Trees are one of the most important aspects of the plant we live in. Trees are vitally important to the environment, animals and mostly us humans. So deforesting them will cause local and global effects on the environment and therefore harming us as well. They are also important for the climate as they act as filters of carbon dioxide. Forests are known as habitats and shelters of millions of species. However, the trees on our planet are being depleted at very high rates.
The deforestation that has taken place due to human activity is as big as 50% of the whole planet. The main causes of deforestation is Ranching, Plantations, Logging, Mining, Road Building, Shifting Cultivations and for other commercial purposes. The destruction of the forests is occurring due to various reasons, one of the main reasons being the short-term economic benefits. Urban Construction is the main reason why large area of land is cleared. This involves cutting down of trees for lumber that is used or building materials, furniture and paper products which have a major impact on forest life.
Forests are cleared to accommodate expanding urban areas.
Road building is also included in these developments and one successful link is the Trans-Amazonian highway. This results in loss of forest area and massive deforestation. There are also local causes such as the Agricultural reasons. Forests are also cut down to clear land for growing crops, build farms, ranches and other food growing lands. The process of plantation is one of the causes which increased deforestation rates.
It clears a patch of land to grow crops by slash and burn. The patch is then deserted until the soil regains its fertility. While plantation clears land by burning it, Shifting Cultivation still is as bad as Plantations as a large agricultural area is usually used for growing one crop such as bananas, coffee, cocoa and rubber. This process is usually carried out by international and therefore deforestation again is for short-term economic benefits. A main harvest in Brazil is Soybeans. This type of growing brings huge amount of profit towards the government.
Even though most of the deforestation is caused for economic reasons there are some local/personal reasons such as Ranching. Large-scale cattle rearing-: because of this farms are huge to ensure there is enough grass to feed cattle. This gives land for cows to graze on. This is a main business as main retailers like McDonalds buy huge amounts of beef from places like the rainforest as they get it for cheap prices. Commercial Purpose for many large companies is another causation of deforestation. Companies clear forest for oil and mining exploitation to make highways and roads. Natural reasons are a big problem as well due to acid rain and wildfires which spread swiftly across large areas of forest land.
Forest fires can occur naturally or in most cases are deliberate attempts by man to clear huge deforestation. Most of the time, these forest may recover, but usually the cleared land is used for construction and agricultural purposes. This leads to loss of forest and loss of habitat for the local wildlife. Mining – removal of minerals from the ground e.g. copper, gold and iron ore form large mines require clearing of large forest land. Mining is a legal process but there is illegal logging to use timber for commercial reasons e.g. mahogany has a big market for furniture in MEDCs. In Brazil 80-90% of logging is illegal. The WWF, the worldwide fund (non-government organisation) said that 28% of the EU’s timber imports could be illegal. Therefore there are economic are local reason which causes deforestation.
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