Environmental Effects of Tropical Forests Destruction
Tropical rainforests are forests mainly located within the tropic and play a major role in
the biodiversity and sustainability of the environment. Generally, these forests thrive in areas
without a dry season and are homes to a huge number of plant and animal species. These forests
are mainly found in Africa, South America, and parts of the Indian subcontinent. Tropical
rainforests provide different uses around the world and the most common include the
pharmaceuticals industry, logging, habitats for indigenous cultures, and even habitation for
animals and plants. The destruction of these tropical rainforests, therefore, presents many
adverse effects. Above all, the effects that the destruction of forests cause on the environment
affects all people around the globe hence necessitate their protection. This paper looks into
tropical rainforests and highlights how their destruction is causing environmental problems in the
areas where they are located and also elsewhere. Destruction of tropical rainforests leads to a
cycle of environmental degradation which affects the sustainability of the environment and leads
to global warming.
Destruction of Tropical Rainforests
Before looking at the effects of tropical rainforest destruction, it is paramount to understand how
the destruction is ongoing in different areas around the world. Areas such as central and western
Africa have experienced the largest destruction of forests for different purposes. According to
Simon Lewis, David P. Edwards, and David Galbraith,
although the forests are less than 7% of the
earth’s surface, they accommodate up to 50% of the living things on Earth (p. 828).
Unfortunately, the authors also identifies that the destruction of these forests is very high with
rates reaching 18 million hectares per year (Lewis et al. 830). These rates of destruction are
incredibly high and indeed very worrying. This calls for efforts to conserve these forests and
avoid the adverse environmental effects.
Destruction of tropical rainforests is occurring for many purposes including agricultural
and financial benefits. William Laurance observes that most of tropical rainforests have been
cleared for other agricultural purposes such as palm oil farming, ranching, and other crops (p.
159). Other than agriculture, tropical rainforests are the leading source of logs in areas where
they are found. Therefore, increasingly many organizations and individuals are harvesting these
forests to boost their logging businesses. Overall, the rate of tropical rainforest destruction is
increasingly high and these rates are worrying as they lead to destruction of the environment.
Here are a few ways that environmental problems arise from the tendency.
The effects of deforestation on soil erosion cannot be overlooked. Generally, erosion occu...