A road in the rainforest of Madagascar.

ROAD CONSTRUCTION IN THE RAINFOREST     Click here for more detailed information about rainforests!

Road and highway construction in the rainforest opens up large areas to deforestation. In Brazil, the Trans-Amazonian highway resulted in the destruction of huge areas of forest by colonists, loggers, and land speculators. In Africa, logging roads give access to poachers who hunt endangered wildlife as “bushmeat” or meat sold to city dwellers. Some of the poached wildlife—especially rhinos, pangolin, and tigers—goes to Asia where it is used for traditional Chinese medicine.

Therefore it is very important that when new roads are built in rainforest areas, they are carefully planned to minimize the environmental impacts. One way to reduce deforestation from road construction is to create protected areas on either side of the road.

RAINFOREST PHOTOS






By Rhett Butler

Date published: June 24, 2004 | Last updated: March 21, 2014