Rainforest and the Significance of Deforestation

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Rainforests are one of the world’s most valuable natural resources, providing habitat for over 500 million species of animals and plants across the entire ecosystem. With a closed canopy, these types of forests receive a lot of rain and have a lot of species diversity. Rainforests are one of the most important environments for living organisms and contribute greatly to the global environment. They have distinct characteristics as a result of high levels of rainfall during the year (1700-2000 mm). There are many rainforests in various geographical areas throughout the world, such as the Daintree in Australia and Ecuador’s Cloud forests. Additionally, others like the Amazon Rainforests in Brazil, Congo Basin forest in Africa, Alaska’s rainforests, The Mt. Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia experiences mangrove type of rainforest and Mindanao in the Philippines, among others are primary rainforest across the world (Violante 47).

Based on the impact of rainforest in the economic market, various sectors in the economic niche largely depends on the type of forest for instance; wildlife and tourism, forestry and natural resources preservation, research studies for Zoology and Botany, Art and woodwork, and medicine. Amazon forest is the largest rainforest in the world that provides more than 20 million gallons of water in American sphere and a habitat of million species of plants and animals. With the help of international organizations and South American governments, deforestation within Amazon rainforest has declined and enhanced preservation of the environment.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the modern society, various type natural resources such as rainforest across the globe have been under constant attack by the human invention in different forms. Human involvement for the past century about the forest, in general, has been critical based on the level of encroachment and pollution of the environment that affects bio-system. The basis of the report is determined various factors that affect rainforest especially in Amazon region in Brazil.

Furthermore, Amazon forest exchange immense amounts of water and energy with the atmosphere plays an important role in controlling local and regional climates. Water released by plants into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration and to the ocean by the rivers affects world climate and the circulation of ocean currents. In the modern society, the creation of awareness has led to declining of deforestation across various types of forest thus environmental conservation.

1.3 Objectives

The core objective of the research is to effects of deforestation and the significance of rainforest in the modern society. Additionally, various specific objectives are essential for the study, they include:

To establish how the deforestation affects rainforest in general across the globe

To determine how rainforest influences environmental climatic change of a given geographical area

To determine the impact of sources of energy-related issues affect rainforest of a given region

To determine the impact of human encroachment in rainforest geographical niche

To establish the effects of pollution in rainforest regions

1.4 Justification

Through decades, forestry has played a vital role in both ancient and modern society as a source of food, medicinal purposes, habitat, research, and industrial growth and development. Human effects have been severe over the past decade towards forest encroachment due to high demand wood-related industry, farming, and source of energy. The research paper provides tangible evidence of the significance of rainforest in the modern society and the entire ecosystem. Rainforests across the globe provide millions of plants and animals species a habitat and also plays a crucial role in climatic and weather conditions of a region the forest situated.

In addition, with the severe threats on effects of urbanization in the modern society based on human pollution, global warming and high demand for food and timber related products, the rainforest has been a constant threat despite various government and environmental agencies that have emerged to converse and preserve these resources (Devendra 34). Through continuous research, it is inevitable that these types of habitats should be conserved for the discovery of both new animals and plants species. Awareness is essential for preservation purpose despite satisfying the market demand by supplying timber-related commodities hence deforestation.

1.5 Scope

The focus of the study is to determine the significance of rainforest and the effects of deforestation in the modern society. Based on the research study, Amazon rainforest was used to identify impacts of deforestation, various variables that result to deforestation and the significance of rainforest in the ecosystem at large.

1.6 Limitations

Due to the unique nature of a tropical rainforest, Amazon rainforest is a habitat of millions of plant and animal species, which among them are most of the deadliest living creature in the world. Accessibility in most of the entire parts of the Amazon forest it’s challenging due to its densely populated and canopy cover and climatic condition in the region.

2.0 Literature Review

This chapter focuses on the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study. Specifically, it examines the research variables by giving a critique of the existing literature and identifying research gaps. Furthermore, it provides a summary of the research regarding the significance of rainforest and the effects of deforestation in the modern society.

2.1 Theoretical Review

The theoretical framework is one of the important segments of the literature review; it enables consideration of various concepts on the subject matter based on the scholarly evidence such as theories and hypothesis of the research study. With regard to the study, there are two main types of theories that play a significant contribution towards the effects subjected towards Amazon rainforest, they include:

2.2. Developmentalism Theory

According to Barbosa (28), the rise of developmentalism started in the early 1820s during the period of redemocratization of the Brazilian society. During the period Brazil was experiencing political change that led to the exploration of Amazon forest for development purposes. Most Brazilians were able to explore various landscapes within the forest through the influence of the Westerners. Natural resources were exploited within the forest such as Brazilwood (caesalpinia echinata) exported for Europe for the production of textile dyes. Due to the high demand in Europe, this led to the extinction of various species in Amazon forest to meet the demand. Moreover, forest encroachment for mass production of sugarcane by the slaves within the region and in Africa motivated Europeans for mass development.

Developmentalism enabled industrial development in Europe despite affecting the natural resources around Amazon rainforest. Even long after independence, the Brazilian government still continued to practice industrialization that transformed the forest with an idea of capitalism. As a result of underdeveloped nature of interior regions in Brazil, Developmentalism became frequent in the region with little idea of environmental change in the geographical niche and extinction of various species in the area (Barbosa 30). With the help of Environmental International Organization that protect and preserves natural resources, Amazon rainforest protection from illegal lumbering, pollution, and human encroachment. Developmentalism theory enhances urbanization of undeveloped regions and exploitation of natural resources for profit making.

2.3. Environmentalism Theory

Environmentalism theory on the hand implies the act of preserving and protecting the environment. In the modern society, global awareness initiative has been promoted by various government and NGOs across the world with a goal to protect the environment. Some international organizations such as United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) within Brazil formed in 1988. The Institutes from the local government on the department of environment and renewable natural resources have played a significant role in implementing various rules to enable protection and conserving the Amazon rainforest region. With regard to (Barbosa, 30), these agencies have allowed Brazilian government prominence power over its natural resources from the foreign government thus diminishes exploitation for natural resources.

Through licensing, permits, and patrol of the Amazon forest, various stakeholders are up to date with the usage of natural resources for production purpose such as research, timber production among others. Environmentalism theory emphasis on environmental conservation irrespective of the economic activities practiced within the region, sugar plantation in Brazil. There are different types of rainforest in Amazon basin with distinctive characteristics, for instance; lowland, mangrove and coastal swamp, montane, sub-montane, savannah woodland, and grassland rainforest among others (Andrea, 78). Different species of animals largely depends on habitat such amphibians, reptiles and mammals who lives in the region being a vast region as shown in figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1: The Map of Amazon Rainforest basin

2.4 Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework signifies the relationship between precise variables recognized in the research; based on the study, hence the dependent and independent variables. The conceptual framework enables an organization to identify and examine various variables that directly affects research in the economic market. The independent variables in this study include; human pollution, energy, farming, and climatic change while the dependent variable is Deforestation and degradation of Amazon rainforest. The following diagram portrays the correlation between the dependent and independent variable as shown in figure 2.1.

Figure 2.2: Conceptual framework of Amazon degradation and deforestation

Human Pollution

Independent Variables Dependent Variable

Deforestation and Degradation of Amazon rainforest



Human Pollution

Pollution is one of the principal determinants that affects the environment through contamination. In the modern age, pollution has become of the virus that impounds on natural resources and endangers various species habiting the surrounding. There are different types of human pollution especially witnessed in Amazon rainforest such as; solid waste disposal, water pollution, air pollution and chemical or nuclear pollution. These factors are very dangerous the ecosystem thus promotes extinction and survival of the living things (Earthscan 28). Various industrial plantation witnessed in the Amazon rainforest such as timber production, pulp production,

Human pollution in the modern society has led to degradation of the environment in most parts of the world thus Amazon rainforest been affected. Some of the economic activities found in the rainforest also enhance pollution within the region. Oil and gas mining within Amazon basin has resulted in human contamination. Mining has further caused displacement among the locals and animals living in the area, thus causing air and water pollution, deforestation due to the construction of roads, plants for development. Various western regions of the Amazon, for instance, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador has to rely on explored oil and gas mining that contributes to more than 65% of the Peruvian Amazon for conservation purposes.

2.5. Energy

There is a different source of energy across the world such as firewood, the people around Amazon, firewood is the primary source of energy. Wood gained from cutting down trees is used for cooking and warming the homes during cooling seasons. Deforestation of Amazon has been an issue of great debate by the Brazilian government and the world in general (Guinness 111). The debate is due to the fact that deforestation of the Amazon directly correlates to the economic health of the Brazilian government. Some of the large processing companies in Brazil like sugar processing plants, which produce a massive amount of sugar and sugarcane products, require a lot of energy gained from cutting down trees in vast commercial scale. These demand of trees as a source of energy in huge size has led to the illegal falling of trees not replanted which to global warming that affects the global scale.

Mining for minerals and natural gas that are a source of energy has led to large-scale deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. The countries around the Amazon rainforest have the different interests in the natural resources provided by the forest like the presence of natural oil used as an alternate source of energy. Government policies like aligning their vary interests in resources found in the Amazon rainforest will greatly help in reducing legal and illegal deforestation of the forest led to replanting trees and reforestation of the land left bare and unused.

2.6. Agriculture

The increase in population around the Amazon has led to the need for more land for farming. Hence deforestation is the effective way to gain fertile and arable land for agriculture. Large-scale sugar farming is one of the main reason for deforestation of Amazon to provide more land farming to sustain the increased demand for sugar and sugar products by residents of Amazon as well as the people of Brazil (Lowman, Margaret, Devy & Ganesh, 69). The rest of the land gain through deforestation is use for small-scale subsistence farming. The trees cut down during deforestation are used for varies purposes like being used as a source of fuel and as construction materials.

Figure 2.3: Agricultural activities in Amazon rainforest region

Despite the advantages seen from deforestation to the people of Brazil, some of the adverse effects are long lasting. The Amazon forest is one of the remaining big forests around the world and helps sustain globe ecological systems. With the progression of technology and the increase in global population, the effect is the growing demand for arable and fertile land for government’s agricultural needs that helps sustain and ensure food security respective countries as portrayed in figure 2.3. Constant and continuous deforestation has led to global warming, irregular rainfall patterns that have made farming rather difficult especially for small-scale farmers.

Global warming has resulted in increased sea levels that occupy more and more land around the sea shores, and with a few years, some of the islands around large seas and oceans are going to be under water. Even with increased need for more land for farming, measures for maintainable deforestation should be put into consideration to prevent some to these long-lasting effects of deforestation.

With more than 3 million gallons of water in the Amazon region, Amazon basin provides more than 6o% of the water into the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, the Amazon basin covers more than 2 million miles with over than 200 major tributaries and 1000 miles long that discharges water in the ocean (German Advisory Council on Global Change, 25).

2.7. Summary

In this chapter, the researcher has looked at the theoretical framework where Developmentalism and Environmentalism theory plays a big role in deforestation in Amazon rainforest. Through the help of conceptual framework, various firms can understand the correlation between dependent and independent variables thus stay relevant to the economic market. The research variables have been discussed in relation to deforestation and degradation of Amazon forest with regard to independent variables.

3.0 Data Analysis

3.1 Deforestation in the Amazon

Since the creation of awareness of the significance of rainforest in the global ecosystem, the rate of deforestation in Amazon Basin region has declined by almost 75% since establishments of government and NGOs in the late 1980s. Moreover, the Brazilian economy has improved significantly approximately 35% hence decoupling of economic growth from deforestation. On the other hand, however, it is essential to comprehend why more than 250,000 square miles of tropical forest has devastated in Brazil since the early 1980s due to climatic effects and endangered species.

Figure 3.1: A graph of deforestation per square km for past five years

Figure 3.2: Nature of Tropical rainforest in Amazon region.

4.0 Recommendations And Conclusion

4.1 Recommendation

Forestry conservation is essential in global ecosystem since it provides more than 60% of precipitation/ water in the region (Aswathanarayana 39). There is a various proposal from the foreign research organizations that has resulted in deforestation which include:

To establish a favourable legal framework to conserve forest around Amazon despite doing various economic activities in the economic niche.

Qualitative research on flora and fauna in the Amazon region thus establishing sanctuaries in different parts of the world that would enable perseveration and natural resources protection.

To support the creation of awareness of to the public on the effects of deforestation in rainforest area through media platforms.

4.2 Conclusion

Amazon rainforest plays a vital role in economic activities, climatic, and weather conditions, wildlife and forestry contribute more than 60% of the South America region. Rainforest areas are one of the most fertile parts of the world that are a habitat of billions of flora and fauna. Based on the research paper, the in relation to deforestation and degradation of Amazon forest with regard to independent variables has led to significant legal amendments in the modern society. It is important for preserve environment for future use.

Works Cited

Amatya, Devendra. Forest Hydrology: Processes, Management, And Assessment. Boston, MA: CAB International, 2016. Print.

Aswathanarayana, U. Natural Resources: Technology, Economics, And Policy. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2012. Print.

Barbosa, Luiz C. Guardians of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest: Environmental Organizations and Development. City: Taylor and Francis, 2015. Print.

Barbosa, Luiz C. The Brazilian Amazon rainforest: Global Ecopolitics, Development, And Democracy. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000. Print.

Cattaneo, Andrea. Balancing Agricultural Development And Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon. Washington, D.C: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2002. Print.

German Advisory Council on Global Change. Climate change as a security risk. London: Earthscan, 2008. Print.

Guinness, Paul. Geography for the IB diploma: Patterns And Change. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.

Lowman, Margaret, Soubadra Devy, and T Ganesh. Treetops At Risk: Challenges Of Global Canopy Ecology And Conservation. New York, NY: Springer, 2013. Print.

Violante, Amelia. Soil Mineral-Organic Matter-Microorganism Interactions And Ecosystem Health. Amsterdam Boston: Elsevier, 2002. Print.

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