Deforestation involves permanent destruction of forests and the land used for non forest uses such as urbanization and agriculture. Deforestation in the world results to loss of an estimated 18 million acres of forest each year. Deforestation is also the reason why about half of the tropical forests in the world have been cleared, and forests cover only about 30% of the world’s land mass (Chakravarty 4). The effects of deforestation are far reaching where loss of forest covers contributes to an estimated 15% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions significant contribution to global warming. Trees play a major role in the water cycle; deforestation causes less rainfall and desertification. Deforestation also causes increased soil erosion and loss of biodiversity.
The main cause of deforestation is Agriculture. Forest land is cleared by man and used in subsistent farming as well as commercial agriculture for large scale cash crops such as soy, palm oil and cattle ranching. Man also causes deforestation through logging; where trees are cut down to provide logs and timber for different uses (Chakravarty 14). Trees are also cut down to provide fuel wood for firewood and charcoal. Man also clears land for urbanization to keep up with globalization and also to house the ever increasing population.
Chakravarty Summit, Ghosh,C., Suresh,P., Dey,A., Gopal Shukla. “Deforestation: Casuses, Effects and Control Strategies.” Global Perspective on Sustainable Forest Management. 2012.
Moutinho Paulo , Schwartzman Stephan. “Tropical deforestation and Climate Change.” Amazon Institute for Environmental Research. 2005.