Friday, March 27, 2015

Causes of Forest Loss and Degradation

by Antonio C. Antonio
March 27, 2015

Loss of forest cover is defines as a stand-replacement disturbance or a change from a forest to a non-forest state. On the other hand, forest degradation is broadly defined as a reduction in the capacity of a forest to produce ecosystem services such as carbon storage and wood products as a result of anthropogenic interventions and environmental changes.

Causes of forest loss and degradation are usually categorized into direct and underlying or root causes.  There really is a big debate and diverse worldviews on which causes (direct or root) account for forest loss and degradation.  These will be enumerated below but please note that the identification of the causes subsequently implies the solution.

The roots causes of forest loss and degradation are a combination socio-economic and political in nature.  These are:
  •  Poverty;
  • Uncontrolled population growth;
  • Market and trade systems for forest products; and,
  • Macroeconomic policies.

The direct causes of forest loss and degradation can be attributed to land use applications.  These direct causes are responsible for habitat degradation, which along with overharvesting of wildlife, leads to reduction of wildlife populations.  These are:
  • Overharvesting of forest products;
  • Poor management of production forests;
  • Overgrazing;
  • Fire and other natural calamities;
  • Insect pests and diseases;
  • Extreme climactic phenomena; and,
  • Air pollution.

These causes (enumerated above) are the root and direct causes of forest loss and degradation.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at

No comments:

Post a Comment