Last Updated on March 15, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
The process of removing the trees permanently for creating space for something other than the forest is referred to as deforestation. This process comprises utilizing the timber for fuel, cleaning the land for grazing or agriculture, manufacturing, or construction.
The occurrence of most actions of deforestation is in the tropical rain forests for creating large land’s swaths for plantations, farming, etc.
As per the World Wildlife Fund, about 30% of the land surface of the Earth is covered by the forests. The provision of fuel, medicine, and food for billions of people is made possible via these forested zones. Throughout the world, around 13.4 millions of people are provided with jobs in the sector of the forest, and around 41 millions of people possess jobs concerning those forests.
As per the National Geographic, around half of the forests in North America’s eastern region, up to the late 1800s from 1600s were cut down for farming and timber. Nowadays, tropics are experiencing deforestation. Regions that in the past couldn’t be accessed, are now accessible due to the construction of new roads via the thick forests.
At usual, the occurrence of deforestation is in case of the cutting down and the clearance of the area of the forest for creating space for grazing or agriculture. As per the reports of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), four merchandises are chiefly accountable for the deforestation in the tropical reasons viz. wood products, palm oil, soy, and beef. As per the estimation of UCS, each year, land of size as big as Switzerland is vanished due to deforestation.
Deforestation is also an aftermath of the fires lit naturally or via human activities. The occurrence of natural fires is rare, but fires are lit by humans while clearing the land for using in agriculture. As per the report of National Geographic, about 80% of the cases of fires were found to be increased in the Amazon from 2018 to 2019, leading to the occurrence of 80000+ fires that year.
As we hear the word deforestation, we think of it negatively. However, several positive aspects to it are the prime reasons for the continuation of deforestation. Hence, before concluding this process evil, one should briefly evaluate the below-listed pros and cons for acquiring a clear insight on its short as well as long term benefits and drawbacks.
Pros of Deforestation
Many may disagree but deforestation does grant several benefits to a wide variety of people, which might be the prime reasons for its continuation. Those benefits are presented below:
1. Agricultural Land
With the removal of the forest, the attained space is advantageous to use for generating the resources of food that would support us in the coming future. For the growing population, this practice can aid in providing access to the resources of freshwater via the production of more applicable agricultural lands.
2. Commercial Wood
The cutting of the trees helps in creating lumber and various kinds of products of wood. To the plants from the saps, their utilization can be made for creating paper and several other requirements. Also, with deforestation, people throughout the world can have the facility of paper and timber that are of immense importance nowadays.
Usually, people working in the clearing of a forest possess no other opportunities of job, meaning, deforestation is serving as a means for those workers to feed and care their families with the needed financial aid.
4. Higher Revenue
Deforestation generates a strong revenue source for governments throughout the globe. This deforestation procedure aids in stimulating several economies, basically in the developing countries. With the availability of land through deforestation, farmers generate crops, leading to greater levels of taxation in products and property.
5. Industrialization and Civilization
Wide areas of the forests throughout the globe aren’t utilized, the conversion of which could be done into sites of agricultural benefit for feeding thousands of homeless and starving people. A small portion of these forests can also aid in booming the economy through the development of huge infrastructures.
Cons of Deforestation
Deforestation leads to several challenges, which affect the nature as well as the living organisms. Those challenges are illustrated below:
1. Increased Violence
With deforestation of a certain portion of the rain forest generates a dispute within the authorities to claim the area. Regardless of the protection of the government, people with great wealth and high influence could resort to violence for making that land theirs, leading to genocide.
2. Erosion and Flood
Deforestation leads to the cutting down of the trees, without which the land can’t absorb water effectively as greater stability is offered by the trees to the soil. With the poor absorption of water, the land gets overworked and leads to the generation of greater levels of erosion and floods due to the absence of any stopping means against the flow of water.
Via deforestation, greater levels of the consumption of water are encouraged for raising crops and livestock. Water is removed from its natural recycling cycle by going to the production of livestock and food, resulting in the expansion of drought.
4. Restricted Resources
Benefits like timber, farms, and livestock aren’t permanent as with deforestation, the raw material for the production of timber gets extinguished, leading to the restriction of the supply of those resources. On a planetary scale, the thriving forest might be profitable than the farms and livestock, resulting in the limitation of its use.
Deforestation is the removal of a forest where several endangered species of animals and plants reside. With the absence of a home to shelter them from danger, those species could easily extinct with the forest, affecting the food chain and all other living organisms, including us.
To summarize, deforestation, as it sounds, is an evil deed to nature and the coming generation. Regardless of the benefits it offers like higher revenue, opportunities for job, higher-earning chances, agricultural lands, etc., these short-term and materialistic profits doesn’t last long, and following these comes a load of challenges and calamities that hamper the nature and the organisms living in it for long-term.
However, the need for extra space for fulfilling the demands of the growing population is also a truth, and regardless of its effects, deforestation aid in making that possible. Hence, we people need to find an alternative of evolving together with the nature for limiting the extinction of wildlife and reducing the environmental challenges for the future generation.