cleared to raise the beef cattle -an expensive price to pay for a burger!
Try to walk or cycle to work or school instead of going inthe car. If it is too far away to do this, then take publictransport instead. This will save petrol, which is made fromoil and comes from below the ground and so, likeplastic, can cause the destruction of rainforests.
Once you start looking youll be surprised at just how manywood products are made from rainforest trees such asmahogany or teak. In particular, look out for toiletseats, furniture, picture frames and charcoal. Ask if theyare produced sustainably or if rainforest has beendestroyed in order to produce them.
Recycling services are improving quickly: in manyplaces, paper, glass, aluminum (drinks and foodcans), kitchen and garden waste and plastic bottles arenow collected from your house, office or school just asyour rubbish is collected.You can also help by making sure you don’t waste paperand by always using both sides of a piece of paper.