Thursday, February 28, 2013

Module #5

2. Discussion: Choose one other country from the list below that is struggling to preserve their tropical rainforest ecosystem. List and briefly describe problems, major concerns and possible solutions to their crisis (in 200 words or less). Provide specific examples and terminology if possible. Comment on at least one other person's post.

Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru, Indonesia, Australia, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Philipines, Thailand, Cameroon, Ecuador, India, Laos, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Mynamar and Malaysia. 

NOTE: Each student must choose a different country from the above list.Be sure to email me to let me know what country you want to research.


  1. Ecuador is struggling in maintaining their tropical rainforest, as it now covers less than 15 % of the total landmass and has the worst environmental record in South America. The primary problem is that many companies are clear cutting and increasing deforestation in attempt to explore the lands for oil and to build roads. This introduces toxins into the area and decreases the health of the environment. Possible solutions that have came about in Ecuador include the world’s first Eco-constitution which includes “Nature’s Bill of Rights”, and the freedom of exploitation and the freedom to be restored. Ecuador is also a part of ACTO ( Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation ) which is an organization providing indicators and criteria for the management of sustainable forests, in attempt to protect the area.

    1. good response Heather. I didn't know that they had the worst environmental record. Please include references or links to external resources if you can in the future. Well done.

  2. The Australian rainforests are some of the most beautiful, famous and pristine in the world. The rainforests cover more than 900,000 hectares. The Australian rainforest is home of 3,000 different species of plants including 300 year old trees reaching 60 meters high. The rainforests are Australia's most dense forests that provide amazing habitats to not only thousands of species but clean air to all citizens of Australia. The country is in a dangerous position with forest fires happening very frequently and the rainforests are something that can take carbon dioxide out of the air and regulate temperature to help fight climate change. Without the rainforests in Australia, the country would lose tremendous diversity and be threatened with devastating climate change.


  3. The Sinharaja rainforest of Sri Lanka is being quickly withered away. Illegal logging, gem mining and boundary changes are causing a grand reduction in the size of the rainforest. The construction of hotels and tv transmission towers have too caused destruction. These have all caused disruption among the many different species which inhabit the rainforest, and too other things found in the rainforest such as rivers and foliage. Sri Lanka has experienced one of the worst deforestation periods in the world from the years of 1990 to 2005, with almost 35% of its forest cover being destroyed. This deforestation has only increased since the 2000s by an alarming 25%. Sri Lanka has made the Sinharaja rainforest a protected area, however, it still continues to disappear. Sadly, this beautiful country full of diverse species will continue to be deforested if they do not take proper action to stop the Sinharaja from being destroyed.

  4. Ecuador is a small country that is located in South America. It is largely covered by rainforest and has a extremely rich biodiversity. Ecuador actually has one of the richest biodiversity in the world. This biodiversity is being threatened by rainforest deforestation. The rate of deforestation in Ecuador is around 4% and they are losing approximately 300 000 hectare of rainforest a year. All of the earth’s rainforests are in danger for a number of reasons. Ecuador’s rainforests are in danger because of logging, oil, the fishing industry. Logging is the cause of most of the deforestation. After the area has been logged residents will often burn remaining materials and use this land for cattle and agriculture. Oil is also the cause of deforestation, this is because underneath tropical rainforest, there is often a lot of oil deposits. Not only does this cause deforestation, but it creates the possibility of an oil spill which can have other devastating consequences.

    Deforestation can be reduced if we stop receiving our timber from rainforests. To do this we either need to find an alternative to this wood or simply not use as much. To cut down on the deforestation caused by oil, we need to cut down our dependence on oil.

  5. Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is located in southeast Asia. The country has a very questionable reputation: government drug trafficking, illegal trade to neighbouring countries, acts of genocide, etc.. However, a notable characteristic of Myanmar is the way in which it treats its rainforests and delicate ecosystems - with a treatment similar to that of all other things: with a scrutinizing gaze which wonders how much money it can make from it. Because of this, Myanmar has one of the highest rates of forest loss on Earth, losing an average of 466,000 hectares of forest per year. Most of this wood is exported to China (95% of which is done so illegally).

    Myanmar’s rainforests are notable for their high biodiversity in terms of bird species. However, as of now, there are 10 endemic and near-endemic bird and pheasant species in the area due to the fact that less than half of the forest’s natural habitat remains intact. Also, of the overall 1709 known species inhabiting the rainforest, 4.7% are endemic and 5.9% are threatened. And of the 7000 species of vascular plants, 15.3% are endemic. The concern with this rainforest lies in the fact that, if the deforestation continues at such a rate, hardly any forest will be remaining, threatening the lives of those residing within.

    Currently, there is little to no chance that the government of Myanmar will change its ways regarding its forest protection policies. The only possibility of saving these forests is in showing that there is more worth in the forest uncut as opposed to cut to show that there are alternative uses for the forest (instead of simply having it cut down).

    "Environmental Problems Loom in Myanmar." Rainforest Portal. N.p., 14 Oct. 2007.
    Web. 28 Feb. 2013. .

    "Myanmar (Burma)." Mongabay. N.p., 4 Feb. 2006. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

    "Myanmar Rainforests." Carbon Association. Carbon Association Australasia
    Limited, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. .

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  7. The Lacandon rainforest is located in Chiapas, Mexico and stretches into Guatemala. Lacandon is the largest montane rainforest in North America and is one of the only ones big enough to support jaguars (for now). This rainforest contains over 1,500 species of trees, 33% of all Mexican bird species, 25% of all Mexican animal species, 44% of all Mexican diurnal butterflies, and 10% of all me ican fish species. These species are all being threatened by one main cause, tourism. Although the wildlife is situated deep into the forest, this jungle is also home to many Mayan archeological sites. There are many debates concerning the land as many people want to use the land for agricultural purposes. However, the environmental groups: "Conservation International" in Washington DC and under the "Puebla-Panama Plan" have been working together for conservation all purposes of this unique rainforest hotspot. Another problem currently happening in the Lacandon, is deforestation. It is estimated that only 10% of virgin rainforest remains despite the conservation efforts. Slash and burn farming is the cause, farmers want more land to grow on but little do they know this method allows little to no make-up time and creates soil erosion. This also depletes the nutrition in the soil, which is also polluted by the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The most people can do is put a law on this as a reserve, but some people don't pay attention not follow the law. The government does what it can to protect it, but clearly not enough. In conclusion, the Lacandon Rainforest struggles with tourism and deforestation and society has no care as to what happens to it, little do they know the great impact it will have on our own ecosystem if it dies.