Rainforest deforestation

Rainforest deforestation

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rainforest deforestation in Sabah, Malaysia. This rainforest is being cleared for oil palm plantations. Oil palm is a highly productive and lucrative business in most of South East Asia but the industry has been responsible for the clearing of huge areas of rainforest. The forest is felled and then burned to clear any scrub, then terraced and planted with seedlings which will have a productive life lasting decades. As well as the loss of forest, oil palm plantations also leave the soil exposed to erosion and the use of fertilisers and pesticides causes many problems including damage to coral reefs. Silt and nitrogen laden run-off from rivers is eventually dumped into the sea causing algal blooms which smother reefs.

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Keywords: asia, asian, clearing, deforestation, destruction, eco-system, environment, erosion, geographical, geography, malaysia, oil palm, oil palm industry, oil palm plantation, rainforest, sabah, tree

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