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Causes Of Deforestation
 

Causes Of Deforestation

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Reasons for deforestation, with a focus on 2 regions renown for tropical rainforests: Kalimantan in Indonesia, and the Amazon Basin in South America.

Reasons for deforestation, with a focus on 2 regions renown for tropical rainforests: Kalimantan in Indonesia, and the Amazon Basin in South America.

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    Causes Of Deforestation Causes Of Deforestation Presentation Transcript

    • Causes of Deforestation
    • The island of Borneo
      • Borneo is split up between 3 countries:
      • 1) Brunei Darussalam
      • The Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah
      • The Indonesian provinces of West, Central, East and South Kalimantan
    •  
    • Deforestation in Borneo
    •  
    • Why does deforestation occur?
      • There are 5 main reasons why forests are cleared:
      • Agriculture
      • Urbanisation
      • Transport
      • Industries
      • Fires
    • 1) Clearing of forests for agriculture
    • 1) Clearing of forests for agriculture
      • Increasing demand for land for agriculture leads to forests being cleared
      • 2 kinds:
      • i) Small-scale clearing by individual farmers
      • ii) Large-scale clearing by plantation companies
    • Transmigration in Indonesia
      • Overcrowding on islands such as Java and Bali led the Indonesian government to resettle hundreds of thousands of people on less densely populated islands such as Sumatra and Kalimantan (in Borneo)
      • This is known as transmigration
      • Many of the new settlers were allocated small plots of land where they could grow crops
    •  
      • Some of these crops include rice and vegetables, which are planted for subsistence
      • Other crops include coffee and cocoa, which are cash crops and grown for sale
      • Many of these settlers are motivated by profit to expand their farmland so that they can grow more crops for sale
      • As soil fertility declines, these farmers just clear new areas to be used for farming
    • Plantations and commercial agriculture
      • A major force behind deforestation is commercial agriculture : Wealthy companies clear large areas of forest to be converted into farmland
    • Plantations and commercial agriculture
      • In Indonesia and Malaysia, a lot of rainforest is cleared for oil palm (palm oil is an important fuel and raw material in many food products, soaps and cosmetics) and acacia trees (fast-growing tree that is planted for cheap timber and pulp for paper)
      • Oil palm plantation in Malaysia
    • Plantations and commercial agriculture
      • In Brazil, rainforest is converted into pasture for cattle ranching (for beef), and for soybeans (used as raw material in many food products, and as food for farm animals)
      Soybean fields in Brazil
      • Cattle ranching in the Amazon Basin, Brazil
    • 2) Urbanisation
    • 2) Urbanisation
      • As the population living in urban areas (cities and towns) grows, forests have to make way as urban areas expand into surrounding forested areas
      • Houses and businesses are built on the newly cleared land
      • Industries and towns developing in former rainforest, Brazil
    • 3) Transport
    • 3) Transport
      • Transport networks are built through the forest to link settlements
      • E.g. The 230-km long Trans-Kalimantan Highway in Indonesia, or the 4,800 km long Trans-Amazonian Highway in South America
      • Trans-Amazonian Highway, Brazil
      • Trans-Amazonian Highway, Brazil
      • Forest is cleared to make way for the construction of these transport networks
      • Roads and railways also make it easier for people and companies to enter the forest to extract resources
    • 4) Industries
    • 4) Industries
      • Forests are cleared to support industrial activities and extraction of resources
      • Two main types occur in Kalimantan:
      • Logging for timber
      • Mining for minerals
    • Logging for timber
      • Trees are cut down for timber
      • The wood is then processed to be made into products such as expensive furniture
    • Logging for timber
      • Timber companies need to get a license before they are permitted to carry out logging in certain areas
      • However, they are sometimes caught logging in areas without a license, or logging a larger area of forest than they are allowed to
    •  
    • Charcoal
      • In many countries, people depend very heavily on charcoal as a source of fuel
      • This very high demand for charcoal drives deforestation, as forest is cleared and the trees are used to produce charcoal
      • Bags of charcoal being transported
    • Mining
      • Sometimes, the forest happens to sit on land that is rich in minerals and metals such as gold, silver, copper or tin, or fossil fuels like oil and coal
      • In order to gain access to the natural resources underground, the forest is cleared first.
    •  
    • 5) Fires
    • 5) Fires
      • Fire is often used to clear forested land, as it is cheaper than employing labourers and bringing in machinery to remove the trees and vegetation
      • The vegetation is cleared and left to dry out, then the area is set on fire
      • Burning of forests has been taking place on a small scale for many thousands of years, by small groups of subusistence farmers
      • This is known as slash and burn agriculture
      • Burning is also employed by large companies to clear large areas of forest to make way for plantation agriculture, mining and other uses
      • Sometimes, the valuable timber is extracted first, and the remaining vegetation is burned
      • These fires often go out of control and spread to other areas of forest that were not meant to be cleared
      • Fires can be worsened due to changes in weather conditions e.g. drought, rainy season arriving late (or not arriving at all)
      • Even if the burned areas are not used, it is very difficult for the original forests to regrow
    •  
      • Burned forest in Sarawak, Malaysia
    • Now that you’ve looked at some of the causes of deforestation, think:
      • What are the possible positive effects of deforestation?
      • What are the possible negative effects of deforestation?
      • Don’t forget to complete your report on the best way to make use of the forest near your village!