A recent study said that turning the tropical forests into natural rubber plantations in Tripura is negatively impacting non-human primate species and vegetation in the region.

 

Details

The report highlighted that culturing natural rubber in the last century has brought significant economic benefits for growers. But excessive rubber plantations are adversely affecting various wildlife and plant species.

 

Natural Rubber

  • Natural rubber is a polymer made up of a chemical molecule called isoprene.
  • It is a native of the Amazon basin which was introduced to countries in the tropical belts of Asia and Africa in the late nineteenth century.
  • Climatic conditions required for Rubber —
      • Rubber trees require moist and humid climates with heavy rainfall of more than 200 cm.
      • It grows well in equatorial climates and temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius.
      • Rubber trees require well-drained, weathered soils.

 

Rubber plantations in India

  • India is the world’s largest producer and the third-largest user of natural rubber.
  • Rubber Growing Areas in India —
      • Traditional Areas: Primarily in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari District and Kerala.
      • Non-traditional regions: Coastal Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra’s Konkan Region, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, the northeastern provinces, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, among other places.