Review of Literature
V. Destruction Prevention
Worldwide boycotts are the most effective ways of stopping rainforest destruction. Boycotting fast food restaurants that serve hamburgers that came from cattle raised on rainforest land could help prevent matters from getting worse. News such as "more than 25% of the forests in Central America have been cleaned for pasture land [and] most cattle produced in Costa Rica is exported to developed countries for use in fast food hamburgers" (Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound School, 1996) could have easily been prevented by boycotting the hamburgers.
It is believed by many ecologists that some tropical rainforests can be harvested without causing damage to the great variety of plants and animals that live there. "The key is careful planning, sensitive harvesting, and appropriate silvicultural regimes to ensure healthy new forests are regenerated." (Forest Alliance of British Columbia, 1996)
One could help prevent destruction by not buying furniture products made from rosewood, mahogany, ebony, and teakwood, because they most likely came from the rainforests.
If one wishes to become more involved with protection of the rainforests, it is possible to adopt acres of rainforest land. "For only $45, you can "adopt" one acre of rainforest. Your contribution funds land acquisition, legal fees, and security costs to ensure that acre will be protected as part of a designated land preserve." (Tropical Rainforest Coalition, 1996)
Ecotourism programs are available for those who adopt so that they may see their land and experience the true beauty of the forests.
Tourism itself aids in protecting the rainforest, for example: "According to Guatemala's Minister of Culture, ecotourism traffic has kept away many poachers, illegal wood harvesters and burners, and drug runners with secret air strips in the north jungle. (Rembert, 1996)
As mentioned earlier, boycotts can really help to protect the forest. Companies such as Mitsubishi, who are helping to fund oil pipeline projects that build pipelines directly through rainforest land, may consider stopping their actions if their customers show concern.
Although it appears as though everyone can help protect the forests, in order for their long-term existence, the local people who are used to burning and cultivating, logging, and hunting must learn the alternatives to the traditional, destructive occupations.
"Ecology is not about saying a tree here and a river there; rather, it is about the complex system that governs how things work together." (Hayes, 1996) "Both temperate and tropical rainforests are important, if we want to protect them, we must lean to use them with care. We must understand how forest ecosystems work, and how our everyday decisions effect their well-being." (Forest Alliance of British Columbia, 1996)
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