Rainforest Dilema

Can you picture our earth without forests? Many of us can’t. Forests cover approximately one fifth of the worlds land surface and play an important role in our everyday lives (Dudley 4). Forests provide us with many products and services from helping maintain erosion to providing jobs for our citizens. Humanity depends on the survival of a healthy ecosystem and deforestation is causing many social, economic and ecological problems. One ecological problem is Global warming witch is caused when carbon is released into the air after the burning of forests. Governments and industries must become more aware of these consequences of their activities and change accordingly. They need to cooperate with forest management and work towards a future that benefits all. Humans need to be educated about the current issues of the forests in order for us to save, preserve or sustain these places that provide us with so much.
Humans depend tremendously on the world’s forests, but yet were the ones destroying them. For humans, the forests have many aesthetic, recreational, economic, and cultural values. Timber and other products of the forests are important economically both locally and as exports. They provide employment for those who harvest the wood or for those who make products from the living forest. Forests also provide us with medical drugs, dyes and fabrics. There are many people who are dependent on forestland for their livelihoods. One third of the world’s people depend on wood for fuel as a significant energy source (Dudley). Not only do the forests provide some people with homes, but also provides a popular setting for ecotourism, which includes hiking, camping, bird watching and other outdoor adventure or nature study activities. All these activities and products the forests provide us are at great risk from deforestation.
Not only do forests provide us with all this but also protect soil from erosion and reduces the risks of landslides and avalanches. Trees help sustain freshwater supplies therefore are an important factor in the availability of one of life’s basic needs. Forests affect the climate and are also a very important source of oxygen. One major factor that the forests carry is that they are the home to over one half of the world’s total species (Dudley). Currently we are discovering 20 new species of insects and 15 species of plants each day (Dudley 13). “Recent reports by the World Resources Institute have shown that more than 80% of the plant’s natural forests have already been destroyed” (Hatch). Yes humankind is the cause of deforestation, however us humans are also capable of having a positive effect on this crisis.
Tropical forests cover about 10 per cent of the world’s dry land surface, mostly located in South America and Asia (Dudley 6). In the tropical forests of the world, deforestation is occurring for agriculture and livestock pastures. The main cause is the unequal distribution of land (Anderson).
Temperate forests are found in land areas that are warm enough and low enough to support trees but not so hot to be tropical. They are found in North America, Europe and cooler parts of Australia (Dudley 4). The problems in temperate forests are not so much the decrease in overall forest area, but the substantial change in the types of forests and their ecological diversity and stability. Commercial forestry is the main cause of deforestation in temperate forests. “In very broad terms, the total area of forest in Europe, the USSR and North America is likely to decrease only slightly in the medium future, but the proportion of forest existing as plantation is liable to rise sharply” (Dudley 66). This however is going to lead to an increase in conflict between the recreational and conservation interests and will also tend to make forestry a more capital-intensive operation, thus providing fewer jobs.
Since so many people are dependent on the world’s forests, deforestation will have a social, economical and ecological effect on the world. Most of these effects are negative ones. The loss of forestlands is connected to desertification, which translates into there being fewer trees, thus decreasing the future forest workers employment. Heavy rainfall and high sunlight quickly damage the topsoil in tropical rainforest, causing them to regenerate slower and also providing insufficient farming grounds. When forests are replanted there will