Amazon Rainforest Importance

OrchidsFor the indigenous population the Amazon rainforest is important because it is their home and their culture is closely related to the forest, rivers and fauna . If you destroy the forest you also destroy all the indigenous people that are left. Some of the tribes in the Amazon still have not had contact with outside cultures yet. Can we destroy the indigenous way of life? The people have been happily living for thousands of years. Humanity will lose their language, art, tales, and also their knowledge.

If destroying the indigenous cultures (there are many different tribes in the Amazon) is not enough, the Amazon forest is also the home to thousands of species only found there. These species are from all kinds of life, from bacteria, to plants, to great mammals and many are already endangered. Mankind has already caused the extinction of thousands of species already with processes like deforestation, much like the Amazon rainforest is experiencing today. The process of deforestation for economic development has been responsible for a great amount of loss. The extinction of species can cause some potential problems that we should be aware of. Animals are important for the overall balance of the environmental systems. Additionally you can view the Amazon rainforest as a DNA bank holding the secrets to many new discoveries in many different areas of human knowledge. And who better than the indigenous people to tell us about these secrets. They know many of the secrets since they have been living there for thousands of years. The only source of this knowledge is hidden in the indigenous culture, since the Amazon tribes didn’t develop a “writen technology”. Another problem with the extinction of species is that this may cause other species to get overpopulated. Imagine if this happens with a strain of bacteria that causes a particular disease. Humankind has already made contact with viruses that were buried deep inside the jungles. For example Ebola was only transferred to humans when they deforested and destroyed the animal habitats.

The Amazon rainforest also plays a role in the climate that affects the entire world. If this environmental service that the forest provides is dismantled by its destruction there will not be any substitutes for it. The Amazon works like a great air conditioner, it cools down the temperature in the entire world by 1 or 2 degrees Celsius and helps to balance the humidity and rain in several parts of the globe. Climate change is happening because of the release of many tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, this happens mostly because the of the use of fossil fuels, but also because of forest fires. The Amazon forest is the biggest land stock of carbon (in form of trees, leaves and roots) of the world, if the forest catches fire you will release this carbon to the atmosphere in form of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately the usual way to deforest in the Amazon region is by fire.

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