Reasons to save forests


photo M. Noonan

Throughout history, tropical rainforests have been known for their tremendous beauty, mystery and rich biodiversity. However, sadly they are being destroyed at a rate of 95,000 square miles per year. This area equals the size of Florida. In fact, if deforestation were to continue at its current rate, all rainforests would be gone by 2020.   These beautiful ecosystems are being cut down because of several reasons.  These include urban expansion, agriculture (coffee, bananas, etc.), cattle ranching, and the lumber industry (paper, furniture, etc.).


photo M. Noonan

All of them relate to the short-term benefits of clearing rainforests.  However they lead to many long-term consequences.  These include a depletion of oxygen in the atmosphere, an increase in atmospheric CO2 (and hence global warming), and a loss of an opportunity to learn valuable lessons (e.g., the opportunity to discover new medicines).  Please use the links at the left to learn more about the long term implications of tropical deforestation.

 

CAC is a program of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.