Deforestation in the Amazon

By: Jozette Deegan and Mallory Harpole

Summary of Crisis

The rainforest is a home to many species which live beneath the canopy and in the trees. The trees also prevent soil erosion and produce a lot of oxygen to help us breathe. Tropical forests and woodlands exchange large amounts of water and energy with the atmosphere and are considered to be important in controlling local and regional climates. Out of the 30,000 plants the US National Cancer Institute has identified as useful in treatment of cancer, 70% of these plants are only found in the Amazon. 25% of the ingredients contained in Western Pharmaceuticals come from the rainforest. Finally 80% of the developed world food originated in the Tropical Rainforest and 3,000 fruits are found in the rainforest. Close to 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has been cut down and scientists fear that an additional 20% will be cut down in the next two decades. If this happens, the forests ecology will begin to unravel. The reason were doing this is for logging companies. The removal of trees is being used for resources such as wood, rubber, and space for cattle to graze. This is taking away the habitats of many animals. Animals that are being affected are jaguars, many species of parrots, golden lion tamarin, and manatees. If deforestation continues at this rate, in the next 25 years, half the world species of plants and animals will be destroyed.

What are the consequences for our actions at that location?

There are many consequences for our actions. Increase of endangerment is a big consequence that is very serious to some people. Many animals are becoming endangered or even extinct because of loss of habitat due to deforestation of the Amazon. Were cutting down the trees that they live in, there protection is gone, and there food source has vanished. Our resources for medicine have decreased. Deforestation is contributing to global climate change. The lack of trees also allows a greater amount of Greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere.

What are we gaining?

Deforestation is helping us in some ways. We are gaining wood, rubber, and cattle for food. We are clearing areas for cattle to graze. We are supplying the economy with raw materials. Most of this helps major logging companies. We believe there are more negative effects than positive.

What are the future plans for the location?

In the next two decades, if we keep it at this rate, the forests ecology will begin to unravel. In the next 25 years more than half of the species will be destroyed or threatened. Environmentalists don't support over deforestation and non proper replenishment of the trees and resources being cut down. They also don't approve of how it is affecting the wildlife in the Amazon. The logging companies and people that take the raw materials see it as a big open space and resource for their companies to take whatever they need. They are gaining a lot of money from doing this and aren't considering the consequences.
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