Deforestation Mitigation Essay

2032 Words Jul 3rd, 2010 9 Pages
Deforestation Mitigation Strategies
Tropical rainforests cover approximately thirty percent of the earth’s land area, around 2.5 million square miles, the size of the lower 48 states, despite the fact 80,000 acres (32,000) hectares are destroyed per day for economic reasons. Tropical rainforests are biodiversity hotspots. Rainforests are carbon sinks absorbing about half the carbon dioxide humans release into the atmosphere. Continued deforestation will affect the entire world with the ecological ramifications of species extinction, loss of carbon sinks, and loss of renewable resources. Deforestation reduces the availability of renewable resources like medicinal plants, timber, nuts and fruit, and indigenous game. Over time, loss of
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Whereas farmers and cattle ranchers slash-and-burn large parcels of forest every year to create grazing and crop lands, the forest's nutrient-poor soil often renders the land ill-suited for agriculture and even cattle pasture within a year or two. After the land is degraded, the farmers and cattle ranchers move on leaving a path of destruction and creating a new path of destruction. By planting 30 Brosimum Alicastrum, in four years these trees will produce enough food to feed the average family of an individual farmer, produce enough income to sustain that family and also enough forage for a couple head of cattle (National Geographic, 2010) (The Equilibrium Fund, 2010).
To initiate the program, the first step is to give each native farmer and rancher incentives to use the land already deforested and incentives to reforest degraded land with the Maya Nut Tree. Addressing these two groups can be done at the same time with the same plan.
Native Farmers
To become a landowner the farmer instead of being allowed to burn more forest, would be given 30 seeds of Brosimum Alicastrum to be planted on land already deforested and that would be purchased with the fruit of the Maya Nut tree over a 20-30 year period starting after the first harvest of nuts. If the farmers have a stake in the land they are farming,

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