Tuesday, February 16, 2016


By Anton Antonio
February 16, 2016

A common coffee table topic when people exchange views on the environment is deforestation.  But what exactly is deforestation?  Deforestation is the clearing of trees that eventually transform a forest into a cleared land.  Here is a researched material on deforestation… “Deforestation, clearance or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use.  Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use.  Tropical rainforests is where the common concentrated deforestation occurs.  Almost 30% of the world is converted by forests, excluding water mass.  In temperate mesic climates, natural regeneration of forest stands often will not occur in the absence of disturbance, whether natural or anthropogenic.  Furthermore, biodiversity after regeneration harvest often mimics that found after natural disturbance, including biodiversity loss after naturally occurring rainforest destruction.  Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees are cut down to be used or sold as fuel (sometimes in form of charcoal) or timber, while cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities and settlements.  The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity.  It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  Deforestation has also been used in war to deprive the enemy of cover for its forces and also vital resources.  Modern examples of this were the use of Agent Orange by the British military in Malaya during the Malayan emergency and the United States military in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.  As of 2005, net deforestation rates have ceased to increase in countries with a per capita GDP of at least US$4,600.  Deforested regions typically incur significant adverse soil erosion and frequently degrade into wasteland.  Disregard of ascribed value, lax forest management and deficient environmental laws, are some of the factors that allow deforestation to occur on a large scale.  In many countries, deforestation, both naturally occurring and human induced, is an ongoing issue.  Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record.  More than half of all plant and land animals species in the world live in tropical forests.  Between 2000 and 2013, 2.3 million square kilometers of forests around the world were cut down.  As a result of deforestation, only 6.2 million square kilometers remain of the original 16 million square kilometers of forest that formerly covered the earth.” (Wikipedia)

There are several (even confusing) data and statistics on the annual rate of deforestation from various sources.  More than establishing the deforestation rate, it is more important to acknowledge that deforestation happens every year.  And above all is the further importance of curbing, for the sake of future generations, deforestation.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2016).  “Deforestation”.  Retrieved on February 16, 2016 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation

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