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Title of study: Causes and Effects of deforestation in the Caura region, Northern

Range.
Subject: Geography
Name: Vishal Sagar
Candidate Number:
School: Presentation College Chaguanas
School code:
Examination year: 2014
Territory: Trinidad
Teacher: Mrs. Patricia Claxton
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations……………………………………………………………………………………….
Aim of study………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Location of study………………………………………………………………………………………..
Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Presentation of data……………………………………………………………………………………
Analysis and discussion……………………………………………………………………………….
Mitigating the effects of deforestation…………………………………………………………
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Limitations……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………………
Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Appendices……………………………………………………………………………………………………
List of illustrations
List of Maps
Map 1 ………………………..Map of Trinidad
Map 2…………………………Map showing Trinidad Northern Range
Map 3 ………………………..Map showing Caura Watershed
List of Figures
Figure 1 ……………………...Fig. 1 showing
Aim of Study

To identify the causes of deforestation in the Caura region, Northern Range


Trinidad and to assess its effects.
Location of Study

The location of study is the Caura region located in the Northern Range of
Trinidad.
Map 1
Map of Trinidad showing the location of Caura
Map 2
Map of Trinidad showing the St. Gorge County and Caura
Map 3
Map showing Caura Watershed and main roads.
Methodology
When:
On Friday the 17th of May, the from 4 Geography class of Presentation College
Chaguanas, departed for a field trip to the Caura river valley from the hours of
8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
Where:
The Tacarigua River is commonly known as the Caura River originates in the
Northern Range and drains into the Caura Valley and passes through the town of
Tacarigua in the East-West Corridor.
How:
On our way to Caura we made a few stops. First stop (site one) was at the
Forestry Division located on Farm road, St Joseph where we met our tour guides
Mr. Rampersad and Mr. Bunjun who carried us into a tour bus with miniature
displays of the different species of flora and fauna in the Caura region. As the
students asked questions and answers replied by the tour guides the responses
were noted using a pen, paper and clipboard. Wen then travelled Northerly along
the Caura main road where we stopped at several points.

Site two is where we proceeded to the lower part of the valley along the Royal
road where we observed evidence of forest fires and housing development.
Cameras were used to take out pictures.

Site three was the Caura recreational area pool one. Pictures were taken here.
Site four, the last stop, was at the Caura Activity Centre where we met resident
and local activist that was interviewed.
Introduction
The Arawak’s were settled in the Caura region making it a popular place to visit in
Trinidad. It thrived as a cocoa and coffee estate. In the year 1943 a proposal for
building a dam was introduced but had too much controversy but although it was
started it was never finished to this date leaving all the equipment there. There
were successful attempts to turn Caura in to park for aesthetic purposes and this
has proved successful. However, due to the recent spate of crime which has risen
in the area, it has become a favorite hot spot for crime, with visitors reporting
things items stolen to armed car robberies.
The Caura watershed is extremely important because it stores and filtrates the
water coming from the mountains. Because of this the water in the Caura area is
usually clean and this influenced in WASA to setup a treatment plant in this area.
Many organizations try to preserve the land by keeping the water clean and
preventing pollution for the locals.
Presentation of Data, Discussion and Analysis

Description of area:
The Caura region is small compared to the northern range it occupies about only
4%. The main type of vegetation is lower montane forest consisting of tall
evergreen trees. When forest fires destroy the vegetation only some trees survive
and hence other small shrubs grow in its place.

The landscape of the Caura region is ever-changing. On the sides of the valley is
very steep that you can see its soil profile and bare sedimentary rocks exposed.
The soil colour was mainly black or dark brown because of the fertileness of it.
The wildlife are of the game species including ; agouti, snakes, forest dog, owls,
howler monkeys, iguanas, wild hog (quenk) and lappe.

Local activist, Mr. Malachi who was interviewed. He talked about his childhood days
and growing up there and how the flora and fauna has changed over the years. After
which he lead us on a short hike to the edges of the forest where it had evidence of
logging. He then explained the importance of the Caura forest and its history.
Pictures were then taken. When we returned brochures were given out by the
foresters which contained further information about Caura forest. In addition
secondary sources of information used included textbooks, brochures websites and
atlases.
Pie chart Showing Main Causes of Deforestation

Deforestation
Fires
10%

Agriculture
39%

Housing
23%

Logging
23%
Agriculture Logging Housing Fires
Causes of Deforestation

Agriculture
Expanding agriculture is one of the most important causes of deforestation. As
demands on agricultural products rise more and more land is brought under
cultivation for which forests are cleared. The land is mostly cleared by the “slash
and burn method”.

Housing and development


As cities and suburban areas grow larger and larger it will require more space for
housing and buildings to accommodate more people. Trees are cut down to make
more space for these buildings and roads. This type of deforestation is most
popular in developing countries.

Forest fires
Inconsiderate farmers sometimes set fires to clear the land using the “slash and
burn’’ method but this sometimes get out of control burning more land than
expected. The leaf litter acts as fuel to keep the fire spreading. Fire will clear
everything killing even big or small trees. Reforestation can take hundreds
of years.
Effects of Deforestation

Increased flood risk


The removal of forest exposes the soil to the full force of the elements. Without
the umbrella effect that the trees provide, water flows quickly over the ground
surface into rivers and floods often result.

Soil erosion
No longer protected by forest, the thin layer of top soil is easily eroded during
rainstorms and strong winds. Deep gullies form and the land becomes useless for
farming. Rivers become choked with sediment increasing the flood risk
downstream. Landslides can occur on the sides of mountains.

Global impacts
Tropical rainforests acts as a huge carbon sinks. That is they absorb carbon from
the atmosphere and help to reduce the buildup of greenhouse gasses. If
rainforests are destroyed, less carbon will be absorbed and the greenhouse
gasses will be more concentrate and effective. This could lead to an increase in
global warming.

Medicinal purposes
Traditional lifestyles and knowledge about local plants and their medicine uses is
being lost.

Loss of fauna
When flora is lost the animals, their homes and food are also lost. This makes the
animals relocate to a different area. When they relocate they might not get food
and die or in the process in relocating the might die.
This ocelot was found dead while trying to cross the road.
Mitigating the Effects of Deforestation

Increase area of forest plantation- Increasing the area of forest plantations


by using vacant or unused lands and waste and marginal lands especially as road
side, along railway tracts, on contours, avenues, boundaries and on land not
suited for agricultural production should have a net positive benefit. Planting
trees outside forest areas will reduce pressure on forests for timber, fodder and
fuel wood demands. Moreover the deforested areas need to be reforested.

Reafforestation- Involves the replanting of trees. The Guyanese government


has setup a number of projects using money from aid agencies such as the
Worldwide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Union. These have
involved replanting local species of trees that have been cut down.

Recycle paper- The use of recycled paper which includes toilet paper, note
books and plastic bags are use widely today. This practice reduces the amount of
extra trees that had to be cut down to make these products again. These products
are also sold cheaper which is a benefit to most of the population and is
biodegradable.

Laws-The government can implement laws for logging and monitor the area for
illegal logging.
Conclusion

The presence of deforestation in the Caura region in North Trinidad was


confirmed and its effects was assessed.
Limitations

Since it was a school day, we were not able to survey the entire but only the
outskirt area because of time.
Recommendations

I think that laws should be implemented to preserve the flora and fauna of the
area. It should have logging seasons so the plants can regrow and not deplete.
Educating the public about the effects and damage deforestation does to the
world.
Bibliography

Phillips certificate atlas (2005)


Geography for CESC by Michael Clarke
Geography for CSEC by Guinness Paul
New Caribbean Geography by Rahil Vohn
IMA pamphlet
Appendices