Deforestation of Southeast Asia
The effects deforestation is having on south-east Asia are dizzying. Rapid development since the siege of Khe-Sanh in Vietnam (1968) and surrounding nations of the Mekong region has caused widespread destruction of their forests. Many of these areas are switching trees for coffee bushes, threatening the extraordinary biodiversity that holds around 1,700 different species. These trees are cut down for the furniture export market. Also, forests are being wiped out for the construction of new large-scale infrastructure. One of Vietnam’s top five products for exports is wood urniture, resulting in deforestation.
It is also known to be a miniature China, except with weaker unions, lower wages, fewer labor laws, bigger tax breaks to favored companies, and heavier subsidies to state-sponsored industries. Neighboring Laos’ and Cambodia’s forests are illegally being manufactured by the Vietnam furniture companies, resulting in deforestation in these regions also. The addition of large- scale infrastructure is also having a large impact on these regions.
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Tree covered mountains of Vietnam are being clear-cut for a controversial new dam, which also is isplacing local tribes.
There are also many defoliation missions in order to feed specific factories. The biggest devastation of this deforestation is the elimination of habitats for the incredible species that called these forests surrounding Vietnam home. For the last fifteen years, researchers have been studying these regions, said to be full of many new, unknown species. Some of these include the Javan rhino, barking deer, fishing cat, ferret-badger, finless porpoise, Irrawaddy dolphin, giant Mekong catfish, etc. There is believed to be even more to discover.