Consequences of land degradation in the rainforest

New roads artificially divide the rainforest and this affects rainforest life. For example, a road can stop monkeys or other wildlife from travelling to gather food and in turn, distribute seeds to re-sow plants in the forest.

A very wide waterfall within a rainforest

Land clearance for farming, transportation and mining can lead to deforestation. Hardwood trees take many years to grow so can be difficult to replace.

Fertile soils which make farming possible are quickly washed away when the forest is cleared. The nutrient cycle is disrupted. If soil ends up in rivers, this can lead to flooding.

Loss of animal habitat occurs when trees are cut down, endangering animals and plant life - many native plants and animals are now close to extinction.

Global climate is also affected through the loss of trees and the resulting enhanced greenhouse effect.

Profits from large-scale farming and selling resources often go back to developed countries or large companies and do not benefit the rainforest communities.

The traditional way of life of indigenous people is destroyed as forests are cleared. This leads to increased migration to urban areas. In turn this increases competition for jobs, homes and resources in the cities.