6.4 What causes tropical deforestation?

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1 6.4 What causes tropical deforestation?

2 What human activities cause tropical deforestation? Agriculture

3 Mining Commercial logging Dam construction

4 What human activities cause deforestation in tropical rainforests? Agriculture Commercial logging Mining Dam construction

5 What are the underlying causes of tropical deforestation? Population growth Tropical People demand rainforests more provide food, land timber, and resources minerals, for etc. people. Population Population increases Resources demanded ( decrease / increase )

6 What are the underlying causes of tropical deforestation? Why is population growth high in rainforested countries? This is no official family planning in Brazil Among As Malays, long as Chinese child mortality and Indians because of the influence lived remains Malaysia, high, Malays people will tend to of the Roman Catholic have continue more children to have in large the family. Church. Their ideal family families. size is to have more than four children.

7 What are the underlying causes of tropical deforestation? Poverty Many tropical countries have a low level of economic development. The Governments people are of poor and receive countries little do education. not have enough capital for Levels economic of technology development. and productivity is low. These countries are usually heavily in debt. People picking up waste in a landfill in Cambodia (Credit: Ng Kim Hung)

8 What are the underlying causes of tropical deforestation? Government policy Provide subsidies to commercial farmers Encourage migration of people to the rainforests Loose land tenure laws enabling developers to buy land in the rainforest Corruption Improve road network to increase accessibility Local governments are attracted by loans given by international loan agencies for financing projects in exploiting rainforests

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11 Agriculture A Shifting cultivation Shifting cultivation is mostly practised by native peoples and landless or poor peasants. Shifting cultivators grow different crops, such as maize, beans, yams, bananas and pineapples. Some grow tree crops such as cocoa and coffee.

12 Agriculture A Shifting cultivation The cultivators abandon the existing plot and move to a new plot of land (Credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis) The cultivators clear the site by cutting and burning the trees (Credit: Mark Edwards/Still Pictures) The cleared plot is cultivated for several years until the soil nutrients are used up

13 Agriculture A Shifting cultivation Major The carrying characteristics capacity of the shifting land in tropical cultivation: rainforest is low. Therefore, shifting Subsistence, mainly for own cultivation is considered a consumption sustainable practice. small farm size labour intensive staple crop growing Footage showing shifting cultivation in western Africa Please click to browse online

14 Agriculture A Shifting cultivation Rapid growth in Growing more crops on population the same amount of land Why has shifting cultivation become destructive to the More landless peasants tropical rainforest? becoming shifting cultivators in the rainforest also cause more destruction to the rainforest The cultivation cycle is shortened

15 Agriculture B Plantations Tropical rainforests are felled for growing cash crops: Tree crop: rubber, oil palm, cocoa and coffee Arable crop: sugar cane and soybean Coffee plantation in Brazil (Credit: Biosphoto/Gunther Michel/Peter Arnold Inc.)

16 Agriculture B Plantations Major characteristics of plantations: carried out by large corporations monoculture (single crop cultivation) Commercial, mainly for export large farm size cash crop growing (Credit: Fernando Bueno/Getty Images) Soybean plantation in Brazil

17 Agriculture B Plantations Economic development results in a large demand for tropical cash crops. This accelerates the destruction of the tropical rainforest. In recent years, more soybeans have been grown in the rainforest to satisfy the increasing demand for biofuel. (Credit: Fernando Bueno/Getty Images) Soybean plantation in Brazil

18 Agriculture C Cattle ranching Tropical rainforests are cleared to provide pastureland for cattle ranching. Major characteristics of cattle ranching in tropical rainforests: commercial extensive large farm size mainly for export Cattle ranching in Brazil (Credit: Mark Edwards/Still Pictures)

19 Agriculture C Cattle ranching Demand for beef increases Overgrazing occurs Deforestation spreads fast Cattle ranchers move on new sites and cut trees for creating pastureland Soil is exposed to erosion Soil quality deteriorates

20 Agriculture C Cattle ranching Why is the Amazon rainforest so popular for cattle ranching? conservation Cheap and extensive land supply Attractive price of Brazilian beef Poor awareness of environmental Supported by local governments Brazilian beef being free of livestock diseases Expansion of road network, i.e. Trans-Amazonian Highway In Brazil, cattle ranching accounted for 60% of forest loss from 2000 to 2005

21 Commercial logging Most trees in the tropical rainforests are hardwoods. They are quality raw materials for construction purposes and for making furniture.

22 Commercial logging Logging in the rainforest is destructive since... Logging activities are often unchecked. Clear-cutting is carried out. Trees are cut to provide space and to build roads. The roads built by the logging companies provide access for other forest users.

23 Commercial logging Rate of logging accelerates in tropical rainforests because of:

24 Mining and oil and gas exploitation Many rainforests are rich in mineral reserves, e.g. bauxite, coal, tin, and oil and gas deposits. Urucu oil and natural gas plant in the Amazon (Credit: Reuters/OTHK) Gold mining in the Amazon (Credit: Reuters/OTHK)

25 Dam construction Hydroelectric power (HEP) is generated in rainforested countries to provide energy. HEP is considered the most reliable source of energy in the rainforested countries because: it rains every day in the tropical rainforests; high annual rainfall; water never freezes. The Itaipu Dam in the Amazon rainforest (Credit: Reuters/OTHK)

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