rainforests & deforestation. africa’s rainforests are disappearing. original forest...

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Threats to Congo rainforest gain speed


RAINFORESTS & DEFORESTATION Africas rainforests are disappearing.Original forest areas2005 Threats to Congo rainforest gain speed U.S. forest destruction Why does it matter that forests worldwide are being cut down? And why are rainforests particularly important? HABITAT LOSS: Loss of rainforest means animals are becoming endangered. western gorilla golden cat chimpanzee African water shrew Rainforests are home to 50 to 70% of all life forms on Earth.leopardgorilla okapi forest elephant gray parrot great blue turacobee eater MEDICAL IMPACT: Tropical rainforests are the best places for scientists to find plants that can be used to make medicines. 37% of all medicines prescribed in the US have active ingredients that come from rainforest plants. For example, of the approximately 3,000 plants found to have cancer- fighting properties, 70% of them were found in the rainforest. (Reported by The National Cancer Institute) Pharmacy companies send scientists to rainforests to collect plant specimens and then pay scientists big bucks $$$ to research ways to use them as medicines. So as rainforest is destroyed, we lose plants every day that could be used to discover new medicines. WEATHER IMPACT: The tropical rainforests are like giant "heat pumps" that sends heat and moisture from the tropics into the colder high latitudes making it warmer & sending rain. Original forest areas2005 Rain forests help produce rainfall in nearby countries. Destruction of rainforests in West African countries may have caused actually two decades of drought in other parts of Africa. Drought hurts farming, and that meant many people starved. -- National Geographic, Deforestation & Desertificationn/effect.html So if its such a big problem, why do they keep cutting it down? 1. Farming These African mountains used to be covered with forests. Now they are covered with small farm plots. Cleared rainforest soil is not great for farming. So families clear more and more land to try and grow enough. What helps? Make natural fertilizer so small farms grow more. Teach irrigation with water conservation.This Congo farmer uses mulch to keep the hot sun from drying out the soil. Compost is free made from food trash and helps crops grow. 2. Wood for fuel Families that cook over an open fire burn about 15 pounds of wood/day. What helps? Make better fuel sources. Use simple ovens (instead of open fires). Create firewood farms. Firewood farms plant cheap trees that grow fast. When these are used for firewood, forest trees are preserved. Bio bricks made from recycled paper & other trash burn better and cleaner than wood. Simple, small, clay ovens hold heat better & conserve fuel. 3. Logging Legal and illegal logging destroys large areas of Congo rainforest. Most of the wood is sold in Europe. What helps? Enforce logging laws. (Stop illegal logging.) Get international buyers to buy only certified wood. Authorities check to make sure the logging company is only cutting trees old enough to be legally cut. Deforestation slowing some. Jiko Stoves.mp4 (9:15) Theres one major issue I havent mentioned that makes things difficult in the Dem. Republic of the Congo. Listen for that issue in this 9 minute video. (And why do you suppose I didnt mention it?)