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Teaching Tropical Rainforest Biology

What Causes Tropical Rainforest Destruction?

The assault on tropical rainforests is many-faceted and complex. This is what makes tropical rainforest conservation so difficult. A single cause of the deforestation would allow us to focus all our educational and conservation efforts in a specific direction, and would increase our hope of success.

Students should also understand that there are many underlying social problems giving impetus to the deforestation. Factors such as over-consumption in the industrialized countries, foreign debt in less developed countries, poverty, unequal ownership of land, and perhaps the root of all environmental evils - overpopulation - all lead to tropical rainforest destruction.

Despite the complexity of the situation, the following are considered to be primary factors in tropical rainforest loss.

  1. Commercial logging
  2. Non-commercial farming operations
  3. Commercial agricultural development
  4. Cocaine production and other factors

For further, in-depth considerations of the forces affecting tropical rainforest loss please refer to the following:

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