The rainforest( pause)  a tropical forest with tall trees,  warm climate,  enclosed canopies, lots of rain and  high species diversity. The  bulldozers ,  chainsaws  and  fires  are not  part of the rainforest so what are they doing there? . Today I’m going to speak to you about the importance of the rainforest, the increasing destruction of it  and what people  can do to help stop the destruction of the rainforest before it disappears forever.

 

Why are rainforests so important?  Rainforests provide important ecological services such as storing hundreds of   billions of tons of carbon this helps to stabilize the world’s climate .  When rainforest is cut down and burned the carbon stored in the the wood and leaves is released as carbon dioxide  into the atmosphere which contributes to climate change as  carbon dioxide  is a major greenhouse gas. The destruction and degradation of the rainforest  accounts for 15% of global greenhouse emissions. This is an alarming figure. Rainforests provide 20-25% of the world’s oxygen which we all need in order to survive and house more than 50% of the plants and wildlife on the planet. Many of these are endangered species such as the Sumatran orangutan and  Sumatran tiger as well as many more. These animals are in danger of becoming extinct as forests are cut down. Other services the rainforest provides  as part of the water cycle it adds water to the atmosphere through the process of transpiration which forms rainclouds that release water onto the RF. When  Rainforest is cut down less moisture goes into the atmosphere which means less rainfall and sometimes leads to drought. By destroying the rainforest we are contributing to climate change. I believe that by conserving the rainforest it will lower carbon emissions and help to put a  stop climate change. The people and animals that live in the rainforest have the right to keep their homes as  it is not only their natural habitat but their natural environment that they have lived in for thousands of years. I believe that by conserving areas of rainforest for wildlife and native people it will help to  them in losing their homes and will assist in stopping endangered animals becoming extinct.

 

2.It is estimated that within 100 years the rainforest will be gone(pause). Rainforests are found in Africa, Asia, Australia and Central and South America with the biggest being the Amazon in South America. Rainforests are very important to humanity but are being quickly destroyed because of human activities. The biggest cause of deforestation is the conversion of forest land for agriculture.  Industrial agriculture is a major driver of rainforest destruction throughout the world. Industrial agriculture is when something is farmed in huge amounts.  Examples of industrial agriculture that is destroying the rainforest are  1. Unsustainable Logging for timber,2. agriculture for both small and large farms 4.grazing land for cattle, plantations such as  wood pulp for making paper. Due to demand for palm oil worldwide  every hour 300 football fields of remaining rainforest is being destroyed across South East Asia for palm oil plantations. This is affecting endangered animals such as the orangutans who need the forest in order to survive. Orangutans are found in Indonesia and Malaysia which have some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, and logging both legal and illegal has resulted in orangutan populations being destroyed logging is another major reason for deforestation. Forest conversion for pulp and paper and palm oil plantations  now  present an even bigger threat and it is believed that up to 1000 orangutans are killed every year . Did you know palm oil is used in 50% of our consumer products such as cosmetics, chocolate and potato chips. This means you are likely to be involved in the deforestation cycle. In the past it was small farmers who were causing the most deforestation now it is large companies.  It is sad to think that in a few generations there may be no rainforest left. I believe people need to become more aware of where their products are coming from and start avoiding the ones that are sourced by deforestation. If the rainforest keeps getting destroyed we will lose endangered species, plants and many more special things that we will never be able to get back after they disappear.

 

  1. Thirdly, I want to talk about what is being done . Recently there has been an important shift in deforestation trends. Today export-driven companies are responsible for a larger share of deforestation than ever before , where before most tropical deforestation was a result of poor families trying to feed their families. This makes it easier for environmental groups as it is much easier for them to go after large firms than poor farmers.  Companies and policy makers are starting to value  the rainforests for the services they provide and have started setting aside large areas of forest in protected areas. Another step that has been taken is companies have started to set up financial operations to  reimburse communities, state and local governments to preserve the forests. Large international companies are starting to make policies that exclude materials sourced by deforestation. But this does not mean the rainforests are safe from destruction.  Growing population and consumption  means that rainforests will continue to face extreme pressures. I believe that there needs to be a balance between how much rainforest we take and how much is being conserved in order to stop the rainforest disappearing. What is happening now is a good start but it is not happening fast enough .I believe more policies need to be made in order to start conserving more areas of rainforest in protected areas and forests need to be managed sustainably by large companies We can also  support organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which is working to reduce deforestation. This will greatly contribute to saving the rainforest.

 

The future of the rainforest is in our hands. Today I have presented to you the importance of the rainforest, the increasing destruction of it and what people can do to help put a stop to it before the rainforest disappears forever.  Destruction of the rainforest leads to extinction of wildlife, plants, carbon emissions, loss of homes, climate change and the loss of an important ecological feature the rainforest itself. We can all support organisations such as WWF. The actions we take in the next few years will decide whether the rainforest will still be around.  Are you going to take action?

 

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