The removal of forests by human activity has led to massive extinctions, both flora and fauna. As their natural habitats are destroyed, they no longer have suitable living conditions for them to survive and therefore become extinct. Biodiversity is essential for the continued ecosystem survival. From our perspective, from common drugs and possible cures for cancers, majority of the raw materials needed for medicines came from plants, many of which are endangered.
A 20-year study has shown that deforestation and introduction of non-native species has led to about 12.5% of the world’s plant species to become critically rare. (In fact, as an example, a study suggests that the Amazon damage is worse than previously thought, due to previously undetected types of selective logging and deforestation.)
A report from the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development suggests that the forests of the world have been exploited to the point of crisis and that major changes in global forest management strategies would be needed to avoid the devastation.
What also makes this a problem is that many of the endangered species are only found in small areas of land, often within the borders of a single country.
New species of animals and plants are still being discovered. In Papua New Guinea, 44 new species of animals were discovered recently in the forests. Logging may affect these animals’ habitats, though. The loss of rainforests around the world, where many species of life are found will mean that potential knowledge, whether medicinal, sustenance sources, or evolutionary and scientific information etc. could be lost.
Brazil, which is estimated to have around 55,000 species of flora, amounting to some 22% of the world’s total and India for example, which has about 46,000 and some 81,000 animal species (amounting to some 8% of the world’s biodiversity), are also under various pressures, from corporate globalization, deforestation, etc. So too are many other biodiverse regions, such as Indonesia, parts of Africa, and other tropical regions.