Essay On Deforestation – Before human beings stepped on earth, the earth was full of forests. Then, Man lived in the forests for few centuries; he started forming groups. These groups culminated into civilisations. Next, he started building towns and villages whilst cultivating his own food. For this he need space and, so he started clearing the forests.
The removal of forests for non-forest use is known as deforestation; for example using of forest land for ranches, building complexes and farms. Presently, forests occupy a mere 30% of the earth surface.
Forests are cleared for many reasons – for wood that is used for fuel, for cultivation, for establishing colonies and/or for growing pastures for livestock.
Essay On Deforestation
Deforestation – Importance
Why is the issue of deforestation given so much importance these days? There are many reasons for it.
Forests provide lumber for making paper, houses, tables chairs etc. Forests provide employments to wood cutters and lumberjacks. Forests may also hold oil and coal; so deforestation is carried out to extract these precious resources.
But, deforestation leads to complex environmental issues. Forests are home to many animals and birds. They are also an important part of food chain.
Many animals lose their habitat when forests are destroyed. Many animals and plants may become endangered or extinct.
Plants are pioneers in rainwater harvesting and do not allow soil and water to run away. But when forests are removed soil erosion occurs. Changes in climatic conditions occur. Displacement of human population has also been noticed. Global warming is one of the biggest banes of deforestation. This in turn is leading to Atmosphere depletion of ozone. And so deforestation has to be stopped or limited.
Pros And Cons Of Deforestation
Some pros and cons of deforestation are listed under:
Deforestation increases the space required for human habitation. As population is expected to increase to 10 billion by 2050, man is always on the lookout for space and deforestation can provide space for commercial and domestic buildings.
Provides Materials Required By Humans
Timber from trees which have been cut are used for construction of buildings or furniture. Sap of some plants is used for manufacture of paper. Wood of some trees is used as fuel for cooking and other purposes.
- Provides employment
- Wood cutters or lumberjacks are employed to cut trees.
- Carpenters use the wood to make products like doors, windows, chairs etc. for commercial purposes.
- Some men are also employed to transport lumber to different parts of the world.
- Deforestation is carried out for establishing, farms and plantation. Some men find employment in these places as well. Thus deforestation creates employment for many persons.
- Provides pastures to animals
As the existing forests are removed growth of grass and other small plants occur. Animals that grow on farms graze in these forests and thus the farming, poultry and other ancillary industries develop.
Provides A Chance To Increase Food Grains
Since the forests have been cleared there is more space for cultivation. Food grains can be planted in the place where the forests once stood. Thus there will enough food for the whole humanity.
Generates Revenue Gives Way For Industrialisation
Deforestation provides revenue especially to the developing nations. The wood cut from the forests are sold, even imported for foreign currency. The deforested land is cultivated and the surplus produce can also earn for the exchequer.
Infrastructure development is also carried out at the sites of deforestation. Creation buildings, roads, bridges and power plants can help development of even underdeveloped countries.
Increases Carbon-dioxide Content In The Atmosphere
Photosynthesis is the process by the plants take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen during the day. Oxygen is the most vital element for living things. As the plants and trees are destroyed the oxygen levels decrease and carbon dioxide which is harmful increases. Hence deforestation is not good idea for the environment.
Other Environmental Concerns
Deforestation causes global warming. Every year the temperature of earth is increasing. Ozone layer, which protects us from harmful rays of the sun, is being depleted as trees are being cut in large numbers.
Trees such as oak reduced temperatures around themselves through a process called evapotranspiration. During this process the water absorbed by the roots of a tree is evaporated from its leaf. As this takes place the area around the tree experiences a decrease in temperature.
Causes Water Shortage And Drought
As forests are cleared livestock and cultivation increase. They consume more water an. Water is not recycled as it is done in the natural forest environment leading to droughts
Deforestation provides resources in the form of lumber, raw material for infrastructure and space. But this resource is limited because it is not easily renewable. Trees take years to grow and the existing resource is easily exhausted by deforestation.
Deforestation Causes Flooding
Trees absorb excess rain or ground water through their roots. Trees recycle water, protect water loss due to flooding, binds soil thus preventing soil erosion. But as deforestation takes place water and soil runs away to another region. Soil sediments increase and lead to floods in the plains. Thus deforestation is one of the biggest reasons for floods.
Causes Soil Erosion
As water floods the land it carries away the topsoil layer which is very fertile for cultivation. This is one of the biggest reasons for soil erosion.
Loss of Medicinal Plants and Herbs
Some forests in the Western Ghats, India are known for their medicinal value. Deforestation destroys these plants along with other trees and the treasure trove of medicine is lost for-ever.
Causes Extinction of Some Species
Some animals are on earth are rare and can thrive only in a particular habitat. Example Koala bears are native of Australia cannot adapt to any other climatic conditions. Elephants are endemic to India and Africa and do not survive in climates different from their regular habitat. There many such endemic and rare species which are unable to adapt to the new environment. This may lead them to extinction.
Short Term Gains
Deforestation gains are short term. In the long run, the environment is completely damaged.
Overall deforestation causes domino effect on the whole natural systems prevalent on earth since time immemorial. Biodiversity becomes extinct, loss of water and soil occur, drastic climatic changes occur globally and indirectly human life becomes difficult as ultimately, we are directly or indirectly dependent on nature for our sustenance.
Essay on Deforestation – Causes and Effects of Deforestation
According to the statistics provided by the UN, 48% of deforestation is undertaken to give space for farming activities. Next, about 32% of forest land is taken up for agriculture. Lumbering is the reason 14% of the deforestation takes place. Fuel needs percentage in this pie is about 5%.
Government apathy to the task of protecting forests is one reason why many forests are being destroyed. There are many loopholes in the existing laws which lawbreakers take advantage to cut trees. Population explosion, poverty and urbanization drives are other reasons for deforestation. People in want of money work hand in glove with law breakers to this end.
Measures to Control Deforestation
The first and foremost measure to control deforestation is Government intervention. When laws are made such that lawbreakers are severely punished, miscreants and law breakers will think twice before destroying forests. Long term measures in this regard will surely help our forests.
Trees should not be cut in full. Partial cutting of trees will help them grow again. This way, problems caused by deforestation can be reduced.
Also for every tree cut one or two more saplings are needed to be planted. Awareness programs to show the banes of deforestation can go a long way in controlling deforestation.
Conclusion of Essay on Deforestation
Deforestation is a very serious problem of today. Life is possible on earth only because of water and oxygen. Earth also has the right temperature for survival of living things. Presence of life has not been recorded anywhere else in the universe. So earth is precious. Trees help the planet to maintain its temperature, atmosphere and water levels. If these are changed, even slightly, the effects are drastic affecting animals as well as human lives. Our children may not live in pleasant climatic conditions like we have lived.
Hence if we live and let live, Life on this planet will change for the better.