For Latin America there are many upsides, but there are also many struggles that cannot go unrecognized.  One of the hardest struggles in much of Latin America is the issue of Deforestation in the area, specifically of the Amazon Rainforest.  To those unfamiliar with the subject, Deforestation is defined as the cutting down and removal of all or most trees in a forested area and for the Amazon Rainforest, the issue has raised the most concern.   The Deforestation problem has been said to be decreasing over the last 6 years, but according to “Science Daily” the downward trend has stopped this current year (2011).  On top of the progress stopping this year, deforestation in Latin America has already dated back to even the early 1900s, when the French Government began building the Panama Canal, so it may be difficult to catch up.

While removing trees here and there may not sound all that harmful, it truly is abuse to the lands.  It is harmful to plants, animals, humans, renewable sources, the economy, and even the earth itself.  The obvious harms are the stripping of plants from rich soil and animals their living homes and needs, but what one might not know is the role forests play in regulating climate.   According to “British Academics,” Deforestation in Latin America accounts for almost 53% of the emitted carbon dioxide in the atmospheric air.  To put that number into perspective, it is claimed to have the highest rate of emitting carbon in the world from logging.  By 2050, environmental experts say that any diseases emitted from the intense deforestation in Latin America will spread worldwide.  Even predicted are rises in crop diseases and pest, economic activities severely depleted, and draught and famine will be spread throughout tropical areas, like the once rich Amazon Rainforest.  Deforestation has already diminished much of the water sources in Latin America, and the ecosystem is said to continually get hurt.  The risk of harm from Deforestation has risen so high that even a 4.7 million euro project has arisen in South America called “AMAZALERT”.  A program to forecast what may be happening in the Amazon over the next few decades, and hopefully able to give warnings ahead of time to prevent degradation of the land.

The activity of cutting trees down and preparing for timber in use of profit is called logging.  This is often done illegally in South America as a business.  Logging has become one of the current most well-known forms of rainforest degradation and destruction of today.  In the 1990s, after depleting most of their own stocks, Asian logging companies have moved into northeastern South America to perform logging, often illegally.  Business will cut down massive amounts of forests, killing living areas for plants, animals, and important insects, all to make profits from the timber.  This act of deforestation is an ongoing issue today.

With such harms done from Deforestation in Latin America, you’d expect it to be easy to stop, but with a massive amount of logging companies in Latin America and outside countries’ economic interest in timber, this dangerous issue may sadly never be resolved despite all the efforts.

You may not be able to reach foreign governments and stop deforestation all at once, but there are a few little things you can do to aid in preventing deforestation.   Click on the link below for a list of things you can do to help if you are interested.

**Things you can do to help stop deforestation**