Published February 3, 2023 | Conservation, Environment, Wildlife

Importance of The Tropical Forests

Tropical forests all over the world have immense importance as they provide a life support system for the planet as well as goods and services to the people who live in the forests.

Life Support Systems

Tropical forests act as life support systems for the planet as they:

Life support systems
Tropical Forest Animal
  • Regulate the composition of the atmosphere – all tropical forests, such as the Amazon, regulate the composition of the atmosphere and help to offset the effect of climate change. By taking in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and releasing oxygen in to the air.
  • Maintain soil health– in areas such as the Amazon, tropical forest have produced rich fertile top soils due to the rapid leaf fall and decomposition which rapidly recycles nutrients. These soils can be used to grow cassava and maize which is the staple diet of the local people.
  • Influence the hydrological cycle – tropical forests help to provide water for people. Trees act as a water store by intercepting rainfall. They release water into the atmosphere by evapotranspiration (evaporation and transpiration). This then falls again as precipitation and so gives the people living in areas such as the Amazon a constant supply of water. Tree roots also increase infiltration, allowing increased amounts of water to percolate to groundwater stores and develop aquifers.

Goods and Services

Tropical Forest
Source: Pinterest

Tropical forests provide many goods and services such as:

  • Food – Tropical forests can produce food such as nuts, which forms part of the diet of local people in the Amazon.
  • Cash crops – Tropical forests also produce cash crops. Such as the development of wild coffee that resists disease and has a higher yield than the Arabica beans traditionally used by growers in the rest of Brazil.
  • Medicines – Tropical forests have also been used to search for medicines. For example, the rosy periwinkle from the forests of Madagascar (which can be poisonous) can help treat childhood leukemia.
  • Raw materials – Tropical forests can be logged to produce timber such as hardwoods for garden furniture exports. In Indonesia, oil palm plantations cover 7.8 million hectares and employ. Over 2 million people, making up 7% of Indonesia’s exports, valued at $12 billion. Palm oil have using in cosmetics, confectionery, detergents and many other products.

Some steps for saving forests and, on a broader scale, ecosystems around the world can be abbreviated as TREES:

  • Teach others about the importance of the environment and how they can help save forests
  • Restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees on land where forests have been cut down
  • Encouraging people to live in a way that does not harm the environment
  • Establish parks to protect forests and wildlife
  • Support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment

Nature isn’t just a place to visit, it’s a home. So, it would be nice to start a movement to preserve nature. Let’s learn about nature together with Bali Safari Park!