Deforestation refers to the cutting of trees in large area, or destruction of forests by people. (Cambridge Dictionary) This is done through human activities such as logging, cutting trees for fuel, slash and burning agriculture, clearing land for livestock grazing, mining operations,oil extraction,urban sprawl or other types of development and population expansion.
Agriculture;according to the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change ( UNFCCC) Subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation, commercial agriculture 32%, logging 14% and fuel removals 5%.
Poverty: some argue that poor people are likely to clear forests because they have no alternatives and others even lack the ability to pay for materials and labour needed to clear the forests.
Population growth: This is due to high fertility rates which lead to increase in population and therefore a driver to population growth.
Corruption of government institutions: Some government in institutions illegally allow logging of trees through corrupt deals.
Urbanization: Forests are cleared to make buildings in order to expand the urban areas
Effects of Deforestation
Environmental Effects of Deforestation
Loss of Habitat: Refers to the loss of animal and plant species. 70% of Earths land animals and plants live in forests and can not survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.
Temperature Variation: Trees of the rain forests also provide the canopy that regulates the temperature. removal of trees would lead to drastic temperature variations from day and night much like dessert which could be fatal for current inhabitants.
Increased use of Green houses: Greenhouses release gases to the atmosphere which are fatal to human beings.
Less water in the atmosphere: Trees help control the cycle of water in the atmosphere with deforestation there will be less water in the air to be returned to the soil. This will cause dry soil and the inability to grow crops.
Soil Erosion and Flooding: Trees provide provide the rich nutrients to sustain additional forest life without them soil erodes and washes away. The barren land which is left is then more susceptible to flooding specifically in coastal regions.
Destruction of Homelands: Deforestation exposes the earth to whither and the habitats of the innumerable species to be destroyed. The indigenous tribes who depend on them to sustain their life also irreparably damaged.
How to Prevent Deforestation
Grow trees: In order to reverse deforestation individuals should start by growing trees in their own backyards, avoid cutting of trees and if at all trees need to be cut they should be old and ones that are about to collapse. while the younger ones are allowed to grow.
The government on its part should enforce a ban on cutting trees, fines and punishments should be imposed if rules to safe gourd trees are broken by anybody.
Spread Awareness: The government should stage campains and spread awareness on how deforestation has affected humans adversely. Presentation should be staged in schools and colleges on safe gourding forests.
Various non governmental organizations and community organizations should also take it upon themselves to involve the people in putting and end to cutting of trees.
Recycle: Recycle the products made from paper,plastic, and glass eg shopping bags,bottles and books. This will reduce the need for raw materials from trees.
Follow crop rotation: This involves using the same piece of land to grow two different kinds of crops instead of growing in two different pieces of land. This saves land and makes it more fertile lessening the need to convert forest land in to farmland.
Adopt Vegetarianism: Reduce the intake of meat or give up on it completely as a lot of crops and plants get wasted in feeding animals. Plants and trees get destroyed when animals are left to graze. Make your diet from fruits and vegetables this will save the environment and keep you in good health too.