Deforestation in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is famous for it’s rainforests and vast biodiversity and ecosystems, including 12,000 species of plants, 1,239 species of butterflies, 838 species of birds, 440 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 232 species of mammals (Wikipedia), which overtime have become under threat due to deforestation. Since the end of World War II, 80 percent of Costa Rican forests have disappeared (Wikipedia). Various companies are cutting down forests, to provide land for there fruit plantations and cattle ranches. During the 1990s, Costa Rica had one of the worst deforestation rates in the world. Clearing out forests is causing flooding, desertification, sedimentation in rivers, loss of wildlife diversity, and is the number one contributor to global warming. The country has laws protecting certain areas of the forests, but only 25 percent of Costa Rican forests are completely protected from companies due to lenient laws (Viva Costa Rica). Businesses that are clearing out Costa Rican forests are contributing to the destruction of the earth’s environment. Beef production is the largest cause of deforestation in Costa Rica. Approximately 60 percent of Costa Rica has been cleared out to make room for cattle ranching (Algee, “Cattle Ranching”). During the 1960s, problems worsened when the United States offered Costa Rican cattle ranchers millions of dollars in loans to produce beef (Viva Costa Rica), so all the ranchers had the forests cleared for space for more cattle. After Costa Rica stopped shipping cattle to the U.S., the country was left with bare spots, where trees were cleared out, and most of the cattle was moved to the Pacific Northwest side of Costa Rica. Fruit plantations are the second largest cause of deforestation in Costa Rica, specifically banana plantations. Banana plantations now cover 130,000 acres of previously forested land in Costa Rica (Guadua Bamboo). Bananas are Costa Rica’s main moneymaking...
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