Environmental Degradation In Cuba

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According to Johnson et al, “environmental degradation is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment that is perceived to be deleterious or undesirable”. Environmental degradation is a global threat and one of the most urgent environmental issues facing Cuba today. Cuba’s environment is made up of pristine coral reefs, extensive coastal lines, and mangrove forests which encompass a wide variety of natural habitats that accommodate a large number of endangered species. In Cuba deforestation and sulfur oxides are two types of environmental degradation that are compared in terms of economic impact, loss of biodiversity, public health, and tourism. Deforestation impacts Cuba’s economy more than sulfur oxides. Deforestation is “the destruction of vast areas of forest without planting new growth”, (CIA World Factbook). It is the removal of trees for use as arable land, animal pastures, housing, logged areas and wasteland. Farmers in Cuba practice ‘slash and burn’ agriculture to provide room for planting crops and for grazing livestock. The Cuban…show more content…
Cuba is considered the most naturally diverse Caribbean nation with its exceptional biodiversity and its endemic landscape that supports countless plants and animal species. Cuba’s need for economic expansion and industrialization has fostered the transformation of the country’s landscape. The demand for tobacco and sugar resulted in deforestation and subsequently natural habitats were destroyed to facilitate farming. In the 1980’s Cuba moved away from Soviet fuel imports and utilized domestic crude. This oil contained roughly six percent of sulfur oxides which released harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Cuban scientists have found traces of sulfuric gases embedded in the ecological environment but concurred that compared to deforestation the loss of biodiversity attributed to sulfur oxides is significantly
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