The New Endangered Specie: The Rainforest

1539 words - 7 pages

The New Endangered Specie: The Rainforest

The destruction of our rainforests is drastically harming the environment and if allowed to continue, it will severely affect native cultures, the climate and resources. The rainforests of our planet are some of the most beautiful and plentiful places in the world. The rainforests of the world only cover 2% of our planet, but are home to over two thirds of all the living species. These natural oases are being threatened by deforestation and may soon become extinct. The topics that will be addressed in the following paragraphs are the causes that are behind the destruction, the human cultures that are being destroyed, reduction of resources, ...view middle of the document...

A large contributor to deforestation is the building of dams in tropical areas. In the 1970’s the construction of the Bayano hydroelectric project in Panama destroyed 140 square miles of tropical rainforest. The Tucurui Dam in the Amazon will flood more than 760 square miles of forest, completely wiping them out. (James D. Nations, Tropical Rainforests)

It’s not only the animals and environment being destroyed in the rainforests. There are native dwellers that still live deep within the jungle. Their land, language, culture and way of life are being lost. Currently there are over 200 million people living in rainforests around the world. These people have had an outstanding affect on our lives, only we don’t know it or care to reward them for it. It was the people of the rainforest who taught us to use chocolate, sweet potatoes, tobacco, avocados, vanilla, coffee, mangoes, peanuts, cinnamon, bananas and even sugar. The tribes of the rainforest also showed us many materials found in the rainforest that are very useful like rubber, glue, chewing gum, medicines and natural insecticides. These tribes have also shown scientists over 200 plants that can be used to control human fertility. (James D. Nations, Tropical Rainforests)
To repay these people for the impact they have had on the world, we destroy their land. By getting rid of their land, we are destroying their source of food, medicine and will eventually lead to the tribes having to move out of the rainforest and try to live like the rest of us or they will slowly die off. With them goes all the knowledge of the rainforests, hundreds of languages and a large population of the world. It’s not fair what is happening to these people and it’s because of us that it’s happening.

Within these massive jungles lie many resources that we rely on day to day. The rainforest are the world’s most important food source. Many of the foods we rely on every day like coffee, chocolate and sugar are found mainly in the rainforests. Besides food products, 20 – 25% of all medicines come from the rainforest. Many of these medicinal plants also contain possible anti-cancer chemicals. So because of the destruction, we could be getting rid of chances to find a cure for cancer. Cancer isn’t the only disease where a cure for it could be hidden in the forests. Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anaemia, hypertension and heart disease have possible cures coming from the rainforests that scientists are working on.
Rainforests also supply a lot of lumber for furniture and building materials. The problem with this resource is that people are exploiting it. Clear cutting and logging or entire forests is ruining the chance of future growth and replenishment. Many raw materials also come from the rainforests, such as fibres, laxatives, waxes, acids, alcohols, sweeteners and dyes. If you have ever worn a lifejacket, you are wearing a fibre from the kapok tree found in the tropical rainforests. Another resource...

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