Free Essay: Impact of Human Intervention on Tropical Forests
Tropical rain forests play a great role in the ecosystems. Apart from supporting the lives of various species of animals and plants, they are also the sources of certain medicines that are used by man for treating various ailments. The tropical rain forests are among the main shields of human existence on the planet such that in case they are faced off, human survival would be a great challenge. The greatest destruction on tropical forests has been and is as a result of human intervention. However, it should be noted that there are also positive impacts that human intervention has had on the tropical forests.
One of the negative impacts of human intervention on tropical rain forests is deforestation. Human activities like logging and clearing of vegetation has led to the depletion of several natural habitats for many of the earth’s species. According to estimates by environmentalists, tropical deforestation leads to the loss of 137 animal, plant and insects species every day. Some of the main reasons why man undertakes deforestation on tropical rain forests include agriculture, mining and lumber. As a result of such processes, tropical rain forests are polluted with noise; smoke from the machinery used and habitats are also destroyed.
More and more of tropical rain forest land is being cleared by man for his economic activities without any thought of the habitats of those ecosystems. In fact, man is over exploiting the tropical rain forests because the clearing of vegetation and use of the land for agriculture, mining and other activities do not stop. Originally, tropical rain forests covered approximately 14% of the land surface on earth, however, this figure has been reduced to less than half; 6% as a result of the activities of man. Apart from farmers, miners continue to dig up tracks of tropical rain forests in search of gold, iron ore, oil and other minerals.
It can also be said that human intervention has led to some positive impact on tropical rain forests. One of them is that it has contributed to the discovery of medicines. In fact, there are about 120 prescription medications that are derived from tropical rain forests. These medications are used in the treatment of various health conditions including malaria, bronchitis, hypertension and even certain types of cancers. The human intervention on tropical rain forests has yielded very important medical processes that might had not been discovered.
According to research, it has been established that harvesting renewable and sustainable resources that are found in tropical rain forests is more valuable compared to setting up industries to replace the habitat of rain forests. Using the natural fruits, nuts, seeds, and plants that are existent in tropical rain forests is much more sustainable and adequate compared to replacing them with industries. Various studies have indicated that naturally occurring tropical rain forests can offer a variety of the world’s needs just as they stand. Thus, it can be said that human intervention in order to conduct research on the tropical rain forests has led to several important discoveries.
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