Essay about deforestation | causes of deforestation
Deforestation is the clearance of forests, trees, and vegetation from an area for commercial purposes. Deforestation involves the conversion of forest land to ranches, farms, or urban use. Geographically, more than 4 billion hectares of the earth’s land surface is covered by forest which comprises 31% of its total land. As far as our country, India is concerned, about 71.22 million hectares of the area of its total land is covered by forest. Deforestation is more intense in tropical and subtropical forests. The history of deforestation dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. Since then, human activities are causing deforestation at a very high pace. As per the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, the universal rate of net forest loss in 2010-2020 was 7 million hectares/year. Deforestation is causing many harmful impacts to the earth, environment, and living beings.
Causes of Deforestation
One of the primary reasons for deforestation is agriculture which leads to around 80% of the deforestation. Farmers cut trees of the forest for cultivation for their livelihood and to fulfill the demand for food products which is ever increasing due to the increasing population. In rural areas, farmers and villagers cut trees for cooking and other purposes. After prolonged use, grazing lands become useless, so the villagers clear the forest areas for growing fodder. This also leads to deforestation in rural areas.
In the urban sector, the chief reasons for deforestation involve infrastructure development, housing needs, construction of roads, development of satellite townships, industrial and commercial purposes such as establishing power plants, constructing airports, expanding railway lines, etc. Pulp and paper industries, wood-based furniture manufacturing industries, mining industries, leather industries, etc. also require trees leading to deforestation. Due to overpopulation, more land is required to establish housing and settlements for which forest land is reclaimed.
Some of the other reasons leading to deforestation, like desertification of land, are also partly anthropogenic and partly natural. Many times, the waste released by the petrochemicals industries into rivers results in soil erosion making the land unfit for vegetation or growing trees. Hundreds of trees are lost every year due to forest fires globally. These forest blazes are sometimes caused by man and sometimes by nature, but in either case, result in a massive loss of forest cover.
Impact of Deforestation
Being aware of the causes of deforestation it is also pertinent to know about the impact of this deforestation. Deforestation disrupts the ecological balance that interferes with the lives of human beings and animals as well. The water cycle of the earth will also be disturbed if there aren’t enough trees left to absorb the water. It may lead to soil erosion, floods, and droughts. Global warming and the greenhouse effect are also disastrous impacts of deforestation.
As the prosperity and economic growth of a country depend, to a large extent, on its forest wealth, we should all take steps to prevent deforestation for the ecological balance. Our small contributions like decreasing the use of paper and, if needed, using recycled ones, planting trees in and around our habitats, will create a lot of positive impact on the environment and make our planet earth a better place to live.
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