Mother Nature's Treasure Coves

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Did you know that approximately 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions each year can be contributed to the destruction of rainforests? It’s true. According to Rainforest Alliance, rainforests act as the world’s thermostat by absorbing carbon dioxide and recycling it into oxygen which helps to regulate temperatures and weather patterns. By destroying these beautiful ecosystems, we are making our environment an unhealthy place to live.
Rainforests have been disappearing at the rapid rate of 32 million acres per year (Rainforest Alliance) and while international concern has risen, rainforests continue to be destroyed at a rate exceeding 80,000 acres per day (Butler). Due to this destruction, numerous different species of plants and animals have been endangered and some are even threatened with extinction. For, example, according to CNN the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported that 48% of the world’s primates are now in danger of going extinct and the primary reason is the destruction of rainforests. If we could work to preserve these treasure coves Mother Nature has given us, we would help our environment and save these primates as well as the numerous other plants, animals, and insects that inhabit our rainforests.

With their rich and fertile soil, massive supply of food, and many different beautiful, valuable woods, rainforests provide the world with a wide variety of resources. Rainforest Alliance reported that these amazing ecosystems often save our global food supply by offering new, disease resistant crops as well as an astounding number of fruits such as bananas and citrus, vegetables such as peppers and okra, nuts such as cashews and peanuts, drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola, oils such as palm and coconut, flavorings such as cocoa, vanilla, sugar, and spices, and other foods such as beans, grains, and fish. Rainforests also supply a variety of woods and wood products for today’s societies. Types of wood such as teak, mahogany, rosewood, balsa, sandalwood, and numerous others found in rainforests provide the materials needed to make cabinets and other storage devices in our homes, shopping malls, and offices. Rainforests also provide the world with the chemicals needed for many of the medicines Western culture uses (Rainforest Alliance). It is because of the world’s rainforests that we now have medicines to treat or cure inflammation, rheumatism, diabetes, muscle tension, surgical complications, malaria, heart conditions, skin diseases, arthritis, and hundreds of other ailments (Rainforest Alliance). As a consequence of deforestation though, the wondrous forests, which provide us with innumerable resources, that once covered 14% of the Earth’s land surface, now only cover a mere 6% and experts say that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years (Raintree Nutrition). If this happens, the world could see millions of different plant and animal species go extinct forever.

As rainforests continue to get destroyed, we not only lose valuable resources such as food supplies, clothing, shelter, fuel, industrial raw materials, and medicine, our environment also suffers. According to Raintree Nutrition, with massive deforestation come numerous ugly consequences including air and water pollution, soil erosion, malaria epidemics, and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere among other consequences. The less rainforests we have, the less rain the planet we call home gets and the less oxygen there is for humankind and other creatures to breathe. If rainforest destruction continues, it could mean the extinction of not just thousands of plants and animals, but the human race as well because after all, we all need oxygen to survive don’t we?

Many people today believe that one person is incapable of making a difference, but Rhett Butler believes differently. According to his article on Mongabay, helping to save the rainforests can be done in five easy steps. The first step is to teach others about the importance of the environment and how they can save rainforests. Secondly, restore damaged ecosystems by planting new trees on land where forests have been cut down. A person can also encourage others to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. Establishing parks to protect rainforests and wildlife and supporting companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment also help to save rainforests. By taking these steps, each individual can participate in saving the valuable resources our rainforests provide.

Rainforests provide innumerable resources to the many cultures that inhabit our world today. While making use of these resources is understandable, people in today’s society must be made more aware of the damage they cause to the environment when they cut down these natural treasure coves without replenishing the resources they take. It is my belief that if each individual could make a dedicated effort to tell at least one other person about what is happening to the rainforests, we might be able to save these beautiful treasure coves after all.


Works Cited
Butler, Rhett. "Ch. 10 Solutions: How to Save Tropical Rainforests." Mongabay. Mongabay, 15 March 2010. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
"Half of the World's Primate Species Endangered, Report Says." CNN. Cable News Network, 17 Feb 2010. Web. 18 Feb 2010.
"Research & Resources." Rainforest Alliance. Rainforest Alliance, 15 Apr 2009. Web. 15 Feb 2010.
"The Disappearing Rainforests." Raintree . Raintree Nutrition, 1996. Web. 15 Feb 2010.





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