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Human uses of rainforests

Human intervention in tropical rainforests can bring both benefit and harm. Watch the video to find out why.


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Key points

  • Humans intervene in tropical rainforests to bring real or imagined benefits for them and the locals.
  • There are some short-term benefits to clearing rainforests. You can improve transportation and provide jobs by building roads and airports.
  • There are many disadvantages too. Clearing land for farming, transport and mining leads to deforestation.
  • Profits from selling products often go back to MEDCs and don't benefit rainforest communities.
  • Fertile soils that make farming possible are quickly washed away when the forest is cleared.
  • Agro-forestry is growing trees and crops at the same time.
  • Selective logging is where trees are only felled when they reach a certain height.
  • Forest reserves are areas protected from exploitation and maintained as natural environments.
  • Afforestation is planting new trees to replace those cut down.

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