Rainforest habitats only cover 3% of the
earth's surface but provide habitat for 50% of all
land animals, and for 80% of insects.
rainforests the most endangered forest type in Central America and is only found in the
Sartenejan Region, Belize, and on the Yucatan Peninsula in
There is a considerable amount of rainforest
clearance occurring in the Sartenejan Region. Land
clearance generally occurs in small parcels of land often
without appreciation of its affect on land value, productive capacity, biodiversity, or
Valuable areas of
rainforest that maintain older large heritage and crown trees
or threatened species are a priority in preserving
Clearance typically occurs through the slashing of
lower vegetation and cutting of trees. The area is then burnt leaving an ash covered landscape on
which a mixture of crops or trees are grown.
Large amounts of
soot and carbon
dioxide are released into the atmosphere which
increases global warming.
After burning some soil fertility including potassium, phosphorus, and trace elements are available from
the ash. Deeper soils also retain some humus from broken down leaves and roots.
Without fertilisers or mulch the fertility of the land for crops lasts about 2 years. In most cases the
land can then only support low yielding orchards, pasture, or is left to revert to
As the land is cleared
and repeatedly burned, heavy rains wash away many nutrients. Fortunately alkaline soils are good for retention and
availability of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. However, alkaline soils reduce the availability
of most trace elements except which
Fertiliser has a dramatic effect on production but is
not generally used on small landholdings in the Sarteneja area.
For more information on soil nutrients refer to;
Soil pH and Plant Nutrients. Government of Alberta,
Agriculture and Rural Development.
Mulching is not generally used in
the Sarteneja Region, however, leguminous vines and the stacking of leaves around orchard tree
bases have been used to maintain or increase soil fertility.
Rainforest trees and heritage trees are a very important part of a sustainable landscape. The rainforest of the
Sartenejan Region comprise a large number of tree
species. These trees may be exceptional for
timber, fruit, or
flowers. Or they might simple be part of nature and contribute to the diversity
and health of the forest.
Conservation of trees provides
increased land sales, carbon storage, timber, nutrient cycling, shade, biodiversity conservation,
and a livable environment.
The rainforest captures vast amounts of
energy and produce the fruits, flowers and foliage that sustain much of animal life in the
Their roots extend deep into the ground and recycle
nutrients through their leaf, flower, and fruit drop. This not only improves agricultural
production and the quality of other vegetation but prevents nutrients eventually reaching the ocean
and damaging marine ecosystems.
Big trees comprise only
2 percent of rain forest’s trees, but they are crucial to the ecosystem, and store a large
portion of carbon to reduce climate warming. Many birds including the national symbol the
toucan rely on large trees for their nests. Many plants grow over large trees providing habitat for
The price of tropical wood is increasing rapidly as forests become scarcer. The
increase of value of timber in managed forest may well exceed any profit to be made from clearance,
and also reduce property values. Clearing and burning of forest is also a major contributor
to climate warming.
In the Sartenejan Region partial logging and clearing, with interplanting
with commercial timber trees, would
provide income through intermittent logging, and increase land value as the forest develops. It
would also support biodiversity conservation and improve the