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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Stop The Deforestation - 1191 words
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'This land is where we know where to find all that it provides for us--foodfrom hunting and fishing, and farms, building and tool materials,medicines. This land keeps us together within its mountains; we come tounderstand that we are not just a few people or separate villages, but onepeople belonging to a homeland' (Colins 32). The 'homeland' is the UpperMazaruni District of Guyana, a region in the Amazon rain forest where theAkawaio Indians make their home (32). The vast rain forest, oftenregarded as just a mass of trees and exotic species, is to many indigenouspeople a home. This home is being destroyed as miners, loggers, anddevelopers move in on the cultures of these people to strip away theirresources and complicate the peaceful, simple lives of these primitivetribes. However, the tribes are not the only ones who lose in thissitutation.
If rain forest invasion continues, mankind as a whole will lose avaluable treasure: the knowledge of these people in utilizing the resourcesand plants of the forest for food, building, and medicine. To prevent thisloss, the governments of the countries housing the rain forests shouldprovide some protection for the forest and its inhabitants throughlegislation, programs. Also, environmentalists should pursue educatingthe tribes in managing thier resources for pragmatic, long-term profitthrough conservation. Although hard to believe, the environmental problems of todaystarted a long time before electricty was invented, before automobilieslittered the highways, and before industries dotted the countryside. From ancient times to the Industrial Revolution, humans began to change theface of the earth
As populations increased and technology improved andexpanded, more significant and widespread problems arose. 'Today,unprecedented demands on the environment from a rapidly expandinghuman population and from advancing technology are causing a continuingand acelerating decline in the quality of the environment and its ability tosustain life' (Ehrlich 98). Increasing numbers of humans are intruding onremaining wild land-even in those areas once considered relatively safefrom exploitation. Tropical forests, especially in southest Asia and theAmazon River Basin, are being destroyed at an alarming rate for timber,conversion to crop and grazing lands, pine plantations, and settlements. According to researcher Howard Facklam, 'It was estimated at one point inthe 1980s that such forest lands were being cleared at the rate of 20(nearly 50 acres) a minute; another estimate put the rate at more than200,000 sq km (more than 78,000 sq mi) a year. In 1993, satellite dataprovided the rate of deforestation could result in the extinction of as manyas 750,000 speices, which would mean the loss of a muliplicity ofproducts: food, fibers, medical drungs, dyes, gums, and resins' (53).
Sowhat kind of condition will the forests be in in the year 2050? If this rate ofdeforestation continues, there will be no tropical rain forest in the year2050. Therefore, preservation need to occur now in order stop the terribleloss of the rain forests and all that it can provide. Rain forest destruction has two deadly causes: loggers and miners. For example, imagine loggers on bulldozers rolling into the forest, tearingdown not only trees, but the invisible barrier between the modern,materialistic world and the serene paradise under the forest canopy. Forest locals told Scholastic Update that '..so much forest has vanishedthat the weather has changed delaying rains and increasing heat...' (Leo19).
Along with the loggers come miners seeking the gold and otherminerals found in the forest. The article 'My Trip to the Rain Forest' pointsout that the rivers of the rain forests become poisoned by the mercuryleaked in gold-mining. This exposes the tribes to diseases which they haveno immunity to, such as malaria, tuberculsis, and the flu. The miners alsobring in violence, which has killed over 1,500 members of one tribe in theAmazon. Many of the tribes leave their ancestoral homes to flee the noiseand disruption of the miners (Smith 66). Certainly, these loggers andminers must not think of the areas they invade and destroy as a home. Conseuently, invading the rain forest is no different than bullsdozersleveling out a suburb in the United States.
The lifestyles in rain forestvillages and American towns are vastly different, but the two share one veryimportant similarity: in these settlements live human beings with minds,families, and feelings. In fact, there is a way to limit deforestation of the rain forest: through forest conservation. The conservation of forest trees involvesthree fundamental principles. The first is protection of the growing treecrop from fire, insects, and disease. However, fire, once regarded as adestroyer of forests, is now recognized as a management tool whencarefully employed.
Some important timber trees actually require fire forsuccessful regeneration. The second principle concerns proper harvestingmethods, ranging from removal of all trees (clear-cutting) to removal ofselected mature trees (selection cutting), and provision for reproduction,either naturally from seed trees or artificially by planting. The rate andfrequency of any cutting should aim for sustained production over anindeifinite period. The third principle of conservation is complete use ofall trees harvested. Technological advances, such as particleboard andgluing, have created such uses for branches, defective logs, trees too smallto be milled into boards, and so-called inferior trees (Cappon 89). Through forest conservation, the lives and health of the rain forestinhabitants can be preserved along with wildlife and their habitat.
However, the lives and health of the tribes are not the only treasurebeing lost by rain forest destruction. The people of the forests possessamazing knowledge in using the plants, trees, and other forest resources. The tribes utilize their resources to sustain all aspects of their lives fromeating to healing. For example, journalist Anne Hornaday got toexperience some of methods used by the tries when she visted the Amazon. By striking a tree with his machete, Anne's guide was able to predict theweather, 'When many birds answer, that means rain is coming' (Hornaday28).
As the natives examined the trees of the forest, her guide expalinedthat the men check to see if fruit has been eaten off the trees. They candetermine which direction to continue their hunt simply by following thetracks of whichever animal ate the fruit. Native fisherman use the barkfrom hairari trees to drag the rivers and stun the fish they need to catch(28). Also, the native people have a natural sense of direction. The tribeschart vast distances of the pacific Ocean using only '..their knowledge ofcurrents and the feel of intermittent waves that bounce off distance islands(Hornaday 29).
Their methods may seem primitve, but the ways of the rainforest people have come to be respected and valued by scientists andconservationists. In addition, The farming methods of the people areexcellent in preservation of the land and abudnant in production. Theyfarm without irrigation and have developed an in-depth understanding ofplant life (29). Furthermore, this knowledge of plants if not only used incultivating, but also in one of the most fascinatign aspects of the tribes'wisdom: their natural healing methods. Tribal healers, called shamans,are able to treat illnesses from colds to wounds.
The treatments, such asusing termites and poisonous plants to heal wounds, may seem exotic orunlikely, but are amazing in their results. Remarkably, medical proffesionals are turing to the healers in theirreseach. The knowledge of the healers is regarded as a valueable researchsource to both medical researchers and doctors. Leading the way, reportsBusiness Week, is a San Carlos, California-based company called ShamanPharmaceuticals, Incorporated. This small, su ...
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