Tropical Equatorial Rainforest ~ Development Issues

Refers to AQA A2 Geography

Ecosystems: Change and Challenge Option

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  • Tropical Equatorial Rainforest ~ Development Issues
    • Social Issues
      • NATIVE TRIBES such as the Yanomami have lived sustainably in the forest for thousands of years.
        • Today, only 100 or so tribes survive, isolated from the modern world
          • Contact with more technologically advance societies has proved disasterous as tribes have no resistance to common pathogens.
        • Deforestation gradually destorys the forest areas that they depend on.
        • Moral issues, should areas be preserved for tribes, or should they be cleared to kick-start economic groups
    • Environmental Issues
      • The rainforest sustains 40% of all plant and animal species
      • BIODIVERSITY should be maintained for aesthetic and practical reasons.
        • Potential value of unknown species as medicines or food crops
          • e.g. rosy periwinkle helps increase survival chances for childhood leukemia.
      • DE - FORESTATION damages ecosystems
        • Leads to accelerated runoff, soil erosion and excessive sediment loads in rivers and streams
      • Rainforests play a huge regional role in the HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE
        • Without transpiration from the trees, rainfall would decline, forests would disappear, and entire ecosystems collapse.
      • Rainforests are important CARBON STORES
        • According to NASA, destruction of tropical rainforest trees accounts for 15-20% of annual global carbon emissions
          • Adds to problems of global warming and climate change (long term GLOBAL ISSUES)
    • Policies for Sustainability
        • In return for writing off a proportion of the county's debt, the country agrees to conserve some of its rainforests
          • Popular between MEDCS and Central/ South American countries.
        • In exchange for setting aside forest for carbon storage, rainforest countries recieve payments.
        • Levied against customers whose activites involve deforestation
        • Some rainforest areas national parks
        • Income from tourism and good for conservstion


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