Impacts on Human Health From Reducing Biodiversity
Increased animal-human interactions can create human health and safety problems for anyone, whether in urban areas or tropical forest communities. In central Africa, the destruction of the tropical rainforests is being connected with the increased mortality rate of people with HIV. Central Africans, including those infected with HIV, are interacting more with primates that are displaced from logged or cleared forested areas.
After initially being infected by loggers defecating in forested areas, primates pass on diseases to other primates or humans, resulting in more diseases that are transmitted to people. Human health concerns, such as this one, can be better addressed through reduced animal-human interactions, which can be promoted through awareness and conservation.
Economic Impacts From Reducing Biodiversity
Cutting down trees not only produces a local effect; it produces a global effect. In the Amazon, Brazilians are deforesting land for soy farmers to keep up with the high demands of soy-based food and fuel. U.S. subsidies for corn ethanol further drive up the demand for Brazilian soy farmers. However, deforestation will result in less rainfall throughout the western hemisphere, resulting in droughts in South America and as far north as Texas.
Deforestation will also contribute to global warming from the carbon released from deforestation fires and less carbon taken in by fewer forests. The impact of deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere can have a far-reaching effect on people like you.
Information courtesy of Rhett Butler.