Deforestation is defined as the large-scale removal of trees. It occurs all over the world, but mainly in tropical rainforests. Through the destruction of trees for different purposes, we have seen 50% of all tropical forests vanish. There are many different reasons why these forests are important.
Although these rainforests only cover 6% of earth, they are home to 70-90% of all insect species in the world, and the destruction of their habitat could cause a widespread extinction of different insect species. .
1 in 4 sources of medicine is derived from tropical plants. These resources are also behind the biggest breakthroughs in major diseases, and it is speculated that Queensland's rainforests may hold a cure for AIDS. Undoubtedly tropical forests are a vital necessity to the health of and well being of all people.
A still more important benefit of tropical forests lies with the part they play in climate control. The cutting down of trees will eventually distort convection currents, wind patterns, and rainforest regimes in tropical area regions. These distortions will cause climate instability in tropical zones.
Even more significant is the climatic disruption that will cause the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Emissions of carbon dioxide account for almost half of the greenhouse effect, which contributes to the natural disaster of global warming.
Causes for this include; Overexploitation by developed nations to cater for widespread demand of specialty hardwood for houses, furniture, etc. Also there is demand for cheap livestock feed. When rainforests are wiped out, livestock such as cattle is grown in these areas and supplied mainly to the western world. .
This is also a major problem in Australia, particularly on the east coast. An equivalent of 50 football fields of trees and bushland is cleared every hour. Australia has become the 5th largest land clearer in the world, after Brazil, Indonesia, Sudan and Zambia.