Rainforests have been declining rapidly over the last few decades. There are various factors responsible for this decline, resulting in serious impacts on the environment and the economy. Critically discuss the causes of deforestation and solutions to it.
Deforestation refers to the destruction of large areas of natural forests resulting in serious irreversible damage. Forests are crucial factors to our existence and because of the time it takes to replace harvested trees, they must be carefully managed to ensure that its resources are available in the future. Over the last few decades, rain forests have been declining rapidly. There are various factors responsible for this decline, resulting in serious impacts on the environment and the economy. This essay will critically discuss the main causes of this decline and possible solutions.
Data from the Brazilian government in 2009 shows the Amazon deforestation has reached the lowest levels since records began in 2000. Despite significant international effort, the problem continues and generates almost 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to Cláudio Maretti, WWF-Brazil’s Conservation Director, the country needs to take further action on reducing emissions from deforestation, as well as the industry and transport sectors. He also states the importance of providing cash incentive for landowners who conserve and restore forests (WWF 2009).
Research suggests that for this cash incentive to be successful in protecting forests, a comparison must be drawn between the values accrued to private agents, and the benefits to society as a result of deforestation. These show that the problem with deforestation is due more to market failure where private agents (entrepreneurs, corporations, communities) and society fail to take a pro-active role in reducing deforestation. In this case, it seems that Adam Smith 's concept of "invisible hand" has failed to signal the right priorities to
Bibliography: (Contreras-Hermosilla, A., 2000, The Underlying Causes of Forest Decline, Occasional Paper No. 30, Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia, pp. 7–10) (Nepstad, D.C., 2007, The Amazon’s Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire in the Greenhouse, Gland, Switzerland, WWF International, pp. 16–18) (http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/media/press/2009/WWFPresitem14352.html)