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Forest Destruction Lesson
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Forest Destruction Lesson


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  • 1. What do these images show? A B C
  • 2.  
  • 3. Deforestation of Amazon Rainforest – Why?
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  • 6. Papua New Guinea is at risk of losing more than half of its rainforests by 2021 because of commercial logging, subsistence agriculture and poor conservation efforts.
  • 7. Case Study: Amazon Rainforest
    • Location – South America
    • Rainforest covers 9 countries – 60% in Brazil
    • Other countries include Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia
  • 8. Deforestation in Amazon R/F
    • Large areas of the rainforest are being cleared every year, particularly in Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru
    • Attributed to the following factors:
    • Increase in demand for agricultural landuse
    • Growth of settlements
    • Improved transport networks
    • Construction of Dam
    • Forest Fires
  • 9. Reasons for deforestation
    • A) Increase in demand for agricultural/farming landuse
    • More than ¼ of forest (Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia and Peru) converted into pastures for large-scale cattle ranching operated by multinationals
    • Beef sold to MEDCs such as USA, Canada and France is a valuable source of revenue
    • Large subsidies and tax incentives given to cattle ranchers to encourage this oepration
    • Land was not suitable for pastures and weeds soon take over the land and the cattle ranchers move off and clear more forest
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    • Land also cleared for growing crops, either for subsistence or commercial purpose
    • E.g. growing of maize in Brazil, Columbia and Bolivia, the cultivation of crops for self-sufficiency by peasant farmers in brazil
    • Cash crops such as sugar-cane, coffee, bananas in large scale plantation cultivation in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru
  • 12. B) Growth of settlements (Urbanisation)
    • - Due to population increase, land is cleared for housing needs
    • Extensive areas of the forest have been removed for the resettlement of people mainly from the north-east
    • Farmers were given plots of land with frontage alone a major road
    • Towns built to serve farmers
    • More than 56 million ha of land used for this purpose
  • 13.
    • 3) Improved transport networks
    • Trees are felled to make way for roads to grain access to and develop the interior
    • In Brazil, vast tracts of forest have to give way for the construction of the 6,000km Trans-Amazonian Highway
    • Building of this highway resulted in more settlements being set up along it
    • Forest are cleared when they build houses, as well as plant crops
  • 14. C) Growth of industries
    • Much of the forests are cleared to support industrial activities:
    • i) Logging
    • Demand for tropical hardwoods from the MEDCs such as the USA, Japan and France
    • Amazonian countries reap lucrative profits from logging
    • Presence of illegal logging too
    • Use of technology speeds up deforestation
    • Not uncommon to harvest 10% of the timber in an area to destroy 50% of the remaining trees
  • 15.
    • ii) Mining
    • Rich deposits of iron, bauxite, copper, nickle and gold in the Amazon basin
    • Some 900,000 sq. km of forests have been removed for the mining of high grade iron ore in Brazil
    • Over 10,000 sq. km forests cleared for mining oil and constructing refineries in Ecuador
  • 16. D) Dam Construction
    • Large areas of forest flooded to create reservoirs behind dams to harness HEP
    • E.g. Tucurui Dam on the Toncantins River in Brazil
  • 17. E) Forest Fires
    • Land clearance by cultivators and farmers often start forest fires deliberately as it is a very fast and efficient way
    • Burnt vegetation will also catch fire easily during the dry season
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