Rainforests

Rainforests

Forests are categorized as rainforests based on rain fall. As such, rainforests are forests with very high levels of rainfall of about 68 to 78 inches per year. There are two main types of rainforests, which are classified based on location. These are tropical rainforests and temperate...

Deforestation

Deforestation

Deforestation refers to clearing, destroying or removing natural forests. Deforestation occurs by burning, cutting or logging depending on the method of tree clearance used. Due to increased populations, more demand for food, greater agricultural subsistence, increased exports, industrial and...

What Can You Do To Help Save Rainforests

What can you do to help save rainforests?

Rainforests are important to life on Earth because of their importance to the environment. Trees help uphold soil and prevent erosion and siltation, they also absorb carbon dioxide from the air we breathe and release oxygen. Many of the beautiful plants and animals that we enjoy learning about live in rainforests, which if were destroyed would also mean the destruction of the homes of these wonderful plants and animals. Can we imagine a world bare of tropical plants, colorful winged butterflies and exotic birds like peacocks?

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Many years ago, rainforests covered large amounts of land, extending from one country to the other, somewhat creating borderless land masses. Rainforests help to keep the Earth cool by recycling water vapor and allowing clean rainfall on land. Rainfall helps wash away dust, provide fresh water for rivers, as well as plants and animals so that they can grow and live healthy lives. Can we even imagine life without fresh water?

Despite the importance of rainforests to the environment, rainforests have been threatened by industrialization, commercial activity, farming and growing populations. With more people the demand for food, shelter and space rises, and these are often obtained and achieved by clearing land. Sometimes large areas of land are burnt, hundreds of animals are put to graze and trees are chopped for timber. These activities in rainforests, though they appear necessary are harmful to rainforests because once gone, huge trees which took hundreds of years to grow to full size are unable to grow again and will in most cases require hundreds of years and the favorable conditions in order to do so. Animals and birds will also migrate to find new homes if they are unable to secure food as they once did in the rainforest or unable to reproduce and safely provide nests or homes for their young. The country also becomes bare and is transformed into a ‘country jungle’; a rainforest with no trees, only concrete buildings.

So, how can we save rainforests? The first way to help protect rainforests is through education. Many people are not aware of the significance of rainforests to the environment and go about cutting trees in order to earn money. By logging, people set up businesses so that they can generate income, whilst in the drive to develop a country, rainforests are destroyed in order to build roads. Educating people about rainforests can be done through schools, radio and television programs as well as by printing clothing such as t-shirts, pants or bags with ‘save the trees’ or ‘save the rainforest’ logos. Documentaries showing the bad effects of careless framing practices and land clearing can be televised and a greater love for nature can be instilled. As such, people can be taught about the importance of rainforests in herbal medicines and the healing powers of Mother Nature for relaxation, relieving stress and curing illnesses. If people are unaware of the unimaginable benefits of crops and trees that grow around them, it would be difficult for them to develop the necessary passion for those trees and herbs if these are considered as just grass or weed.

It has been evident that people living in communities near or in rainforests as well as countries with large areas of rainforests are among the ‘poorest’ in the world. In the common sense of the word ‘poor’, these communities and countries lack infrastructure such as roads, bridges and industrial sites. Taken from a different perspective however, if these communities and countries were to develop sustainable and self-sufficient economies, what could have been poverty because of large rainforest areas could be converted into wealth.

Rainforests can be saved by using them wisely, developing ecotourism and regulating the use of the resources of the rainforests for sustainability and self-sufficiency. Well thought out and properly designed road networks can be built without destroying too much or any of the rainforests by building roads along the coast or along routes that do not have rainforests.

Farmers who depend on rainforests and their surrounding areas can be given financial assistance by the government and private businesses. In this way, people can protect their livelihood, the country can be provided with a steady supply of healthy fruits, root crops, poultry and vegetables, and the government can be ensured that rainforests are protected because of approved and appropriate farming practices. If farmers were to give up their lands, farms would be replaced with commercial businesses.

Governments can help save rainforests also by implementing policies that require commercial and industrial companies to operate using methods that do not negatively affect the environment and rainforests. In the event that mining or factory projects, for instance, are undertaken, to protect the environment, natural resources and rainforests, modernized energy saving and non-polluting machinery and tools should be a requirement for operations.

For many years now, especially as the world’s natural resources are increasingly becoming less or insufficient, millions of dollars have been spent in building recycling plants. Recycling is another way in which we can save rainforests. One does not have to spend millions, but simple things like reusing paper which has not been fully used will help reduce the number of trees needed to be cut for manufacturing paper. This is particularly well taught, learnt and implemented in schools. Furthermore, recycles paper can be bought over normal paper by schools and businesses. These practices help save rainforests as well as the environment.

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