Partie 2 : La question environnementale

Chapitre 19 : Biodiversity at risk

Deforestation, page 44

Afficher le texte

the lungs of the planet
to harbour species
to upset the natural balance
to fell trees
to chop, to cut up
to raze, to level
to clear land for
slash-and-burn agriculture
to tap resources

Farming, logging, mining and other forms of development are destroying rainforests. With the loss of each acre of rainforest, hundreds of species disappear forever.

Endangered animal species, page 44

Afficher le texte

wild life
in the wild
biodiversity loss
the loss of habitat
to lack food
to decrease, to deplete
to be threatened with extinction
to become extinct
to jeopardize
to slaughter
to trade
to traffick
a poacher
a smuggler

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has compiled and published a red list of threatened species. The updated list is available on their website at

The population of the mountain gorilla has decreased to about 900. This is due to traps, kidnapping, poaching, loss of habitat and even lack of food. Some gorillas are also killed for meat. Furthermore, interaction with tourists is also to blame for this decline.

Food for thought, page 45

Afficher le texte

  1. Trees are important to the water cycle. They absorb rain fall and produce water vapor that is released into the atmosphere. Trees also lessen the pollution in water.
  2. When cattle ranchers clear rain forests to raise beef to sell to fast-food chains that make hamburgers to sell to Americans, who have the highest rate of heart disease in the world (and spend the most money per GNP on health care), we can say easily that business is no longer developing the world. We have become its predators.
  3. The tropical rain forests are a telling example. Once cut down, they rarely recover. Rainfall drops, deserts spread, the climate warms.
  4. Forests are the world’s air-conditioning system – the lungs of the planet – and we are on the verge of switching it off.
  5. [Destroying rain forest for economic gain] is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.