Deforestation, Causes and Effects of Deforestation and Reforestation
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Deforestation, Causes and Effects of
Deforestation and Reforestation
The prefix de- means"remove" andthe suffix-ationsignalsthe actor state of.
The destructionof natural forestsbecause of cuttingtrees,logging,makingspace for cattle grazing,
mining,extractionof oil,buildingdamsandpopulationexpansionisknownas deforestation.
Deforestationisthe clearingof trees,transformingaforestintoclearedland. Deforestation results
from removal of trees without sufficient reforestation and usually results ina significantlossof
As perthe reportsof Natural Conservancy,loggingaccountsfor32 millionacresof earth’snatural
forestseveryyear.By 2011half of earth’sforestsdisappeared.A majorpart of thislosstookplace in
the last 50 years alone.Forestgoodsandmostimportantlythe wood,hasbeenthe essential needof the
humancivilizationforovercenturiesandcontinuestobe the mainsource of several activitiesthataman
performsinhisdayto day proceedings.
For example,paperisindispensible partof personal orofficial meansof conductingthe dealings.
Invariably,thiswouldnecessitatehumanbeingstosource the woodfromthe forests leadingto
Forestsplaya critical role inthe global terrestrial ecosystems,including,but notlimitedto,providinga
temporary carbon sink in the global carbon cycle
CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION :
1) Timber Production:
Needforthe productionof timberisthe prime cause of deforestation.The timberisusedas
importantconstructionmaterial andalsoformsanimportantsource of raw material forpaper
production.Tomake the timberproductscheaper,governmentsalloweddeforestationwithout
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realizingthe factthatit woulddestroyecological balance.
2) Cut and Blaze Farming –
Poornationsand developingcountriestendtopractice farming byclaimingforestlandtogrow cropsby
cuttingand settingthe forestareasfire claimingthatthe forestlandisfertiledue toforest’sfloraand
fauna.Thisway large tracts of forestland isdeforestedforcultivation.Unfortunately,mostof these
countriesdonot realize thatthe landitself isresponsibleforitsfertilityratherthanthe forestmass.Cut
and blaze farmingispossiblysustainable provideddensityof populationisbelow 8 persquare kilometer.
But inreality,more than30 people habitatagivensquare kilometerleadstothe destructionof
complete balance. –
3) Deforestation for Grass and Land Development:
Grass lands are needed for cattle feeding and developing the cattle growing industry. In order
to raise the cattle cheaply, some counties followed the deforestation route at it is and cheap
allowing local industry to meet the demand of multinationals for cheaper animal products.
4) Forest as Source of Fire Wood –:
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Less privileged nations, because of poverty and poor economic conditions, are forced to use
forest as a principle source of fire wood for its people. They tend to deforest for fuel wood
production leading to large tracts of forest land becoming barren. To replenish the deforested
area it would take not less than 12 to 15 years but such duration greatly imbalances the forest
sustainability. Besides, it is a widely recognized fact that fire wood as fuel is the most
pollution producing material.
Effects of Deforestation:
There are several effectsof deforestationonearth’sclimate andnature.
Affect the environment:
Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic
impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth's land animals
and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their
Atmospheric – :
For global warmingdeforestationisthe majorcontributor.Deforestationcausesof carbon
dioxide inthe atmosphere.Asthe concentrationof carbondioxide increases,alayerformsin
the atmosphere thattraps sunradiation.Thisradiationgetsconvertedtoheatandcausesglobal
warming.Inothertermsit isknownas greenhouse effect.(Know whatare the greenhouse
gases) Deforestationalsoinfluencestreestorelease carbonstores.Scientistssaythatalmost1.5
billiontonsof carbonisreleasedeachyearbytropical deforestation.
Hydrological – :
Water cycle inthe nature getsaffectedbydeforestation.Treespull upgroundwaterwiththe
helpof theirrootsand thenrelease the watervaporintothe atmosphere.If treesare reduced,
the watervapor contentinthe atmosphere isreducedanditresultsindrierclimate.Italso
resultsinsoil erosionwhichmayleadtolandslidesorfloods. Reducing forest cover reduces
the capacity of the soil to perspire. It means the absence of trees can influence the
quantity of water on the land, in the atmosphere or in the soil. It affects the ecological
Soil – :
Forests as such have a very low soil loss rate. It is at approximately two metric tons per
square kilometer. Deforestation results in soil erosion because tress can bind the soil
together. If trees are removed from steep slopes, it may result in landslides.
Biodiversity – :
Deforestation results in the decline in biodiversity and many species of living organisms
are becoming extinct. Forests support wildlife habitat and the tropical rainforests
contribute to 80%of the biodiversity. The removal of trees has led to the degradation of
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environment and biodiversity. Because of rainforestdeforestation,we are losinganaverage
of 137 plants,insectsandanimal specieseveryday.Itwill accounttoalmost50,000 speciesover
an year.There isa seriousthreattoseveral endangeredspecies.Itisestimatedthatalmost90
percentof predictedextinctionswilltake place withinnextfortyyears.
Deforestationanditseffectscanchange the livingstandardsof the people.Humansocieties
utilize timberandwoodfromforestsforbuildinghousesandmakingpaper. Onanaverage it is
increase ineconomicgrowthalsohasthe impacton forests.Aspopulationincreases,thereis
demandfornewhomesandemptyspaces.Roadsare laidto expandcitiesanditresultsinthe
Reductioninemissions –:Several international organizationsalongwithUnitedNationsandWorldBank
have beenimplementingvariousprogramstocurb deforestation.ReducingEmissionsfrom
Newfarmingtechnologiesshouldbe inventedsothatthe existingresourcesare notdepleted.
Crop yieldperacre of landshouldbe increasedsothat withlimitedlandmore produce canbe
Monitoring deforestation –:
Satellite datacanbe usedto effectivelyassessthe deforestedareas.Positive stepsbyall
governmentswill resultin maintainingthe forestcover.
In East Asiancountriesreforestationand forestation are increasingslowly.Between2000 and
2005, 1 millionhectaresof lostforestareawasagainbroughtback to life.Dependingonthe
latesttrends,itisbelievedthatby2050 there will anincrease inforestcovergloballyby10%.
Due to newlawsand regulationspassedwe have alsoseenahuge developmentsnew trees
have beenplantedandoldtreesare notallowedtobe cut down.If thiscontinuesthere might
be a chance to stop deforestationandreversethe whole processcompletely.
Sanctuariesare veryimportant,notonlyto save wildlife,buttosave treesaswell.Sanctuaries
go a longway inprotectingall wildlife.
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Cities: All cities,letalone newcities,have tobe managedproperly.The new projectsneedto
be controlledandplannedaccordinglymakingsure new treesare plantedinthe process.
Commercial Forest Plantations:
There can be special forest plantationsforall the woodthatisneededforthe industry.Thisway
the woodcan be cut ina controlledandregulatedenvironment.
Improperwatermanagementaffectsdeforestationinabigway. If the wildlife doesn'thave
water,then the entire ecosystemwill falter.The constructionof new damsshouldbe planned
properly,sothatany one area isn'tdeprivedof water,andthe otherarea hasabundance of it.
Significance of Forests for Ecological Balance:
It iswell acknowledgedfactthatforestsassume significance forvarietyof causes.Inthe firstplace many
wouldopine thatforestsshouldbe conservedforupcominggenerationstobenefitfrom.While itistrue
but the secondandthe mostimportantmotivationcomesfromthe needforprovidingterritoryforlarge
numberof animals,birdsandotherspecieswhichare vital partof now well recognizedearth’secological
system,tomake theirhabitation.Concurrently,forestsperformaveryfundamental taskof natural
deserts.Lastbut notthe least,the forestsare the onlyresourcefulplacesfortimberproductionand
there isa continuousneedforitas constructionmaterial,base fuelforheatingandpaper!Nonetheless,
deforestationhasbeenthe biggestenvironmentissue whichcontinuedtodraw attentionof the world.
http://www.heritagekonpa.com/Rebuilding%20Haiti%20Forest.html [Accessed 1 march 2011]
http://environment.about.com/od/biodiversityconservation/a/amazonrain.html [Accessed 1 march 2011]
http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~sustain/issueguides/TimberCert/deforest/index.html [Accessed 2 march 2011]