07 October 2009

::: Green Lungs Of Earth | Gamini s Greener Globe :::

The rain forest ecosystem is under threat from destruction by humans. Many countries and businesses want to take advantage and exploit the resources of the forest. The destruction of the rain forest results in social and environmental issues not only within the rain forest community but also the collective Global communities.
Rain forests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface and now they cover 6% only. Experts estimate that the last remaining rain forests could be consumed in less than 40 years .. One and half acres of rain forest are lost every second .. Over 200,000 acres of rain forest are burned every day .. That is over 150 acres lost every minute and 78 million acres are lost every year .. !
Following are the impacts into the environment of rain forest demolition :

>>> Biodiversity Changes >>
Removal of the forest causes loss of plant species. Animals are forced out as their food supply and habitat are destroyed. Many rain forest species have become extinct and others are threatened because of lost habitat.
>>> Hydrology Or Water Cycle Changes >>
Without trees, the WATER CYCLE is disrupted. Interception and transpiration are both reduced and the surface runoff increases. Water and silt pour into rivers; sandy river bed which does the natural purification part covers with mud and pristine water becomes muddy and polluted.
>>> Soil Changes >>
Without trees to protect, the soil is easily eroded. Torrential rain removes nutrients via surface runoff and leaching, and the soil becomes infertile. Surface runoff on the steep slopes can cause mud slides.
>>> Climate Changes >>
Deforestation contributes to global warming because trees use up carbon dioxide during PHOTOSYNTHESIS .. Transpiration is reduced and evaporation increases. This leads to a drier climate. Less forest means there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and this leads to global warming ..
>>> Nutrient Cycle Changes >>
If the trees are removed, the Nutrient Cycle is broken; the soil become infertile; the rain washes nutrients stored in the soil away; this is called LEACHING .. Removal of trees leaves the soil exposed, causing erosion by wind and rain ..
Deforestation has major impact on the environment. Thus, we have got to conserve what is left of the rain forests throughout the Globe. Exploitation of resources such as tropical rain forest is leading to destruction of its ecosystem.
There are ways to conserve the rain forest :
Sustainable logging is a must. Once a tree is cut down, another is planted.
Rain forests must designated as protected areas, where no development can take place.
Educate people about the importance of rain forest and its inter depending mechanism with humans.
Mining companies are required to replant trees once they finished mining the area.
Sustainable development means being careful with the world's natural resources and ecosystems but still enabling some development to take place.