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Deforestation and it's effects

by Cassie Kenny | 10-08-2020 16:29 recommendations 0

Deforestation is the permanent removal of trees to make room for something besides forest. This can include clearing the land for agriculture or grazing, or using the timber for fuel, construction or manufacturing. 
Deforestation also refers to the decrease in forest areas across the world that are lost for other uses such as agricultural croplands, urbanization, or mining activities. Greatly accelerated by human activities since 1960, deforestation has been negatively affecting natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the annual rate of deforestation to be around 1.3 million km2 per decade.
Forests cover more than 30% of the Earth's land surface, according to the World Wildlife Fund. These forested areas can provide food, medicine and fuel for more than a billion people. Worldwide, forests provide 13.4 million people with jobs in the forest sector, and another 41 million people have jobs related to forests. 
Forests are a resource, but they are also large, undeveloped swaths of land that can be converted for purposes such as agriculture and grazing. In North America, about half the forests in the eastern part of the continent were cut down for timber and farming between the 1600s and late 1800s, according to National Geographic. 
Today, most deforestation is happening in the tropics. Areas that were inaccessible in the past are now within reach as new roads are constructed through the dense forests. A 2017 report by scientists at the University of Maryland showed that the tropics lost about 61,000 square miles (158,000 square kilometers) of forest in 2017 — an area the size of Bangladesh.
Why Is Deforestation Happening?
Multiple factors, either of human or natural origin, cause deforestation. Natural factors include natural forest fires or parasite-caused diseases which can result in deforestation. Nevertheless, human activities are among the main causes of global deforestation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the expansion of agriculture caused nearly 80% of global deforestation, with the construction of infrastructures such as roads or dams, together with mining activities and urbanization, making up the remaining causes of deforestation.
1. Agriculture is the Number 1 Cause of Deforestation (~80%)
Why is deforestation happening? According to the FAO, agriculture causes around 80% of deforestation. And how does agriculture cause so much deforestation? According to the same report, 33% of agriculture-caused deforestation is a consequence of subsistence agriculture – such as local peasant agriculture in developing countries.
Commercial or industrial agriculture (field crops and livestock) cause around 40% of forest loss – in the search for space to grow food, fibers or biofuel (such as soybeans, palm oil, beef, rice, maize, cotton and sugar cane). It is also particularly interesting to note livestock is believed to be responsible for about 14% of global deforestation. The main reasons why have to do with the large areas require both to raise livestock but also to grow its (soy-based) food.
2. Deforestation Caused By New Constructions (~15%)
The construction of human infrastructures has also been driving deforestation. More specifically, 10% of deforestation can be attributed to new infrastructures that serve the current human lifestyle in four main ways: transportation, transformation and energy generation.
On one hand, roads, rails, ports or airports have been built to move all sorts of goods – from cereals and fruits to spices, minerals or fossil fuels – either directly to trade centers or to transformation sites. So while at first there were only fruit trees, roads soon arrived to allow transporting fruit to other regions. And while some goods were and are collected manually, others such as coal, oil, natural gas, biomass, but also meat, dairy or spirits, required the construction of large extraction, transportation and/or transformation infrastructures.
3. How Urbanization Is Causing Deforestation (~5%)
The populational shift that is leading people to move from rural areas to urban areas is also contributing to deforestation (5%, according to FAO). This urban growth – in which 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050 – is leading to an exponential growth of housing and consumption sites. And as cities become larger so they can host more people, they challenge the natural boundaries surrounding them, often leading to deforestation. This is one of the reasons why deforestation is happening.

Deforestation Effects – How Does Deforestation Affect The Environment?
Deforestation has many consequences for natural ecosystems and it poses serious problems to the resilience of the planet. Let’s take a look at the main effects of deforestation to better understand why it is bad for the planet.

1 – The Effects of Deforestation on Biodiversity
definition what is deforestation impacts solutions.jpg
The most known consequence of deforestation is its threat to biodiversity. In fact, forests represent some of the most veritable hubs of biodiversity. From mammals to birds, insects, amphibians or plants, the forest is home to many rare and fragile species.
80% of the Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests.
By destroying the forests, human activities are putting entire ecosystems in danger, creating natural imbalances, and putting Life at threat. The natural world is complex, interconnected, and made of thousands of inter-dependencies and among other functions, trees provide shade and colder temperatures for animals and smaller trees or vegetation which may not survive with the heat of direct sunlight. Besides, trees also feeding animals with their fruits while providing them with food and shelter they need to survive.
Reference :
National Geographic 

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  • Dormant user Cassie Kenny
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  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings Cassie
    I hope you are doing well
    Thank you so much for this report
    Green cheers
    Keep writing
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 20-09-2020 21:10

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Cassie Kenny, this is a mentor, Sang Su Lee.

    While reading through this article, I could learn that deforestation is not good for both humans and animals. Animals are losing their habitats and humans and animals are losing oxygen. Oxygen is vital for our respiration. However, people are so dull to realize that this problem is serious. I hope deforestation will stop soon... T.T

    Green cheers~!
    Posted 25-08-2020 01:16

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Cassie,

    Greetings and Namaste from Nepal
    Wishing you a safe stay
    Thank you for your report on Deforestation and it's effects

    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.
    Green Cheers :)

    Best wishes,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 13-08-2020 22:21

  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    Thank you for the writing.
    Posted 13-08-2020 15:11

  • Shobita Neupane says :
    Hello Cassie,

    Like your other articles, this was also an informative piece. Thank you for the writing.
    Posted 12-08-2020 17:37

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    Hello Cassie Kenny, this is mentor Taehyun!

    Thank you for your article on deforestation! Deforestation certainly has more disadvantages than advantages, and I don't think it has anything to do with us. In particular, due to the reduction of the ecosystem area due to deforestation, not only the destruction of ecological diversity, but also the nature of the soil maintained by the trees can change, causing disasters such as landslides. I think deforestation should be regulated.

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 11-08-2020 13:50

  • Aarati Khatri says :
    Greetings Cassie,
    I hope you are doing well and are safe wherever you are,
    With the increasing population, the demands of people have also increased and to fulfill those demands, they exploit the natural resources haphazardly.
    Deforestation has been ever green burning environmental issues hampering both wildlife as well as human life.
    Thank you so much for disseminating the information through your report.
    Warm Regards.
    Posted 11-08-2020 13:18

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Cassie,

    I hope you are fine and doing great!
    Deforestation is one of the major environmental problem.Thanks for sharing about different sectors contributing deforestation.It is necessary to aware people about the importance of forest and their role in ecosystem.

    Green cheers from Nepal!

    Posted 11-08-2020 00:20

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