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Biodiversity

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This paper looks at the deforestation of the African rainforest concentrating on the Congo ...... More...
4 Pages / 900 Words
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Paper Abstract:
This paper looks at the deforestation of the African rainforest, concentrating on the Congo and West Africa. It looks at the reasons for deforestation and extinction of wildlife, and their effects.

Paper Introduction:
The Congo is the world\'s second largest river and has the world\'ssecond largest rainforest The Congo The river begins in thesavannahs just south of Lake Tanganyika then enters a mile long canyonknown as The Gates of Hell emerging in the rainforests of the UpperCongo The Upper Congo ends at the Stanley Falls another stretch ofrapids miles long and enters the Middle Congo and the Middle Congorainforest a mile stretch which ends at the Livingstone Falls aseries of rapids and cataracts miles long

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L. Economic benefits of biodiversity exceed costs of conservation at an African rainforest reserve. The World Bank encouraged the Congo in 2 4to step up commercial logging in the rainforests. One way to preserve the rainforest is to open the forests toecotourism, using the revenues from tourists' entrance fees to supportlocal communities, and at the same time, providing work for local villagersas tour guides, etc. (2 3). There is also a significant problem with illegal logging in thearea by underpaid government bureaucrats who try to supplement their incomeby opening restricted areas to loggers. TheCongo Basin also is home to some of the world's richest mineral deposits,and mining operations are poorly monitored and virtually no officialconcern is paid to the environmental effects on the rainforests. ReferencesButler, R. Retrieved May 12, 2 6 from http://news.mongabay.com/2 6/-122-forests.htmlClarke, V.R., & Lawrie, S.M. Retrieved May 12, 2 6 from http://www.iamslic.org/proceedings_papers/proc 22 3.pdfNaidoo, R. Gabon is one country in the congo Basin which isattempting conservation by pioneering ecotourism. Goodbye to West Africa's rainforests. Retrieved May 12, 2 6 from http://www.pnas.org/cgi/contentThe Congo rainforest, an overview of a threatened ecosystem. Refugee camps were built on theborders of the parks, adding to their devastation. However, the biggest share of the bushmeat isbrought to city markets by the loggers. The river begins in thesavannahs just south of Lake Tanganyika, then enters a 75-mile long canyonknown as "The Gates of Hell," emerging in the rainforests of the UpperCongo. Information networks in Africa. If it becomes popularenough, and economically viable, then other governments and privateenterprises in the region may follow suit. Conservation efforts need to overcome corruption, violence,lack of infrastructure, political instability, severe poverty, and economicdevelopment pressure. The wildlife National Parks like Virunga havebeen stripped of animals and even the park staff murdered. Thehunters make their living by selling bushmeat to passing loggers, traders,and to local villagers. This could be the best long-term solution for the area's people and wildlife. The Upper Congo ends at the Stanley Falls, another stretch ofrapids 6 miles long, and enters the Middle Congo and the Middle Congorainforest, a 1, mile stretch which ends at the Livingstone Falls, aseries of rapids and cataracts 22 miles long and having more power thanall the rivers and falls in the United States combined. Retrieved May 12, 2 6 from http://news.mongabay.com/2 5/ 6 6-rhett_butlet.html The civil strife of the last few years has driven many ofthese people even deeper into the rainforests to escape the violence. The desire forbushmeat, as it is called, is driven by the desire for protein, and peopleare not concerned of about the source of the meat, though the demand variesfrom market to market. (Naidoo and Adamowicz, 2 5). The roads cleared by the logging industryhave made the forests easily accessible to both hunters and settlers. Itsuffers the same problems as the Central African rainforest of the Congo -logging, agriculture and bushmeat hunting. For poor farmers, this means destroying more of the forestas they slash and burn another area to farm in an area where there is stillgame available for them. Thesefarmers and colonists gain access to the rainforest by following thelogging roads. This was thehome of the endangered mountain gorilla. Onlybetween 11,4 and 15, square miles remain. Local subsistence agriculture in the Congo is responsible for most ofthe deforestation, as poor farmers and villagers rely on the forestland foragriculture and for fuelwood collection (The Congo, 2 5). There are many obstacles to rainforest conservation in the Congo (TheCongo, 2 5). There is a distinct lack of information which has been recognized asa constraint to research and development of fisheries and aquaculture inAfrica, with just the library at the South African Institute for AquaticBiodiversity having documents and books on the subject of fish, fisheriesand aquaculture, so the subject is very difficult to find information on(Clarke and Lawrie, 2 2). West Africa's extensive rainforests are now gone, with only 1.5percent of West Africa having primary forest cover (Goodbye, 2 6). The extinction of animals affectslocal cultures in that their food supply is lost, and they have to move onto find food. Logging activity has increased significantly in the Congo Basin inthe last couple of years because the government is now looking at theforests as a liquid asset to help them service their international debtobligations (The Congo, 2 5). The Congo is the world's second largest river and has the world'ssecond largest rainforest (The Congo, 2 5. It is also one of the world's most threatened ecosystems.Central Africa has been ravaged by violence since the mid-199 s, andthousands of refugees have mover through the rainforests of the Congo,stripping the vegetation and devastating the wildlife in their search forfood, shelter, and firewood. The Congo Basin represents 7 percent of the African continent's plant cover and a large portion ofAfrica's biodiversity, containing over 6 tree species and 1 , animalspecies. The study based on acost/benefit analysis of avian biodiversity at a rainforest reserve inUganda showed that such a plan could protect not only the forest, but 114of 143 forest bird species (8 percent) under current market conditions.This could be increased to 131 species (~9 percent) if entrance fees wereoptimized to capture the willingness of tourists to pay for forest visitsand the chance of seeing increased numbers of birds. Today, you can purchase the meat of virtually any forest animal inthe tourist cities of the Congo (The Congo, 2 5). Home to one quarter ofAfrica's mammals and more than 1,8 species of endemic plants, it has beendesignated a biodiversity hot spot by Conservation International. The Congo rainforest represents 18 percent of the world's remainingtropical rainforest (The Congo, 2 5). (2 6). In the Gabon, the per capita consumption ofbushmeat is 8 pounds annually. The logging industry isa major employer in Congo, and many people rely on the steady work to payfor their healthcare and other services which the logging companiesprovide. As commercial logging increases in the Congo Basin, regional bushmeathunting is expected to increase, adding to the extinction of wildlife inthe areas logged (The Congo, 2 5). Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1 2(46), 16712-16716. It flows foranother 1 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. & Adamowicz, W. They normallyclear land for agriculture using the slash and burn technique. Biodiversity marketscould help rainforest conservation in this way, and also preserve localcultures which would be displaced by deforestation. (2 6).

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