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Essay on The Effects of Deforestation in Ecuador

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In today's hectic world people work longer hours and utilize more technology and energy more than ever. The impact that this is having on the environment is substantial in both negative and positive ways. It is hard to deny the benefits modern technology has produced for the world, in industry and in everyday life. With more and more technological breakthroughs, there have been many positive ecological impacts, but the negative impacts are almost overwhelming. A Perfect example would be the deforestation of our rain forests.
Ecuador is located on the equator in the tropical Andes of South America. Its territory includes four principal regions: the Amazon, the Andes, the Pacific Coast, and the Galapagos Islands; and is home to at least 14
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Before human impact Ecuador must have been covered by an estimated fifty-two million acres of forest. During the coca and banana boom, the coastal lowland forests were cleared for these agriculture crops. In the interandean basin native vegetation has been practically eliminated since colonial times, replaced by crops, pasture, towns and cities, and eucalyptus and pine plantations. This region suffers serious soil erosion problems. Today only about 1 - 2% of its original forest covers remains. Only about 5% remain of the rich forests of the coastal region, most of which have been destroyed in the last 50 years by logging, agroindustrial monocultures (banana, cacao, coffee, African palm) and colonization. In the province of Esmeraldas (in northwest Ecuador), the last unprotected old-growth forests on the coast are now being liquidated by the timber industry and cleared for huge plantations of African palm which are currently responsible for the fastest deforestation rate in South America.
Currently Ecuador’s major environmental problems are erosion in the highland areas, deforestation, and water pollution. Water Resources estimated that the amount of arid land increased by 31.5% between 1954 and 1979, when 7.5% of the coastal lowland and Sierra were classified as arid (meaning severe lack of water). Between 1981 and 1985, 840,000 acres of land were deforested annually. By the 1990s, Ecuador had lost over 30% of the
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