Human and animals are absolutely depending on forests to survive. Forest plays significant roles namely provide vital oxygen that used by human and animal to breathe. Also, many people rely on forests for their livelihood. However, instead of our dependence, we still have less comprehensive about the crucial point of forest for our live (WWF, 2017). Nowadays, Amazon rainforest as the biggest rainforest in the world was reported would reach its point of no return. In other words, it might lose its ability to maintain its functions which also impact on the survival of human and animals (Science Advances, 2018). Amazon rainforest located in South America. It is the vast rainforest in the world for, it is spanning across eight countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Suriname, Ecuador, Guyana, and French Guiana, according to WWF, 2018 and Butler, 2017). Nevertheless, the biggest rainforest is now in a critical situation because of deforestation. Bradford (2018) define that “deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses”. Deforestation occurs in many ways and therefore it has caused negative impacts on the environment, animals and plants, and the survival of the inhabitants of Amazonia. This essay will discuss some causes and effects of deforestation that occur in the Amazon rainforest.
There are several destructive practices that can be attributed as the causes of deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. First of all, Butler (2017) believe that cattle ranching is the major cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Since 1970, the Amazon rainforest has cleared to create room for cattle ranching, especially in Brazil. As was reported by Butler (2017), the percentage of destruction of forest owing to cattle ranching is 65-70% in 2000-2005. The next few years, the clearance area in Brazil for cattle ranching was reduced, yet in are such as Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia, cattle ranching still be the major problem of forest loss. Most of the products of cattle ranching were destined for local markets and other products were for export markets. For example, beef was traded for urban markets while leather and other products were export. The opening land for extensive cattle ranching also forces small farmers to move and create their new land to sustain themselves (WWF, 2018). The second major cause of the deforestation is the spread out of small-scale agriculture and large-scale agriculture or also known as commercial agriculture. Many of the small farmers at the Amazon is facilitated by the government in order to improve their urban markets. For instance, the government constructed trans Amazonia Highway for about 2,000- mile so that the distribution of products from small-scale agriculture or subsistence farming to the markets would be easier. However, due to the poor planning, that project was unsuccessful since it was begun. As the consequence, when heavy rains the area was flooded, there was blocking traffic and the highway became unstable. In addition to the agriculture issue, the commercial agriculture also contributes negative impact on the environment of Amazonia. Wide lands ware cleared to create extensive agriculture area to plant some agricultural plants that have high prices such as soybean, coffee, cotton, palms, wheat, corn, rice, and sugar. All those plants likelihood would not have the ability to prevent soil from erosion when heavy rain occurs (Butler, 2017). The next cause is the common form of deforestation which is illegal logging and unsustainable natural resources extraction. Even though every country has their own laws to maintain production and trade of wood, some people still commit illegal logging. One reason for commit illegal cutting in the Amazon is to build a road. Unsustainable gold mining and oil exploration also can be classified as one of the causes of deforestation. The waste products from both of them that contain harmful chemicals for the environment are flowed to the land or into a river (Butler, 2017).
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All the form of deforestation above produces negative consequences for some aspects of the Amazonia. Firstly, those causes directly impact on the ecosystem of the rainforest itself. Trees play crucial roles to maintain the health of forests. They protect this planet from the extremely high temperature from the sun. When they are overcut or being disappeared in a wide area, that area would experience a long season of drought due to a diminishing of rainfall that caused by unstable hydrological cycle. The absorption of rain falls and the production of water vapor that is released by trees to the atmosphere is absolutely important to keep the humidity of the atmosphere. Basically, forests have important ability to mitigate carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions in this planet, yet when they are burned to build a new land, they become sources of carbon dioxide. The lack of trees also leads to soil erosion and flooding. These problems could happen because of several types of trees that have strong structure especially strong roots to keep the land to be stable and sturdy are replaced by agricultural plants that potentially have week roots (WWF, 2018 & Bradford, 2018). The deforestation that occurs in the Amazon rainforest also leads to species extinction. World Wide Fund in 2018 discovered that the Amazon rainforest contains 40,000 plant species, 3,000 freshwater fish species and more than 370 types of reptiles. Also, they discover 400 new plants and animal species. As was predicted by WWF, there are many species of animal and plants in the Amazon that still undiscovered, yet deforestation threats discovery of them. Animals who live there are also threated potentially would lose their habitats because their place has been destructed by deforestation. Not only the animal who feel unfavourable effects of deforestation, but also the people who live there. More than 30 million Amazonian rely on the nature of the Amazonia rainforest for agriculture, fishing, food, clothing and traditional medicines (WWF, 2018). Therefore, when the rainforest is destructed, it clearly would impact on the people’s life equality. For example, the waste products of mining or oil company that is flowed into a river might contaminate the river. Consequently, when the people consume fish from that river they may get health issue. The local water quality that is consumed by the people may be decreased as well (Bradford, 2018). The people’s income great possibility would be affected by deforestation as well. Any effects of deforestation particularly flooding, drought, and soil erosion potentially would cause a problem for the small farmers. Their income may reduce because of all those issues.
In conclusion, destruction of the forest that occur in the Amazon rainforest is caused by several reasons namely building a wide room for cattle ranching and agriculture requirements. There are two practices of destruction for agriculture which are the small-scale agriculture and large-scale agriculture. Also, the use of natural resources in inappropriate ways can be a cause of the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. In the aftermath, all the causes are leading to the disruption of the rainforest ecosystem, species extinction and also present unfavourable effects for the people. Instead of all the negative impacts of the deforestation, many people, especially the government of Amazonia has undertaken some actions to solve those issues. Gradually, those problems are decreasing even though consistency, hardworking, and human understanding still be required to maintain the forest.