Reasons for Deforestation

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  • Created by: Debbie
  • Created on: 08-04-13 10:39

Reasons for Deforestation

  • Cattle Ranching: As the world's population gets bigger and richer, the demand for meat is increasing. To rear the cattle increasing tracts of the rainforest are being cleared to make pastures for grazing.
  • Subsistence Farming: Because of the large amounts of poor people that still live in tropical areas, subsistence farming is still widespread. Because rainforest soil loses its fertility quickly after deforestation, the most common form of subsistence farming is slash and burn. With growing populations this method of farming can cause widespread deforestation.
  • HEP: Many of the world's great rivers flow through rainforests e.g. the Amazon. These great rivers often have the most HEP potential. Unfortunately when a dam and reservoir are built it causes damage during construction, but also floods large areas.
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Reasons for Deforestation

  • Mining: With an ever increasing demand for the world's natural resources, countries and companies are looking at increasingly isolated locations, places like rainforests and Antarctica. The rainforests are believed to have many resources including metals and fossil fuels beneath their soils. Gold mining can be particular damaging as mercury is used in its extraction and often runs off into rivers.
  • Road building: Building new roads like Trans Amazon highway from Brazil to Bolivia not only causes deforestation itself, but its also opens up new areas to urbanisation, mining and farming causing further deforestation.
  • Urban growth: With the world population increasing as well as rates of urbanisation increasing many cities like Manaus in Brazil are growing rapidly causing deforestation.
  • Population growth:As populations grow, particularly in countries like Brazil, Peru, India and Vietnam that contain rainforests the demand for land increases, both to grow food and to live.
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Reasons for Deforestation

  • Plantations: Primary products are often seen as an income source for LEDCs, many of who have large areas of rainforest. At the same time with fossil fuels running out, alternative fuels sources are been searched for including biofuels e.g. Palm oil. This has lead to widespread deforestation in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia to plant cops like palm oil.
  • Timber (hardwoods): Hardwoods like mahogany and teak that take hundreds of years to grow are still in high demand to make things like furniture. The extraction of these trees can kills trees around them. Also many countries like China are also demanding large amounts of normal timber that are not always taken from sustainable sources.
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