Stop Deforestation Essay

Deforestation: Compromises of a Growing World

With the world growing at a pace hard to match, the increasing need for space is turning out to be an area of concern. With desperate need for land for agricultural, industrial and most importantly urban needs to contain cities and their growing population, a direct action that we have come to recognize as “Deforestation” occurs. Deforestation in simple term means the felling and clearing of forest cover or tree plantations in order to accommodate agricultural, industrial or urban use. It involves permanent end of forest cover to make that land available for residential, commercial or industrial purpose.

Over the last century the forest cover around the globe has been greatly compromised, leaving the green cover down to an all time low of about 30 per cent.  According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost each year.

Deforestation can also be seen as removal of forests leading to several imbalances ecologically and environmentally. What makes deforestation alarming is the immediate and long term effects it is bound to inflict if continued at the current pace. Some predictions state that the rainforests of the world will be destroyed completely if deforestation continues at its current pace.

Read here more about 51 facts about deforestation.

Deforestation or clearance occurs due to several reasons, to get an overview we could include the need of money, both in terms of profitability as well as providing for one’s family in most scenarios, along with lack of or no forest laws, need for land space for housing etc among a long list of other uses. Mainly blamed on agricultural or pastoral use, farmers fell trees for increasing space for cultivation and/or as fodder land for grazing and surviving live stock. The whole concept of ‘slash and burn’ agriculture, is used to indicate this same process where farmers employ the above chain of actions for their purposes.

Causes of Deforestation

1. Agricultural Activities: As earlier mentioned in the overview, agricultural activities are one of the major factors affecting deforestation. Due to overgrowing demand for food products, huge amount of tress are fell down to grow crops and for cattle gazing.

2. Logging: Apart from this, wood based industries like paper, match-sticks, furniture etc also need a substantial amount of wood supply. Wood is used as fuel both directly and indirectly, therefore trees are chopped for supplies. Firewood and charcoal are examples of wood being used as fuel. Some of these industries thrive on illegal wood cutting and felling of trees.

3. Urbanization: Further on order to gain access to these forests, the construction of roads are undertaken; here again trees are chopped to create roads. Overpopulation too directly affects forest covers, as with the expansion of cities more land is needed to establish housing and settlements. Therefore forest land is reclaimed.

4. Desertification of land: Some of the other factors that lead to deforestation are also part natural and part anthropogenic like Desertification of land. It occurs due to land abuse making it unfit for growth of trees. Many industries in petrochemicals release their waste into rivers which results in soil erosion and make it unfit to grow plants and trees.

5. Mining: Oil and coal mining require considerable amount of forest land. Apart from this, roads and highways have to be built to make way for trucks and other equipment. The waste that comes out from mining pollutes the environment and affects the nearby species.

6. Forest Fires: Another example would be forest blazes; Hundreds of trees are lost each year due to forest fires in various portions of the world. This happens due to extreme warm summers and milder winters. Fires, whether causes by man or nature results in huge loss of forest cover.

Effects of Deforestation

1. Climate Imbalance: Deforestation also affects the climate in more than one ways. Trees release water vapor in the air, which is compromised on with the lack of trees. Trees also provide the required shade that keeps the soil moist. This leads to the imbalance in the atmospheric temperature further making conditions for the ecology difficult. Flora and fauna across the world are accustomed to their habitat. This haphazard clearance of forests have forced several of these animals to shift from their native environment. Due to this several species are finding it difficult to survive or adapt to new habitats.

2. Increase in Global Warming: Trees play a major role in controlling global warming. The trees utilize the green house gases, restoring the balance in the atmosphere. With constant deforestation the ratio of green house gases in the atmosphere has increased, adding to our global warming woes.

3. Soil Erosion: Also due to the shade of trees the soil remains moist. With the clearance of tree cover, the soil is directly exposed to the sun, making it dry.

4. Floods: When it rains, trees absorb and store large amount of water with the help of their roots. When they are cut down, the flow of water is disrupted and leads to floods in some areas and droughts in other.

5. Wildlife Extinction: Due to massive felling down of trees, various species of animals are lost. They lose their habitat and forced to move to new location. Some of them are even pushed to extinction. Our world has lost so many species of plants and animals in last couple of decades.

Solutions to Deforestation

1. The best solution to deforestation is to curb the felling of trees, by employing a series of rules and laws to govern it. Deforestation in the current scenario may have reduced however it would be too early to assume. The money-churner that forest resources can be, is tempting enough for deforestation to continue.

2. Clear cutting of forests must be banned. This will curb total depletion of the forest cover. It is a practical solution and is very feasible.

3. Land skinned of its tree cover for urban settlements should be urged to plant trees in the vicinity and replace the cut trees. Also the cutting must  be replaced by  planting young trees to replace the older ones that were cut. Trees are being planted under several initiatives every year, but they still don’t match the numbers of the ones we’ve already lost.

References:

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Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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How to Prevent Deforestation and Restore the Earth's Green Canvas

Tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, pollution - all these are the ill effects of deforestation. Read on to know how to prevent deforestation and restore the green cover of our planet...
Owing to growth in population coupled with human greed, there has been widespread cutting of trees, all over the world. The trees, plants and forests are being cut, to make space for human habitation, industries, livestock pastures, etc. This practice is what is termed as deforestation.
In recent times, the ill effects of deforestation have come to light in the form of various environmental catastrophes taking place all over the world, such as tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes. Not to mention, how great a contributing factor deforestation is to air and water pollution as well as soil erosion. That's why, it is necessary that awareness should be spread about the fact that if the human race has to survive, the ecology and the environment have to be maintained and not be tempered with, in any form. Various steps should be taken, both at the individual and the governmental level, to prevent deforestation from happening.
To reverse the damage that has been done due to deforestation, grow more trees. Individuals should start this initiative by growing trees in their own backyards. Also, cutting of trees should be checked. If at all trees need to be cut, it should be old and dead trees which are going to collapse anyway, while the younger ones should be allowed to grow. The government on its part should enforce a ban on cutting of trees. Fines and punishments should be imposed if rules to safeguard trees are broken by anybody.
The government should stage campaigns and spread awareness on how deforestation has affected humans adversely. Presentations should be made in schools and colleges on safeguarding forests. Children should be involved in "save the forests" campaigns, because if such beliefs are ingrained from childhood itself, the chances of them being carried forward to adulthood, increase manifold. Along with the Government, various non governmental and community organizations, should take it upon themselves, to involve the people in putting an end to cutting of trees.
Recycle the products made from paper, plastic and glass that you use, such as shopping bags, bottles, books, etc. Also, buy products that are recycled. It is not just households, but even businesses, who should focus on using recycled products, because if everybody starts doing this, it will reduce the need for raw materials considerably and thus, less trees will be cut. On an individual level, people should completely give up on using products that require trees to be cut. Another thing that people can do is to avoid using firewood and coal in their fireplaces. No doubt, this is an intelligent way to reduce your carbon imprint on this earth and prevent global warming and deforestation as well.
Farmers should make use of environment savvy techniques like crop rotation. Crop rotation involves using the same piece of land to grow two different kinds of crops, instead of growing the same in two different pieces of land. This saves land plus makes it more fertile too, lessening the need to convert forest land into farmland.
Be a vegetarian. If you cannot give up on meat, reduce its intake to the minimum, as a whole lot of crops and plants get wasted in feeding the animals. When animals are left to graze in the forests, plants and trees get destroyed. So, as much as possible, make your diet from fruits and vegetable. This will save the environment and keep you in the best of health too.
Whether it is food to eat, oxygen to breathe or beauty to see, humans derive all these things and pleasures from trees and forests. That's why, following the above suggested tips on preventing deforestation and saving the environment are very necessary. Saving trees means lesser catastrophes and lesser pollution, both of which are beneficial for the survival of the human race. Ultimately, it is individual human effort and an undeterred strive to change things on part of each one of us, that will yield the desired results in this direction!

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