Impact Of Deforestation On Earth And Our Surrounding
The famous author, Lindsey Leavitt said “Industrialization, pollution, deforestation--basically all human activity--has lessened the amount of magic left in the world.” And we couldn’t agree more. Every day looking at the various environmental issues that keep on rising due to various selfish human activities, we fail at justifying our existence as humans and more as the selfish giants. Deforestation is one such human activity which has earned us all humans the bad name. Though, we humans are getting aware and planting as many trees as possible to cover up for all our mistakes. We are also gifting green and bringing various greens indoors like money plant, jade plant, lucky bamboo plant, to name a few. But it is going to take some time and our continuous efforts to get our Mother Earth back on her feet - strong and healthy. But, let us know all about deforestation over this blog.
What is Deforestation?
We have come across deforestation meaning in our class 6th textbooks. Regardless of how educated, we are, we often keep causing harm to our Mother Earth and its surrounding natural creations. Deforestation is referred to as the process of cutting down trees due to carrying out activities like raising agricultural croplands, mining or urbanisation. Deforestation is said to have negative repercussions on our natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate. As per the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the annual rate of deforestation is around 1.3 million km2 per decade.
How Deforestation Affects The Environment?
To know what are the consequences of deforestation, we need to know its origin. Speaking of origin, there are many sources of deforestation, some include human activities, whereas some others are natural factors. Natural factors would include forest fires or some parasite caused diseases which can lead to chopping off the trees. But it has been proven that global deforestation is caused majorly by the sickening human activities. Such activities would include the creation of some infrastructure like roads, highways, malls, dams, etc. or to carry out some mining activities. Let’s dig into a bit of detail as you how each of these factors becomes the impact of deforestation.
1. Agricultural Activities
Believe it or not, agriculture causes around 80% of the total deforestation. It is caused due to all those local peasants undertaking subsistence agriculture in various developing countries. 40% of forest loss is caused due to commercial or industrial agriculture, which includes livestock and crops both. Quite surprisingly 14% of the global deforestation is caused by livestock too as often the owners of livestock need large farm-like space to provide them shelter.
2. Infrastructural Activities
Building some new infrastructure to attract tourists often results in causing deforestation. It attributes to a total of 10% forest loss to serve various purposes of a rich, human lifestyle which includes transportation, transformation and energy generation. Creation of new railway routes would require to cut down forest areas in order to provide better transportation facilities. Whereas even to collect various resources like coal, oil, natural gas, biomass requires the clearing of various forest grounds.
Rural population often shifts to urban areas for better job prospects and to improve their standard of living. As a result of which there is an exponential growth of housing and consumption sites which eventually causes deforestation. The urban way of leading a life therefore has been a bane rather than being a boon for all of us.
Impact Of Deforestation On Environment
Like said earlier, deforestation harms the environment and our various natural ecosystems on various levels. Let’s know why and how it is bad for our planet.
1. Threat To Biodiversity
Trees are home to various species of animals, which coexist along with us on this planet. If any one of these species tends to lose out on their habitat, it is sure to affect the entire ecosystem and its way of life. The interdependence or interconnectivity of one species on the other for food would be broken and imbalanced which is sure to have some serious threat of us, humans.
2. Affects The Lives Of Local People
Dense, healthy forests are known to support a population of 1.6 billion people. Cutting down those forests who snatch away their only source of livelihood and would thereby affect their lifestyle.
3. Chances Of Causing Food Insecurity
Many tribal or rural people who live close to forests often depend on forests for their supper. Forests offer many fruits, vegetables and animals which for them are meals to survive in this life. Without food how will these simple people survive?
4. Risk Of Causing Soil Erosion
The long roots of tall and dense trees in a forest saves the soil getting eroded due to some natural disasters such as landslides and floods. The forest soil is rich in its organic matter quality due to the trees standing tall and strong on them. When we cut the trees, they become more vulnerable to becoming fragile and washed away with any natural calamity.
5. Affects Climate
We all know that trees are a great storehouse of carbon dioxide. Being an important gas, carbon dioxide negatively contributes to climate change and global warming. But all these greenhouse gas emissions are under control due to the presence of trees and plants in our environment. If there would be no or less number of trees, then the environment and its climate would go topsy turvy. So, think about it!
Some Shocking Deforestation Facts
● Every single minute, we lose about 36 football fields size forests due to deforestation.
● When a forest is cut down, they emit carbon dioxide and contribute to 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
● By 2050, the global demand for food is said to get doubled up. Hence there is a dire need of having plants as a food source around us.
● Over 1 billion people who are poverty-stricken depend on forests of their food, shelter and livelihood.