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Deforestation

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What is Deforestation?

Deforestation and widespread destruction of trees and plants in the name of expansion and urbanization drastically effect the environment around.

Even we can see that there are some companies building resorts as a means of holiday trip into the deepest woods in the world.

Thus we are exploiting the nature and environment beyond the safe limits. Hence we can see wild animals getting into villages and attacking humans.

Deforestation is decreasing the forest area and endangering the lives of wild animals. They have no place to hide, no proper lakes or ponds for drinking water etc. Hence animals die due to dehydration, starvation, and even accidents.

 

Causes of Deforestation:-

Agricultural Expansion:- The conversion of forests into agricultural plantations is a major cause of deforestation.  The increase in global demand for commodities, such as palm oil and soybeans, are driving industrial-scale producers to clear forests at an alarming rate. Indonesia, the largest producer of palm oil, was named the “Fastest Forest Destroyer,” in the 2008 Guinness World Records. Even when efforts are made to replenish barren plantations, the depleted soil is not able to produce the same biodiversity it once was.

Location:- Deforestation occurs around the world, though tropical rainforests are particularly targeted. NASA predicts that if current deforestation levels proceed, the world's rainforests may be completely in as little as 100 years. Countries with significant deforestation include Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe, according to GRID-Arundel, a United Nations Environment Program collaborating centre. The country with the most deforestation is Indonesia. Since the last century, Indonesia has lost at least 15.79 million hectares of forest land, according to a study by US University of Maryland and the World Resource Institute.

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.

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.

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.

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 wastes into rivers which results in soil erosion and make it unfit to grow plants and trees.

 

Effects of Deforestation:-

Climate Imbalance:- Deforestation also affects the climate in more than one ways. Trees release water vapour 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. These haphazard clearances 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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

 

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Solutions to Deforestation:-

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.

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.

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.

 

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