Deforestation: It is defined as permanently cutting trees and clearing forest areas for land use purposes. The cleared area is then used for housing schemes, industries, farms, etc.
CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION
The causes of deforestation are listed below. Also, check out deforestation in Pakistan.
- Logging for firewood: Trees are cut for firewood. Many people depend on forests for their livelihoods. However, the cause of deforestation also includes illegal logging.
- Logging for Construction and Commercial Uses: Logging is often carried out for construction and commercial uses.
- Urbanization: Urban sprawl is one of the causes of deforestation. Increasing the human population leads to urbanization.
- Agriculture: Deforestation is also connected to agriculture activities. A huge land area is cleared for crop cultivation.
- Clearing Land for Grazing/Farms: Forest cover is often cleared for turning the land areas into farms.
- Mining: It involves cutting trees and clearing land for mining activities. The metal extraction process is quite destructive to the environment.
EFFECTS OF DEFORESTATION
Effects of deforestation are huge and encompass the whole ecosystem.
1. Climate Change: Deforestation leads to climate change and extreme weather events. The effects of deforestation are listed below.
2. Global Warming: The increased emission of greenhouse gases into the air is a major cause of global warming. Deforestation is also responsible for global warming.
3. Soil Erosion: The cleared land is more susceptible to soil erosion. Hence It reduces soil productivity leading to salinity and waterlogging conditions.
4. Floods: Trees prevent floods. Cutting trees will contribute to floods and infrastructure destruction on a large scale.
5. Habitat Destruction: Many species lose their habitat due to deforestation.
6. Changes in Water Cycle: The water cycle is disturbed by deforestation. Trees absorb groundwater and release it into the air and that’s how the water cycle works.
7. Species extinction: Many species on Earth have been gone extinct due to deforestation leading to habitat loss.
SOLUTIONS TO DEFORESTATION
Formulating and implementing laws against illegal deforestation is the key point to prevent deforestation, however, no such thing is actually practiced. Solutions to deforestation are listed below.
1. Protecting trees: Trees should be protected because they absorb carbon dioxide reducing greenhouse effects and release oxygen that is essential for human survival.
2. Reforestation/Afforestation: This is not the ultimate solution but reforestation/afforestation might help increasing forest cover.
3. Recycling: Recycling and reusing discarded material will reduce the burden on raw materials i.e. cutting trees for wood.
4. Land Use Planning: Deforestation can be controlled to some extent with adequate land use planning.
5. Laws and Regulation: There should be strict implementation of laws and regulations against illegal logging.
Forests are crucial for sustainable development. The earth has suffered so much since the industrial revolution. The importance of forests can be recognized from this point that forest cover combats air, water, and land pollution. The growing rate of deforestation is the triggering cause of climate change and the average surface temperature of the Earth has kept increasing. Now, the world is facing the consequences of human activities, although no adequate attention has been given to this subject.
Also, check out The Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture in Pakistan
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– MS Environmental Science
– Content Writer
Researcher, Nature Lover, and Environmentalist