Benefits from the Rainforest

Tropical rainforests are important because they provide oxygen, soak in carbon dioxide, and are a huge source of biodiversity and cultural diversity. However, people also rely on tropical rainforest for food, medicine, timber, travel, and more. Rainforests around the world provide people with food and spices, for example, allspice, vanilla, cacao, cassava, ginger, bananas, black pepper, sugar cane, nutmeg and more. Many people are also moving from crowded cities where they cannot find jobs into the rainforest where they are becoming small-scale farmers. With all of this use, we need to be concerned about the stress we are putting on rainforests. Thirty acres of trees are cut in tropical rainforests every minute! Some scientists estimate that rainforests the size of Pennsylvania are lost each year. There are many causes of deforestation. People are logging for firewood, charcoal, building materials and other uses. Trees are being removed for commercial agriculture, which may cause permanent damage. Converting rainforests to pasture land for cattle ranching has destroyed many rainforests. Mining for gold, bauxite, and other minerals can destroy the land, and make it vulnerable to erosion. What can you do to help our world’s rainforests? One way to start helping is to learn more about the plants, animals and people, as well as the issues surrounding rainforests and deforestation. When you learn about new issues, write letters to governmental officials and the newspaper suggesting ways to help solve the problem. Practice conservation at home. This will help reduce the use of rainforests, as well as ecosystems all over the world. Bauxite is a mineral used to make aluminum. By recycling, you will reduce the need for bauxite, which is mined in tropical rainforests. Pets from other countries may have been taken from the wild or imported illegally from tropical countries. If you buy pets that are captivity bred in the United States, you will be sure that they didn’t come from the rainforest, or another unique environment. Investigate the source of the wood for your furniture to see where it comes from, and if it was harvested sustainable. All of these actions will help protect rainforests all over the world