Deforestation is the conversion of forest areas to non-forest land for use, such as pasture, urban use, farmed areas, or wasteland. Effects of deforestation are the emergence of severe ecological and environmental imbalances and resulting in declines in habitat and biodiversity. Urbanization, mining, fires, logging, and agricultural activities are some of the causes of deforestation.
According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
“Deforestation refers to the loss of forest cover; land that is permanently converted from forests to agricultural land, golf courses, pasture for livestock, or other land use”
Scroll down to view in detail of the deforestation Causes and Effects in detail…
Causes of deforestation in points
Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural land expansion, infrastructure buildings such as roads, railway tracks, dams, industries, etc., and wood extraction for domestic and commercial usage. The main causes of deforestation are mentioned below in points.
1. Agriculture for arable land
The conversion of forests to arable land is a more recent cause of deforestation. Agriculture as a whole accounts for at least 80 percent of all deforestation, although this also includes livestock.
2. Agriculture for livestock
This has led to the herding of cattle and cattle becoming the biggest driver of deforestation in the Amazon.
3- Illegal Logging
Another major cause of deforestation is illegal logging. Harvesting timber in protected or unlicensed areas can be extremely lucrative.
Mining has a negative impact on the environment and is one of the main causes of deforestation. For mining to take place, trees and vegetation must be razed so that bulldozers and excavators can extract metals and minerals from the ground.
Fire is the natural enemy of wood, and forest fires are increasing thanks to man. Fire seasons are getting longer and more extreme as forests degrade and global temperatures rise
6- Roads Building
Building roads through forests leads to further deforestation. Road construction does not greatly affect the overall forest cover of a forest. However, they provide access to deeper and more remote areas.
The area of urban areas around the world is expected to expand by more than 740,000 square miles between 2000 and 2030. As cities grow, they swallow up agricultural land and surrounding natural habitats, including woodlands.
Another indirect cause of deforestation is poverty. The Congo Basin in Central Africa is the second-largest rainforest in the world. It also suffers from the ravages of deforestation.
Small-scale land clearing for subsistence agriculture is responsible for over 80% of Congo’s deforestation. Communities are forced to fell trees as they seek to produce enough food to survive, and alternative opportunities are scarce.
9- State policies
State policies are the ultimate cause of deforestation, and they can cause or prevent deforestation. Brazil is the best example of this over the past 20 years.
The Brazilian government has significantly increased the number of protected lands.47 It has also selected municipalities with high deforestation rates for increased monitoring and regulations.48 Overall, between 2004 and 2012, deforestation decreased by about 80%.
10- Climate change
Climate changes like global warming and pollution are also resulting in disturbance of rainfall patterns and ultimately causing the removal of forests.
11- The paper industry
paper industry is also the main cause of cutting down forests all over the world.
Effects of deforestation
- Water Cycle: Deforestation reduces the amount of water in soil and moisture in the air and so reduces freshwater availability and also disturbs the water cycle.
- Soil erosion: It increases severe soil erosion which leads to land sliding thus destroying basic infrastructure in hilly areas.
- Floods: It causes floods due to the choking of rivers and dams with silt.
- Rainfall: It reduces rainfall and cloud formation.
- Water Storage capacity of Dams: Silted dams store less water, so less water is available for agriculture.
- Climate Imbalance and Climate Change: Deforestation also affects the climate in many ways like it Increases Global Warming and greenhouse effects. It Increases in Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
- Wildlife Extinction & Habitat Loss: Deforestation ultimately leads to the endangerment and extinction of wildlife in an area.
- Acidic Oceans: more deforestation causes the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that results in an increase in the acidity of oceans
- The Decline in Life Quality of People: People receive less river or dam water, thus the reduction in agriculture that causes poor life in deforested areas.
- Forest-based industry: Industry driven by forest raw materials are severely affected by deforestation and can be completely wiped out due to deforestation.
- Increase in pollution: Deforestation increases carbon dioxide Cleveland other toxic gases.
- Loss of habitat of wild animals.
- Shortage of food and forest produce.
- Government regulations should be strictly implemented.
- Prohibition of clear-cutting of forests.
- Adopt Reforestation and afforestation practices to increase forest cover area of an area.
- Reduce paper consumption.
- Educate the community and create awareness through mass communication campaigns.
- Buy from sustainable and forest-friendly companies.
- Reduce the consumption of products subject to deforestation.
Benefits of forests in Points
- Forests support biodiversity.
- Forests provide timber and fuelwood.
- Wood pulp is used to make paper.
- Timber is used in building houses.
- Forests reduce CO2 and other pollutants from the air.
- Forests attract tourists.