Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Effects of Deforestation

By Andrew Steve

According to the UN statistics, our planet's forest area is estimated around 30% of the total land area. When we compare that to the total forest area during the 17th century, it was more than 50% of our land area. It is a sad fact that we are losing forest area of the size of Panama each year [480 mi]. At the present rate of deforestation, environmentalists fear that we could lose all the beautiful rainforest within a hundred years.

Forests are cleared for many reasons, but most of them are for agriculture, money and industrial expansion. Other factors for deforestation are papermaking, furniture, and laying roads.

Besides man-made causes, some natural factors also contribute to deforestation. Forest fire, volcanic eruption and earthquakes are some factors that destroy forests. However, humans hold prime responsibility for the rapid destruction of forests on our planet. Stringent laws were enacted, by various governments to protect our green resources in this world. Several sanctuaries have been created and brought under legal reserve. Besides these eco-friendly initiatives, the rate of deforestation is not declining. Almost an acre of forest is cleared each day for various reasons.

Deforestation is having huge impacts on our environment, such as global warming, climate change, and greenhouse effects. Deforestation not only destroys trees but also the entire eco-system including the animals, birds and other living species. Trees play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and helps us in reducing the effects of global warming. Without these oxygen factories, it is very difficult for humans to live on this planet.

The best way to save trees is to stop cutting them for various purposes. Planting trees and re-forestation activity helps in saving our planet, but it should be done globally. Each citizen has to take an active part in growing new trees. Effectively managing the present forest area and minimizing the usage of forest products such as paper and wood products will help in saving trees worldwide. Adopting a good recycling method for forest products is also a viable solution to stop deforestation.

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