|Rainforests - Magical Environments|
_ Originally all people lived as part of ecosystems, relying on that ecosystem to provide for all their needs. As they were part of the ecosystem, they made use of it without destroying it, because if they destroyed it they would be destroying themselves.
As people moved away from their ecosystems, and began to live in towns and cities, many forgot that that they had been part of the ecosystem and stopped caring for it. Rather, they began taking from it more than what just they could use so they could seel these products. They didn’t care what was damaged or destroyed in the process. This has resulted in rainforests becoming very rare. Most of the world’s rainforests have been destroyed.
Many people are now realising that our survival is still dependent upon ecosystems such as rainforests and are beginning to try to stop the destruction of ecosystems.
Some of the ways people are now protecting ecosystems, such as rainforests, are going back to using methods used by indigenous people for hundreds possibly thousands of years. An example of this is rotational farming.
Rainforest Foods and Medicines
_ Indigenous people of the rainforests can get everything they need to live from these wondrous places. This includes food and medicine.
Many medicines now used all over the world are based on rainforest medicine. One of the best known examples is quinine, a medicine used to treat the disease malaria. Quinine comes from the bark of a South American tree which was originally thought by western people to have no use.
Of the medicines identified by the U.S. Cancer Council as useful in treating cancer, 70% came from rainforest plants. There are so many different kinds of plants in the rainforests, many of them have not been identified by western scientists. Some of these are yet to be identified plants may be the key to cures for such diseases as heart disease or AIDS.
Many of the foods that are familiar to our tables also originated in the rainforests. These include avocados, lemons, bananas, nuts (including Australia’s macadamia nut), pineapples, cinnamon, cocoa, chocolate, potatoes, coffee, rice, eggplant, yams and tomatoes.
_The threats to rainforests are many and varied - rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate worldwide - particularly tropical rainforests which if the current rates of destruction continue may be gone by 2060.
Rainforest loss is causing many species to become extinct and many other are endangered. There are less then 400 tigers left in the wild in Sumatra and orangutans are critically endangered.
The major threats to rainforest include -
Logging for timber
Download the matrix and use the links below to complete the grid and learn more about threats to rainforests.
Download and complete the cloze to find out about soil erosion in rain forests