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Indians from the Xingu National Park in Brazil inspect smoldering remains after trees were cleared and burned to make way for farming near their reserve. Fire releases carbon dioxide and clouds of soot that can prevent normal rainfall. Poor logging practices, population growth, and urban expansion make forests more vulnerable to escaped fires.
Agricultural Expansion (2/10) Workers harvest soybeans in Nova Mutum, Mato Grosso state in western Brazil. Brazil now supplies some 34 percent of global soya exports, many of which go into making animal feed. Large-scale agriculture is the main economic factor behind deforestatation. Additional profits can be made from timber thus driving agricultural expansion into forested rather than marginal lands. (Photo: Reuters)
Cattle graze amid the remains of a burned-out forest outside of Boa Vista, northern Brazil. Rising living standards have increased local and global demand for meat. In turn, the demand for grazing pasture and land to grow livestock feed has increased as well. Brazil has become one of the largest exporters of beef in the world. (Photo: Reuters)
A truck drives through a palm oil plantation in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province. Over the past decade, the area planted with oil palm in Indonesia has almost tripled. Indonesia and Malaysia now supply over 80 percent of the world’s palm oil. Palm oil grown on cleared peat lands and turned into biofuels has a carbon footprint five times as big as diesel, says the Global Canopy Programme. (Photo: Reuters)
Workers load shrimps onto a truck at a shrimp farm west of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Commercial farmers are clearing and draining mangrove forests—which shelter coasts from storms and sustain many unique species—to make way for shrimp farms. Coastal mangrove forests are peculiarly vulnerable to climate change impacts like rising sea levels and drought. (Photo: Reuters)
Logging, especially illegal logging, is a major cause of deforestation. In Brazil and Indonesia some 80 to 90 percent of timber extraction is deemed illegal. According to the WWF, up to 28 percent of the EU’s timber imports could be illegal. Well-regulated, selective logging, however, need not trigger deforestation. Expanding plantation forestry can also provide an alternative to illegal timber. (Photo: Reuters)
A giant opencast gold mine dominates the landscape in Indonesia's rainforest Papua province. Many forested areas are rich in minerals and therefore vulnerable to deforestation. The Congo Basin, for instance, contains vast untapped reserves of gold, coltan (used in mobile phones), diamonds, uranium, manganese, and copper. (Photo: Reuters)
The construction of the Interoceanic Highway connecting Peru and Brazil cuts a swathe through the Amazon jungle. Road construction is the infrastructure development that contributes most to deforestation because roads encourage immigration and the spread of agriculture into forests, particularly in remote areas where property rights are unclear or poorly regulated. (Photo: Reuters)
Charcoal bags stacked beside a traditional charcoal factory in the Ivory Coast. Charcoal production as a driver of deforestation primarily occurs in the forests of sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty drives many to cut down trees for fuel for cooking. Charcoal made from old-growth hardwood trees is the most valuable because it burns hotter and longer. (Photo: Reuters)
Boys gather firewood in Guinea. One third of the world’s population uses biomass fuels, mainly firewood, to cook and to heat their homes. Together with population growth, this can have a devastating effect on forests in poor countries. Wood meets 80 percent of all the Democratic Republic of Congo’s energy needs and has been the main cause of deforestation in the area. (Photo: Reuters)
The End You may note that 5 of the 10 refer to the Amazon – use these 5 with passing mention of the others as examples of reasons for deforestation