Nearly a third of Earth’s territory is covered by forests, which provide crucial organic infrastructure for some of the planet’s densest and most varied life populations. Numerous species, including us, depend on them.
Trees protect soils against erosion, filter water through their roots, trap airborne pollutants and dust, and help to control the climate and protect the environment. They provide these essential services to all people equally, regardless of their location or level of money.
Many historic forests worldwide are in danger due to the rising global demand for wood products, whether it be for furniture, fuel, or paper. Deforestation occurs as a result, and the causes vary from region to region and occur everywhere on the Earth.
What is deforestation?
Deforestation is cutting trees in a wide area, i.e., forest. It is the biggest issue in the whole world. Throughout history and into the present, forests have been destroyed to make way for agriculture and animal grazing and obtain wood for fuel, manufacture, and construction. Today, tropical rainforests are seeing the most deforestation. By knowing the ways to stop deforestation, we can decrease this. Let’s have a look at the reasons for deforestation.
Reasons of deforestation
The reasons or causes of deforestation can be mainly classified into three categories. They are
- Deforestation due to human activities
- Deforestation due to natural causes
- Other causes of deforestation
Deforestation due to human activities:
The leading cause of deforestation is because of human activities, and let us briefly look into these activities.
with an increase in the population, people are expanding their agricultural lands by occupying forest lands. Slash-and-burn-one of the most harmful farming practices that causes extensive deforestation is agriculture. It involves burning a wide area of forest land and the subsequent planting of crops in the same soil, which is now fed by the ashes of the burned trees. Along with this, industrial agriculture is also causing deforestation.
To satisfy the enormous global need for wood and wood products, about 380,000 hectares of forest are cut down every annum, which is responsible for about 60% of deforestation. These degraded woods are more open to transferring to other land uses, including mining, agriculture, and building houses.
Mining is becoming more prevalent in tropical forests due to the rising demand for minerals. Furthermore, because large-scale mining is an intensive industrial endeavor, it needs to create a vast infrastructure, which only increases pollution.
d)urban expansion: Vast parts of the forest are removed to make room for establishing towns and settlements as the wave of human population increases. These settlements also bring additional infrastructure and growth, and urban expansion shows its effect on the environment.
Deforestation due to natural causes:
In a few relatively uncommon instances, natural causes can be linked to clearing forestland. For example, volcanic explosions can burn the area around the volcano’s surrounding forest. Natural deforestation is also occurred by:
- Hurricane, flood, and other natural disaster-related forest destruction.
- Invasion of tree-killing parasites into the forest ecology.
- Lightning and other occurrences in nature can start forest fires.
However, it is significant to emphasize that natural processes play a minor role in the deforestation of the Earth’s land surface.
Other causes for deforestation:
deforestation has other reasons too. Let us look into them.
a) climate change:
Climate change is a significant source of deforestation. Millions of hectares of forest are destroyed yearly by extreme weather events like wildfires, droughts, and storm surges, and their intensity is only worsening due to global warming. But the trouble doesn’t end there; once the last fire has been extinguished, the gates open wide to let parasites, diseases, and alien species settle in and decimate what’s left.
Many trees are losing their lives for creating paper! Approximately 640 million trees are cut down every year to produce paper.
overpopulation is the cause of many things, including deforestation. From newspapers to home appliances, everything needs excess production. With an increased population, there will be an increase in the use of wood, paper, etc., which comes from trees, gradually leading to deforestation.
Effects of deforestation:
Deforestation has a severe impact on the Earth.
- Deforestation changes the climate.
- As trees play a crucial part in controlling global warming, deforestation causes an increase in global warming.
- Greenhouse gas emissions will increase if there are no trees to cool these gases. When non-renewable energy resources emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, trees should be there to convert them into oxygen.
- Soil erosion is another effect of deforestation.
- With soil erosion, there would be floods too.
- With a decrease in the forest area, many wildlife animals and birds are losing their lives.
- Carbon dioxide in the air causes the oceans to become acidic, which harms species in the sea.
- Loss of biodiversity is occurring as a result of deforestation.
- The quality of our lives is decreasing. With an increase in pollutants everywhere, we are living with toxins in our daily life, which also leads to a decrease in lifespan.
How to stop deforestation?
You can reduce deforestation if we take the necessary actions. Let us look into what we need to do to stop deforestation.
1. Plant a tree: We cannot give life to the tree which was being cut down entirely, but we can give life to another tree. Plant a tree daily. This tree will grow up and will help decrease the effects of deforestation.
2. Reduce the use of paper: If you reduce the use of paper, you can reduce the cutting of trees too. It is always advisable to recycle and reuse the paper instead of buying one after throwing the used paper into the bin. This process not only stops deforestation but also helps in less waste.
3. Decrease meat consumption: When you decrease meat consumption, the demand for meat will be reduced too. Then industrial farming will be reduced too.
4. Decrease burning of firewood: Use firewood only when necessary. Prepare alternate firewood for cooking and heating the house.
5. Don’t use palm oil products: Avoid using palm oil products.
6. Raise awareness: Sometimes, a significant moment can start with your first step. That’s why raising awareness about deforestation around you. Spread the importance of forests and planting trees.
7. Buy only what is necessary: Do not buy anything unnecessarily. If you purchase anything unnecessarily, it will increase the demand for the product, which may lead to deforestation. That’s why only buy what you need and always try to use recycled and long-lasting products.
Deforestation is a big challenge everyone faces in the present world. We are already having the effects of deforestation. It’s high time we open our eyes, save trees, and stop deforestation. This can happen when we have a strong will to give our future generations pollution-free Earth, which has pure air and less global warming. That’s why we need forests to be alive. This can happen only when we know how to stop deforestation.