Village kids in Madagascar.

THE ROLE OF POVERTY IN DEFORESTATION     Click here for more detailed information about rainforests!

Poverty plays a major role in deforestation. The world’s rainforests are found in the poorest areas on the planet. The people who live in and around rainforests rely on these ecosystems for their survival. They collect fruit and wood, hunt wildlife to put meat on the table, and are paid by companies that extract resources from forest lands.

Most rural poor never have the options that we in Western countries take for granted. These people almost never have a choice to go to college or become a doctor, factory worker, or secretary. They must live off the land that surrounds them and make use of whatever resources they can find. Their poverty costs the entire world through the loss of tropical rainforests and wildlife. Without providing for these people, rainforests cannot be saved.

However, people in the wealthier world, such as the U.S. and Europe, also play a large role in the destruction of rainforests, even if the forests are very far away.


RAINFOREST PHOTOS






By Rhett Butler

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