Stop the Deforetation





Stop the Deforestation
"This land is where we know where to find all that it provides for us--food from hunting and fishing, and farms, building and tool materials,
medicines. This land keeps us together within its mountains; we come to understand that we are not just a few people or separate villages, but one people belonging to a homeland" (Colins 32). The "homeland" is the Upper Mazaruni District of Guyana, a region in the Amazon rain forest where the Akawaio Indians make their home (32). The vast rain forest, often
regarded as just a mass of trees and exotic species, is to many indigenous people a home. This home is being destroyed as miners, loggers, and developers move in on the cultures of these people to strip away their resources and complicate the peaceful, simple lives of these primitive tribes.
However, the tribes are not the only ones who lose in this situtation. If rain forest invasion continues, mankind as a whole will lose a valuable treasure: the knowledge of these people in utilizing the resources and plants of the forest for food, building, and medicine. To prevent this
loss, the governments of the countries housing the rain forests should provide some protection for the forest and its inhabitants through legislation, programs. Also, environmentalists should pursue educating the tribes in managing thier resources for pragmatic, long-term profit through conservation.
Although hard to believe, the environmental problems of today started a long time before electricty was invented, before automobilies
littered the highways, and before industries dotted the countryside. From ancient times to the Industrial Revolution, humans began to change the face of the earth. As populations increased and technology improved and expanded, more significant and widespread problems arose. "Today,unprecedented demands on the environment from a rapidly expanding
human population and from advancing technology are causing a continuing and acelerating decline in the quality of the environment and its ability to
sustain life" (Ehrlich 98). Increasing numbers of humans are intruding on remaining wild land-even in those areas once considered relatively safe
from exploitation. Tropical forests, especially in southest Asia and the Amazon River Basin, are being destroyed at an alarming rate for timber,
conversion to crop and grazing lands, pine plantations, and settlements. According to researcher Howard Facklam, "It was estimated at one point in
the 1980s that such forest lands were being cleared at the rate of 20(nearly 50 acres) a minute; another estimate put the rate at more than 200,000 sq km (more than 78,000 sq mi) a year. In 1993, satellite data
provided the rate of deforestation could result in the extinction of as many as 750,000 speices, which would mean the loss of a muliplicity of products: food, fibers, medical drungs, dyes, gums, and resins" (53). Sowhat kind of condition will the forests be in in the year 2050? If this rate of deforestation continues, there will be no tropical rain forest in the year
2050.
Therefore, preservation need to occur now in order stop the terrible loss of the rain forests and all that it can provide. Rain forest destruction has two deadly causes: loggers and miners. For example, imagine loggers on bulldozers rolling into the forest, tearing down not only trees, but the invisible barrier between the modern, materialistic world and the serene paradise under the forest canopy. Forest locals told Scholastic Update that "...so much forest has vanished
that the weather has changed delaying rains and increasing heat...." (Leo19). Along with the loggers come miners seeking the gold and other minerals found in the forest. The article "My Trip to the Rain Forest" pointsout that the rivers of the rain forests become poisoned by the mercuryleaked in gold-mining. This exposes the tribes to diseases which they have no immunity to, such as malaria, tuberculsis, and the flu. The miners also bring in violence, which has killed over 1,500 members of one tribe in the
Amazon. Many of the tribes leave their ancestoral homes to flee the noise and disruption of the miners (Smith 66). Certainly, these loggers and miners must not think of the areas they invade and destroy as a home.
Consequently, invading the rain forest is no different than bullsdozers leveling out a suburb in the United States. The lifestyles in rain forest
villages and American towns are vastly different, but the two share one very important similarity: