Problems faced in exploitation and conservation of Equatorial or Tropical rain forests

Problems faced in exploitation and conservation of equatorial and tropical rainforests

These are found in the tropics, equatorial regions like in the Congo Basin, Amazon basin. Caribbean islands, pacific islands in countries like DRC, Gabon, Argentina.

The following are problems faced in exploitation and conservation of equatorial or tropical rainforests:

  • Presence of wild animals like lions, snakes, hyenas, scaring labour supply.
  • Wet climatic conditions like heavy rainfall affect labour productivity, making transport routes like roads slippery and muddy.
  • Presence of pests and diseases affecting labour supplies like mosquitoes, tsetse flies, snails, causing diseases like malaria, sleeping sickness and Nagana.
  • Occurrence of accidents during lumbering leading to the destruction of people and property because of water bodies, steep slopes.
  • Poor transport and communication because the areas are remote and backward affecting the movement of labour and marketing.

  • Poor science and technology lead to the use of poor tools like pangas, axes, causing low production.
  • Political instabilities like rebel activities in the DRC scaring labour supply.
  • Limited capital to purchase modern equipment to develop infrastructure, processing factories because of low income in LDCs.
  • Presence of heavy and bulky logs which are expensive to exploit and transport.
  • Poor government policies like high taxes, not giving loans and gazetting forested areas for environmental conservation.
  • Fire outbreaks caused by human activities and natural conditions leading to the destruction of forests like by shifting cultivators, hunters, smokers.

  • Limited market because of low incomes and low population leading to low production.
    Competition with other countries on the world market e.g. Canada, Norway, and Sweden because of having other substitutes.
  • Price fluctuations on the world market affecting planning because of depending on forces of demand and supply.
  • Population increase causing forest enlargement like for settlement and for agriculture.
  • Illegal lumbering causing overexploitation and exhaustion of forest species.Presence of buttress roots affecting lumbering and transport.
  • Long gestation because they are hardwood species affecting afforestation and reafforestation programmes.
  • Profit repatriation by foreign investors causing capital outflows and lowering the national income.

  • A limited power supply like expensive oil is used in lumbering and processing.
  • Ignorance and backwardness like the pygmies in the DRC scaring investors, workers and the shifting cultivators burning the forests.
  • Presence of poor hardwood species, not good for commercial exploitation and they have low demand on the world market. 
  • Presence of other resources like minerals, water bodies for fishing, fertile soils for agriculture leading to the diversion of labour and capital.
  • Presence of mixed-species making the forest dense and concentrates it in a jungle, increasing the costs for exploitation.
  • Presence of physical obstacles like relief features, water bodies, landforms making areas remote and backward.


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