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‘is it impossible for humans to use the rainforest as a resource without destroying it?’

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‘is it impossible for humans to use the rainforest as a resource without destroying it?’
‘is it impossible for humans to use the rainforest as a resource without destroying it?’
Describe what the rainforest is like.
Rain forests are extremely dense, huge and magnificent places. They have almost half of all the plants and animals on the earth living in their boundaries. Some people such as the Amerindians live in them. The structure of the plants in the rain forest, as seen in the diagram to the left, it is set out in layers of height.
Starting at the bottom, this layer is called the Forest Floor. The air near the forest floor is hot and humid. Only two per cent of the light that reaches the canopy can get through to the forest floor, so the forest floor is dim. This dim light slows the growth of many light demanding plants. In some of the deepest jungles the ground is a maze of scattered fallen leaves, roots, branches and twigs. When a tree falls down everything is very different because the extra light allows lots of herbs and saplings to grow. Rates of growth are incredible.
Secondly The Understory, compared to the forest floor there is an increased amount of light reaching the leaves of the plants in the understory. This small amount of light encourages the plants to think of smart ways to survive. Did you know there are such things as solar collecting dark green leaves? Plants that survive in the understory include dwarf palms and soft stocked species like the ginger family. These plants can grow up to 12 feet in length. Many plants in the understory rely on insects for their food. Others have fruit on their trunks. Many animals live in the understory, such as snakes and frogs. This layer also has the largest amount of insects.
Thirdly, The Canopy is the second highest layer of the rainforest. It's like a dense roof of trees over the ground. It's 80 to 150 feet above the ground and is always green and leafy. It shields the ground from the sun and light rain, though heavy rains do find their way through. Some creatures in the canopy never go to the forest floor. Many butterflies, such as the tawny rajah, live up here. Many trees up here have leaves that end in a narrow point, which helps get water off the leaf. If the water didn't get off the leaf algae would build up in the mini reservoir and cause the leaf to eventually die.
Lastly, the Emerging Layer, is the tallest layer in the rainforest. It's made up of a few wide, tall trees that grow taller than the trees of the canopy. They all have small, waxy leaves. Large birds such as harpy eagles fly among the branches. The plants are made for living in the dry conditions of the 130 to 250 foot high emergent layer. The trees up here are much more windblown than the trees of shorter layers. Their seeds are spread all over the forest by strong winds. Some trees go leafless for short periods of time, but almost never shed all their leaves. Many of the animals living up here are birds, such as contures, but some monkeys also live, "at the top," such as the colobus monkeys, which live in Africa. Some plants start growing on the forest floor and then grow up a tree to the emergent layer where the plant can get light.
The diversity of plant species in the Amazon rainforest is the highest on Earth this means there are loads of animals and plants ranging from plants with a taste for flesh to lazy sloths sleeping high up in the canopy.
Outline the ways that the forest resources are being used.
There are two main resources: logging and mineral mining. Both of these resources are not sustainable. For example the trees will run out at the rate they are being felled and the minerals will also run out at the rate they are being mined. However there are other less used resources such as rubber tapping. This means making incisions in to the bark of certain trees, rubber trees. This makes the sap of the tree, under the bark, ooze out. This sap can be processed, with a few other chemicals, into top quality rubber. This resource is sustainable because it causes a minute amount of damage to the tree and other organisms around it. However, unfortunately for the workers this is a huge amount of effort for a small amount of money in comparison to what the logger and miner workers and bosses make.
How is the exploitation of the resources destroying the rainforest?
Firstly logging, surprisingly logging is one of the least destructive activities in the rainforest because it isn’t easy to do. To start logging you need effective cutting equipment, to cut the timber. Transportation is also required to transport the timber. That said, this exploitation is still destroying the rainforest because it is taking away the trees which make up 80-90 per cent of all the things in the rain forest. Therefore it is taking away habitats from animals that live there. I know that the soil barely holds any nutrients because the nutrients are sucked up by the plants before it can soak into the soil. The nutrients in the rotting vegetation are held by the roots of the trees. When the trees are taken away the nutrients gets washed away in the rain because it has nothing protecting it. In the end nothing can grow and what was once lush rainforest turns to desert.
Secondly mining, as you can see in the diagram above, is extremely destructive. Hundreds of people are employed by a person with big ideas and a big sum of money. He employs many people from the neighbouring villages. They have different roles some wash away the loose soil, some pick at the minerals while some sort out the ‘slack’ from the precious minerals. The overwhelming force of this team makes ‘mega bucks’ for the boss. However this is short lived because within 5 years it is mined dry. All that is left is vast destruction. Nothing but worthless dust and mud for miles and miles. It will take centuries for just a few acres to grow back to its original state. This forest destruction has got so bad that more than 1 football pitch of rainforest is being destroyed every second!
Thirdly cattle ranching; cattle ranching is by far the most destructive activity affecting the rainforest. Huge swathes of lush rainforest are cleared every day to make room for grass to grow off of the temporary nutrients. Cattle eat grass at an astonishing rate so the cattle ranchers need huge areas of grass land to keep up with the feeding demands of the cattle. Cattle ranchers have no limit to the amount of rainforest they can claim and are racing to claim as much land as they can for cattle grazing. Ranchers are responsible for 60 per cent of rain forest destruction.
Lastly hydroelectric power, although hydroelectric power is a sustainable energy resource and will benefit future generations without further impact to the environment the original building of the hydroelectric dams are damaging. This building of dams flood huge areas of rainforest because a huge reservoir of water builds up behind the dam to cause enough pressure to give power to the plant.
Show how the resource exploitation in rainforests is having an effect upon different groups of people
There are many positives and negatives which affect the different groups of people who live in the rainforest.
Firstly the Amerindians, these are the people that live in the rainforest of Brazil. They eat, sleep, wash, reproduce and breathe in the rain forest. If you take away the rain forest then you take away the Amerindians. I think this group of people are the most affected by rainforest deforestation. Examples are that the forest fires pollute their drinking and washing water causing illness and low hygiene. Also rising C02 emissions from the burning forests cause the greenhouse effect to become more and more progressive, which may in turn cause future crops to grow differently and eventually not even grow again. In contrast burning the land helps the soil to become more fertile yielding healthier crops which provide jobs which then provide important wealth for clothing and medication.
Secondly logging bosses, these are people that exploit the rainforests resources. They would have many positives for this exploiting such as they earn a lot of money, they have a stable business to pass on to future generations and they have a rather easy job for the money they earn. However as always destroying the rainforest will damage the O zone layer and this is a disadvantage to all people because it causes extreme weather problems such as droughts and floods.

How does rainforest deforestation affect Brazil and the world? Deforestation of the amazon rainforest affects Brazil in good and bad ways. Most of the Brazilian population think deforestation is a bad thing however the overall picture is that it is making Brazil a lot richer. This money can be spent on finding new ways to exploit the rainforest in a sustainable way. This money could also be spent on improving the favelas. Not only is deforestation affecting Brazil it is affecting the whole. On the other side of the world the polar caps are melting, in Africa droughts are getting worse and sea levels are rising. These problems are all due to global warming caused by things like deforestation. However there is a brighter side to all of this, such as: the world is supplied with all sorts of wood from cheap chip wood to amazon rose wood (the most expensive wood in the history of mankind)

Ways that rainforest resources can be used in a sustainable manner
There are many forest products that can be collected in a renewable way on a small scale by local people I will list three of these concepts. Although poor farmers must still overcome sustainable forest products and difficulties of distribution, the harvesting of forest products without destroying the rainforest can make more money in the long term than the other alternative: destroying the rainforest and using the land for farming for a few years before clearing a new area or selling the wood to a timber company Firstly, Medicinal drugs from the rainforest are still largely underdeveloped and only a few may be known to the local people for harvesting. These are found in the bark, leaves, roots, and other plant parts and can be sold in local markets to other local people. If this catches on then more research can be done into finding new drugs and the idea of harvesting drugs will become more and more positive and may one day take over logging mining and ranching. Secondly, although only 10 per cent of natural food colourings come from rainforest products, rainforest colourings could easily satisfy a larger proportion of the market at a lower economic and environmental cost. Local people could collect these colorants and sell them in local and urban markets. With candy companies wanting less artificial colourings they may buy into this business and open it up. They may be swayed into this because they could quote that ‘they are saving the rainforests’. This could be seen as a major selling point. Lastly, some rainforest food products can be collected in a sustainable way for profit. Most of these include fruits, nuts, and flavourings. Tropical American nuts, like cashews and Brazil nuts, account for US$300 million in sales to the U.S. alone. Many of these foods, particularly Brazil nuts, can be collected only from a fully functioning forest, and cannot be raised in plantations. Also the naturally harvested food from the rainforest could be a good selling point.

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