Tropical Rainforest - Sustainable Management & Case Study

Key Points about the impacts of deforestation: Social, Environmental, Economic

Alternatives to deforestation: Education, Protection, Eco-tourism, etc.

Case Study of the Amazon Rainforest

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  • Created by: Patrick I
  • Created on: 22-04-11 17:53
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Geography Revision TROPICAL RAINFOREST Living World
THE TROPICAL RAINFOREST
DEFORESTATION
MAIN CAUSES
Farming ­ Forest is cleared to set up subsistence farms or larger cattle ranches. `Slash and burn'
technique is often used to clear the forest.
Mineral Extraction ­ Minerals such as gold and iron ore are mined and sold. Trees are cut down to
expose the ground, and to clear access routes.
Commercial logging ­ trees are felled for pure profit.
Population pressure ­ Trees are cleared to make new settlements as population increases and
demand for space increases.
Road building ­ More settlements and industry lead to more roads being built, so trees are cleared to
build them.
IMPACTS
ENVIRONMENTAL
Fewer trees mean fewer habitats and food sources for animals and birds, reducing biodiversity as organisms
must move or die out.
With no trees to hold the soil together, heavy rain will wash it away, taking away with it the nutrients
This soil is often washed into the river, where it can kill aquatic life and make the water undrinkable
Without a tree canopy to intercept rainfall and tree roots to absorb it, more water reaches the soil, increasing
the risk of flooding, and reducing soil fertility. This makes it less likely that plant life can re-grow in the area
Without trees there is no leaf fall, and no nutrient supply to the soil ­ so it is less fertile
Trees cannot photosynthesis, replacing carbon dioxide with oxygen. In addition, burning vegetation to clear
the forest produces more carbon dioxide and other pollutants. GLOBAL WARMING
Without trees, water is not removed from the soil and evaporated into the atmosphere ­ reducing cloud
formation and therefore rainfall; so overall climate is indirectly impacted.
SOCIAL
Quality of life for some local people improves as more jobs become available.
Livelihoods of some people are destroyed, as deforestation can cause the loss of animal and plant life ­ which
some people depend on to make a living.
Some native tribes have been forced to move when trees have been cleared
There are often conflicts between native people, landowners, mining companies and logging companies over
land use
ECONOMIC
A lot of money is made from selling timber & products; mining and commercial farming
These industries also create many jobs in the area
SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT
SELECTIVE LOGGING
Only some trees are felled, most are left standing

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Geography Revision TROPICAL RAINFOREST Living World
This is less damaging to the environment than outright felling, as the overall structure of the forest is
maintained; i.e.…read more

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Geography Revision TROPICAL RAINFOREST Living World
ECOTOURISM
Ecotourism is tourism which does not harm the environment, and benefits local people
Ecotourism provides a source of income for local people ­ they can act as guides, provide accommodation
and transport, etc.
This means logging and farming are relied on less to generate income; and so fewer trees are cut down,
preserving them for the future
Ecotourism is generally small-scale, with only small numbers of tourists in an area at a time.…read more

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Geography Revision TROPICAL RAINFOREST Living World
IMPACTS
ENVIRONMENTAL
Habitat destruction has increased the number of endangered species in Brazil from 218 in 1989 to 628 in 2008
The Amazon stores around 100 billion tonnes of carbon; deforestation will release some o this as carbon
dioxide, which contributes to global warming
SOCIAL
Local ways of life have been affected, for examples Brazilian rubber tappers have lost their livelihoods as
rubber trees were cut down
Native tribes have been forced to move, often because their land is…read more

Comments

Mr A Gibson

Detail, detail and detail. You need this and you will get it from these notes which cover pretty much every aspect of how this topic relates to rainforests.

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