VI. Local, National, and International factors: development, land titles, government subsidies to attract corporations into developing countries, trade agreements (NAFTA, CAFTA), civil wars, debt, lack of resources, and lack of law enforcement.
Largest rainforests worldwide listed in descending order (from largest to smallest).
Did you know that tropical rainforests, which cover 6-7% of the earth's surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world!
Did you know that 57% of all rainforests remaining are located in the Neotropics, with 30% located in Brazil.
Overview of deforestation around the world:
Between 1960 and 1990, most of the deforestation occurred globally, with an increasing trend every decade.
Brazil has the highest annual rate of deforestation today.
Atlantic coast of Brazil has lost 90-95% of its rainforest.
Central America has 50% of its rainforests.
South America has 70% of its rainforests.
The Philippines have lost 90% of its rainforests!
Madagascar has lost 95% of its rainforests!
El Salvador has lost 70-85% of its rainforest due to heavy bombing during the civil war 1984-1985.
Sumatra has 15% of its rainforests left.
Only 6% of Central Africa's forests are protected by law.
Statistics on Global Rates of Rainforest Destruction:
2.4 acres (1 hectare) per second: equivalent to two U.S. football fields
149 acres (60 hectares) per minute
214,000 acres (86,000 hectares) per day: an area larger than New York City
78 million acres (31 million hectares) per year: an area larger than Poland
On average, 137 species become extinct everyday; or 50,000 each year!
*If the current rate of deforestation continues, the world's rain forests will vanish within 100 years- causing unknown effects on global climate and eliminating the majority of plant and animal species on the planet*
Extinctions (loss of biodiversity of microbes (bacteria), plants, insects, animals, indigenous peoples, etc.
Habitat fragmentation. This disturbs the animals' habitat and may force them to enter habitats which are already occupied. This can pose many problems such as territorial conflicts, homelessness (loss of habitat), lack of food availability, migration disturbances, etc.
Soil erosion occurs when trees and plants are removed; the rain water washes the nutrients in the top soil away.
Changes in watershed geomorphology.
Desertification (dry, hot, arid conditions).
Edge effects can change microclimates (small climates) which affect endemic species (native species which can only live in specific environmental and habitat conditions).
Climate change (more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, thus increasing the effects of global warming).
Pollution (ground, water and air pollution from oil extraction and mining chemicals).