Essay, Research Paper: Forests Depleting

Environment

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The discussions these days are why are the rain forests depleting? Well this
research will help change the opinions of many people. Some facts about rain
forests are, “Tropical rain forests occupy about 7 percent of the earth’s
surface but harbor as much as 50 percent of the world’s plant and animal
species. Also about 57 percent of all rain forests remaining are in the tropics
in the Western Hemisphere: 30 percent are in Brazil. At the current rate of
deforestation, tropical rain forests could be wiped out in 177 years. Less than
5 percent of the world’s tropical rain forests are protected within national
parks and reserves (Steve Grant, 2)”. Rain forests are becoming very scarce
and should be taking into concern because depletion of rain forests is a
problem. One method of cutting down rain forests is slash-and-burn agriculture.
Grant defines slash-and-burn agriculture as “Smallholders that are cutting
down four or five acres of forest and set it on fire. The resulting ash
fertilizes the soils, which are notoriously poor in the tropics (1)”. Grant
explains that now that there is only charred stumps left, a lot of light reaches
the ground and is oppressively hot (1). “In the past, a logger might take only
a few trees per acre. While that would allow more light into the forest floor
and raise the risk of fire (Grant, 2)”. So when people decide to cut down
forests they are increasing the risk of fire. Rain forests have been burning up
lately. An analysis of satellite by the EDF indicates that burning of rainforest
land in Amazon increased 28% from 1996 to 1997 (Amazon rainforest, 1). Research
shows “A total of 19,115 fires are reported from the NOAA-12 satellite images
in the sample in 1996, while 24,549 fires appear in the 1997 data over the
period (1)”. One reason for rampant burning is that Brazil’s environmental
agency has had no legal authority to enforce environmental law since 1989. A
bill in the Brazilian congress that would close the loophole passed the Senate
earlier this year, but has been blocked by special interests in the Lower House
(2). So of the reasons why the burning continues is because of the government
and the burning is increasing more and more because we need more land and crops.
Since the statistics show that rain forest are getting burned up, the government
and people need to start taking concern towards the rain forest. The point of
this paper was to persuade people as a whole to take rain forest into concern
and act on it. Some solutions to the problem are that the government should take
better responsibility and take control of the burning of the rain forest. Also
the people can help the government out by understanding the needs of our rain
forest.

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