Tropical forests stretch out from the equator around the Earth. They are full of amazing diversity and productivity. They have plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.
We are all happy in our habitat, with no humans around.
Deforestation meets some human needs. It also causes very large problems, though. These include climate change and extinction of plants and animals. These challenges are global.
Some of the animals in our habitat have died due to deforestation.
Rain forest products are popular around the world. These include fruit, nuts, timber, spices, natural oils and medicines. Without intact forest ecosystems, we would lose many of these products for good.
There are less of us now =( .
Biodiversity, a large variety of living things in a certain place, isn't just important for the forest. It is important for people too. Plants and animals in the rainforest may hold the cures for diseases and ways to improve the food we produce. Many of these plants and animals may not have even been discovered yet.
Our population continues to decrease due to deforestation.
When an area is completely deforested for farming, the farmer typically burns what is left. Minerals are lost. In just a few years, soils often become unable to support crops. Sometimes, the area is then turned into cattle pasture. This makes it nearly impossible for the area to be reforested.
There are very few of us now =( .
Today, forests are cleared to harvest the wood and to use the land for farms, roads and buildings. The biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is turning the land into cropland and pasture.
This place used to be a tropical forest but now it's a farm.