Read Complete Research Material





Definition and Background

Deforestation is the process of chopping down trees in a forest. There are a lot of reasons why money should be used to protect forests. Deforestation is done by people in order to make space for human activities like agriculture or constructing buildings, resorts and much more. Deforestation has been occurring since thousands of years and is caused by numerous reasons. Normally, it is done due to an increase in the population or for the purpose of obtaining food and wood. Food and wood are both important means of getting fuel and building material. Most developing countries indulge in deforestation, because the need for open space, fuel and building material is more (Barnes et al, 1998, pp. 01).

Deforestation has numerous impacts on the environment. Firstly, it affects the climate and is one of the biggest contributors toward the greenhouse effect. Deforestation results in a reduction in rainfall, and alteration in the amount of sunlight that is reflected from the surface of the Earth. It is one of the major causes of forest fires as it dries out the soil in the surroundings. Deforestation is seen to worsen soil erosion. A proper growth of trees is essential for biodiversity and maintenance of the soil's quality (Kaufmann and Cleveland, 2008, pp.02).

People need to understand that deforestation should be done only when highly necessary. Even in the necessary conditions, a sustainable approach to deforestation should be used in order to preserve the maximum number of trees (Freedman, 1995, pp. 01).

The history of deforestation dates back to around eight thousand years. The extent of reduction of forests is different from country to country. The most affected areas of the world are the continents of Asia and Africa, particularly in the tropical areas of the regions. There is no answer to how much deforestation has been done in the world. Direct methods involve going into the forest and measuring how much has disappeared. Remote sensing involves collecting data by satellite, without going into the forest. Remote sensing tends to give lower measures of the rate of deforestation than direct methods.


Causes of Deforestation

There are many causes of deforestation, related to either the trees themselves or the land where they grow. The need to use forests tends to be more pressing in developing countries. Wood has long been used as a source of fuel and building material. Globally, wood is a multi-billion dollar industry, accounting for about 2% of the world's gross domestic product. North America and Scandinavia are important areas where deforestation occurs to harvest timber. Around half of wood harvested is used as fuel, the other half for building, paper manufacture, and other uses. In many African countries, wood is the primary source of domestic fuel (Begon et al, 1990, pp. 02).

Clearing forests for agriculture is perhaps the most significant cause of deforestation. This is normally done by a slash-and-burn approach, where the farmer burns up the trees and vegetation to create a layer of nutrient ...
Related Ads