Causes of Tropical Deforestation - Essay Example

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The purpose of the paper “Causes of Tropical Deforestation” is to analyzes causes of deforestation: 1) small-holder agriculture, 2) cattle pasture, 3) large-scale agriculture, 4) logging, and other causes ( i.e. urbanization, infrastructure development, forest fires etc)…
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Causes of Tropical Deforestation
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Causes of Tropical Deforestation The following were causes of deforestation small-holder agriculture, 2) cattle pasture, 3) large-scale agriculture, 4) logging, and other causes ( i.e. urbanization, infrastructure development, forest fires etc).
From the factors above, small-holder agriculture comprises 35 – 40%, thus, holding the biggest share. Cattle pasture comes next while large-scale agriculture cops the fourth spot. It is obvious that agricultural activities vastly contribute to deforestation.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon ( 2000 – 2005)
Cattle ranching is the top cause of deforestation. Small-scale agriculture is followed by large-scale agriculture. Logging along with other causes round up the list with 1 – 3%. Although logging results in degradation rather than deforestation, it is often followed by clearing for agriculture.
The 1980s saw 80% of deforested land ultimately converted for extensive agriculture which was lessened by 20% by the 90s. The decrease in the figures could account for less space that can be used for agricultural purposes since companies could have taken over the operations of large-scale agriculture. It is also a probability that when world price of beef increased, the demand lessened; thus, volume of cattle grazing on lands decreased that resulted to slower deforestation .
Tropical Deforestation by Region, 1990 – 2000, & 2000 – 2005
South America lost the most number of hectares to deforestation. From 1990 – 2000, the region has lost more than 3,500 hectares per year. Deforestation slowed down between 2000 – 2005. This meant that population has grown and urbanization has sped the deforestation. Africa suffers the second worst with 3,600 hectares of land lost to deforestation per year in the period 1990 – 2000. Between 2000 – 2005, the figures drop to lower than 3,500 hectares per year. Drought could have lessened the deforestation. On the contrary, the Asian region suffers 2,500 hectares deforested per year ( 1999 – 2000) that increased to 2,900 hectares between 2000 – 2005. The increased rate indicates either industrial development, increasing population or poor government control of illegal logging. Central America, Oceania, and North America each loses about 500 hectares of land to deforestation per year. In the case of North America, the federal as well as national governments are keen on the preservation of forests. Wildfires could be the culprit for in their case.
Among the selected countries, Rwanda has the highest change in rate of deforestation at 50.9% followed by Viet Nam ( 38.1%) . Foreign investments of Multinationals could have contributed to this. On the contrary, Burundi has seen the lowest change in rate of deforestation with -47.4%. Seeing the second lowest change in rate of deforestation is Nigeria (-35.7%). In these cases, political instability could have led to a weak demand in the economy thereby there is no need to build infrastructure and expand. Read More
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