Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reasons for Deforestation‏

by Brian Jones

Deforestation is the cutting down of trees in a forest. With the current emphasis on climate change, deforestation has become an important global issue. It has been estimated that half of the world's mature forest have been cleared from 1947 up to the present. This means that an area almost as large as Brazil has been cleared of trees. In numeric value it is an area between 7.5 million square kilometers to 8 million square kilometers. Some scientists have estimated that by 2030, only ten percent of the forests will remain.

Nature's capacity to absorb greenhouse gases have been greatly diminished since there are less trees to absorb carbon. It is one of the compelling reason scientists worldwide have pointed out that the world is experiencing climate change. Also, the loss of the trees has changed forest topography. Erosion occurs more often and more easily. Another effect of deforestation is the loss wildlife living in those forests. Rare plants and animals have become extinct or face extinction because their forest habitats have been destroyed.

Why do people cut down trees in the forest?

One reason is that the wood in those trees are needed for human consumption. Paper, cartons and other paper products are processed from wood. Also, wood is used to build pieces of furniture like tables, chairs, cabinets, beds, etc. Wood is also used as a construction material. Sometimes wood is used as floor boards, walls, ceilings and house frames etc.

Another reason for deforestation is the demand for land. With the world's population growing by leaps and bounds, there is growing demand for land use for residential, agricultural and commercial purposes. Golf courses, resorts, housing projects, farms etc. have replaced some of the areas where there used to be forests.

Forest fires are another reason for deforestation. This occurs mainly in areas where there is little rainfall. Naturally occurring phenomena like lightning can cause forest fires. On the other hand, some forest fires are not naturally occurring. Activities like camping, hiking and mountain biking has made forests accessible to people. Irresponsible behavior inside the forest like not tending a camp fire or throwing a lighted cigarette are some of the reasons for forest fires.

Corruption of government institutions, the unequal distribution of wealth, overpopulation, urbanization and globalization are some of the root causes of deforestation. Another underlying issue with the first two reasons is that some contend that there are few incentives to shy away from logging and forest conversion. Government policies and the economic situation has made deforestation in some areas unmanageable.

Please visit these sites for more information about why deforestation happens: or when is the next leap year: in particular.

No comments:

Post a Comment