Causes and effects of deforestation are one of the most significant environmental issues. Deforestation refers to the destruction of a forest permanently to use it for various reasons such as industrialization, urban developments, agriculture, mineral & oil extractions, etc.
Many forest lands are being destroyed across the world to use it for various purposes. Since the industrial age started, the man increases the rate of deforestation at a faster pace. As a result of this, millions of animals have lost their home.
Deforestation not only seized animal habitats, but it is also a threat to the environment. It is the high time to stand together and find out the solutions to tackle this environmental issue, i.e. deforestation. Awareness is essential to find out the preventive measures for deforestation and for that, we need to understand deforestation in detail.
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What are the Causes and Effects of Deforestation?
Various reasons lead to deforestation. Most of the time deforestation takes place due to man’s interest to satisfy different needs such as logging, timber production, mining, development, etc. Some of the major causes of deforestation are –
- Deforestation due to population growth
More land is in demand for housing and other settlements with the increasing rate of population. It requires more place to fulfill the needs of various accommodations for population growth, such as food, housing, timber, households, etc. To achieve all these needs, deforestation takes place.
- Deforestation due to logging
It is one of the common reasons that cause deforestation. Wood industries such as paper, match-sticks, furniture, etc. need a massive supply of wood.
Most of the time, logging takes place illegally to supply wood in such a considerable amount to the wood-based industries. Apart from this, wood is also a kind of fuel for cooking.
- Deforestation due to agricultural expansions
The conversion of forests land into agricultural farms is causing deforestation at an alarming rate. Huge lands are required for farming activities to perform such as plowing, planting seeds, growing crops, etc.
Due to the increasing demand for food products worldwide, many forest lands are deforested to supply the requirements.
- Deforestation due to mining
Mining needs vast lands such as forest lands to perform various activities. Mining not only related to the causes and effects of deforestation but also related to causing pollution.
The pollutants that spread through mining in the environment in various means cause hazardous effects to the nearby places.
- Deforestation due to timber production
Production of timber is one of the primary reasons that cause deforestation. The demand for timber is increasing day by day, which is directly connected to deforestation.
Forests are the only source to produce a tremendous amount of timber for various uses. The demand for wood is increasing quite rapidly, simultaneously the area of forest lands are shrinking gradually.
- Deforestation due to forest fire
Forest fire destroys vast areas of forest land. It not only destroyed the vegetation of forest land but also hampers the natural habitats of millions of wild animals.
More causes of deforestation are:
- Road constructions contribute to deforestation.
- Livestock farming also hampers the forest ecosystem. It leads to deforestation to use the land for livestock farming purposes.
- Trees are cutting down to use it as a fuel for various purposes such as cooking, etc.
- A massive amount of trees are getting destroyed to make paper that we use every day in different ways.
- Many forests have been cleared for palm oil plantation. Palm oil is used in various products like shampoo, lipstick, as a food item, etc.
- Apart from the forest fire, some other natural causes lead to deforestation are hurricanes, floods, parasites, etc.
What are the effects of deforestation?
Causes and Effects of Deforestation not only affects the wildlife quite severely but also affects the environment in various ways such as:
- Greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is one of the main effects due to the cutting of countless trees every year. Trees help in maintaining the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere.
This balance has disturbed due to the loss of millions of trees. Deforestation is also causing the release of other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is a big reason for global warming.
- Soil Erosion effect
We all know that trees help in binding the soil together to protect it from erosion. Due to excessive deforestation across the globe soil erosion is occurring at a higher rate.
Due to deforestation, the soil is contacting with the heat of Sun directly and losing the moisture & nutrients. Soil erosion affects the irrigation system and hydroelectric infrastructure on a large scale.
- Imbalance in the water cycle
The trees also help to control the level of water in the atmosphere. It helps in regulating the water cycle properly. Due to deforestation, the level of water in the atmosphere is decreasing quite rapidly, which is another big reason to worry.
- Acidic oceans
The oceans become acidic when the level of oxygen is less, and the level of carbon dioxide is more in the water. Causes and effects of deforestation are one of the main reasons for acidifying the ocean water, which is affecting the Eco-system of oceans adversely.
- Loss of natural habitat
One of the most severe effects of deforestation is the loss of animal and plant species due to loss of habitat. Forests are home for numerous species of animals and plants, but unfortunately, this habitat is getting lost due to the cutting of trees.
Other effects of deforestation includes:
- Deforestation is a significant loss of the biodiversity of the planet.
- It is one of the major reasons for various species to become endangered.
- Deforestation also affects the tourism industry, and as a result, the economy of the country will also be affected.
- If deforestation continues like this, the day will come when all the rainforests of the planet will be destroyed within less than 100 years.
- We will lose the natural remedies (used for medicinal purposes) available in the rainforest due to deforestation.
Preventive Measures of Deforestation
Let’s not lose hope; we can still protect our earth by applying possible preventive measures or solutions to deforestation –
- Educational campaigns
It is possible to combat deforestation through awareness. Educational campaigns can only be a good example of awareness about deforestation. Awareness helps to find out the solution to tackle deforestation.
Reforestation is a process of planting trees in a forest land where the trees have been cut for some reasons. We all need to understand the importance of reforestation and implement it to save the environment.
Planting of trees can reduce various causes and effects of deforestation, global warming, greenhouse effect, pollution, etc.
- Following the rules & regulations
There should be strict rules & regulations against those who are involved in the deforestation activities in anyways. The people also need to be dedicated to following these rules & regulations because it is everyone’s responsibility to save the environment.
- Use of renewable forest resources
We can grow trees as a source of wood from secondary growth forests. The use of sustainable local wood sources and charcoal for cooking or heating is an excellent alternative of fossil fuels (provided it comes from local sources).
- Reduce the consumption of paper
Choose recyclable paper products, such as printing paper, notebooks, napkins, toilet paper, etc. To reduce the wastage of paper we can make a habit of taking a print out on both the side of a paper and even write on both the side of your notebook.
If we can limit the use of paper products, we can reduce the reasons of deforestation to some extent.
Other measures to stop deforestation are:
- Prefer to buy products from sustainable companies like Asian pulp & paper, Hershey, Wilmar international, Loreal, Unilever, Disney, etc. These companies are committed to minimizing deforestation.
- If we can minimize our consumption, we will be able to treat the deforestation problem to some extent. For example- reduce the use of products that contain palm oil, etc.
- Implement the process of recycling or prefer to buy recycled products.
- We should Prefer to consume vegetarian food whenever possible.
- Prefer to purchase certified wood products. Make sure you check the labels & FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) mark before purchasing any wood product.
- Prefer to buy Eco-friendly products.
Besides all these points discussed above for the preventive measures of deforestation, you can add your creative way to stop cutting down the trees.