Tropical rainforests are part of the Earth's oldest and most extensive terrestrial ecosystems. They are the predominant natural vegetation in countries that are situated near the equator, where the weather is often hot and humid and rainfalls are high all year round.
The ample sunlight together with the consistent warm, wet weather give plant life a conducive environment to thrive. A tropical rainforest can be characterized by its evergreen layered or stratified vegetation structure, high biodiversity with a high and usually closed canopy 30-50m above ground level and it has no "seasonality- - no period of slower growth due to changes in climate.
Hundreds of years ago, tropical rainforests covered 20 percent of the Earth's land surface. Now the forests have diminished to a mere 6 percent. Rapid deforestation is causing us to endanger this nature splendor and its many inhabitants. Nearly 500 million people depend on the forests for their livelihood and there is a growing concern about the accelerated rate of destruction of the remaining rainforests.
The Amazon rainforests in Brazil were cleared during the 1970's till early 1990's at an alarming rate due to changes in the structure of the national and international economy and the changes in government's emphasis of national development policies. In my assignment, I am going to focus on the loss of the rainforest and how it affects the global environment. I will also explore the roles and response of the Brazilian government on deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. .
The most often cited-reason to preserve the rainforest is to save its diverse plant species. The world's highest diversity plant species can be found in the Amazon rainforest, its condusive environment provides shelters for many species of plants and animals that in turn provide us with food, medicines, fuel and more.
Another reason cited is that deforestation affects climate, threatening our long-term survival.