Effects and Causes of Deforestation of Rainforests
Aimanhusna binti Sabani
Mr. Gerard Brennan
The Principal Effects and
Causes of Deforestation of Rainforests
is the clearing or removal of a forest or area of trees in order to use the
land for other activities. Deforestation is a critical as no country in the
world has succeeded in tackling the issue perfectly, despite the never-ending
efforts made. The long-lasting effects of this
matter are indeed, enormously negative, therefore it is pivotal for humans to
explore the wide variety of effects and causes of deforestation of rainforests
worldwide. This essay will explore the effect of population rate, logging, and
agricultural activities towards deforestation. Next, we will be examining the
link between the three causes with loss of species, land quality, and
Population growth is a significant cause
of deforestation, in which a high density of people in certain areas results in
land shortages. When land supply is limited, people have no other choice than
exploiting another area of land by cutting off trees in the forests. There is
also a linkage between the number citizens and the demand for food and other
raw resources. As the population rise, people will demand for more food in
order to survive. Consequently, people are desperate to convert forests into
agricultural land to cater for their basic needs. On the other hand,
urbanization is one of the vital cause deforestation for the reason that
migrant families are forced to move out of their residential areas, as a result
of high population densities (Anon, 2012).
A theory that is believed to be a
contributor to deforestation is the conduct of commercial logging by firms. This
is caused by today, developing countries are yet to develop national consensus
on ways to unravel the issue of rainforests, and this is definitely a concern
for environmental activists. Unnecessary political disorganization also leads
to various corruptions among high-rank officials, and violation of human
rights. Devastating reports on illegal loggers continuously harming forest
rangers and indigenous people are also a fact that one should not ignore
(Golden and Miller, 1994). In the race to gain as many profit as possible, firms
selfishly cut off trees in tropical forests despite the limit set by
governments. Firms perform logging to get high quality wood such as mahogany
and rosewood, which then will be produced to be building materials and
furniture (McDonald, 2008).
The final cause of deforestation is
commercial agriculture, and this is what triggers further destruction of
forests. Expansions of roads and other infrastructures meant for mining
attracts farmers and ranchers. The existence of these infrastructures makes
forests more accessible to the public. Subsequently, farmers and ranchers start
exploring the forests, clearing the land, and settled there to conduct
agricultural activities. Commercial agriculture includes tea, rubber and oil
plantation. In fact, farmers in South East Asia clear almost 5,000 square
kilometers per year (Golden and Miller, 1994). Concerning the increasing demand
of agro-industrial crop, agricultural activities in the forests are not expected
to slow down in the near future. Consumer demand encourages producers to
produce even more because they are aware of the fact that prices will hike.
there is endless debate over the rate of deforestation and its implications,
researchers as a whole agree that the growth of the human population and the
economic factors are largely responsible. The
results of the stated activities were immediate, posing harm to the ecosystem,
land quality, and indigenous people.
First, it is known that deforestation
destroys natural habitats and species. Relatively, when the habitats are
destroyed, living things in forests are at the risk of extinction. One study, which assumed a
conservative total of 2 million species living exclusively in the tropical rain
forests, estimates that between 4000 and 6000 species a year are currently
being driven to extinction (Wilson, 1989). This may cause a loss of a variety
of species needed to create resistant crops, which in the end will benefit
human. Moreover, tropical species are excellent sources of medicinal drugs.
Currently, the top five species that is believed to cure disease is suffering
because of destruction in their habitats. Some plants, on the other hand,
provide substitutes for diesel. An example of this is the Copaifera tree species (Pakenham, 2005). If these trees are
preserved, humankind will not have to worry about the limited resources
available to date.
slash and burn method degrades the quality of soil. The soil gets infertile,
thus making it unsuitable for farming. As a result, farmers may move to another
deforested area to ‘start fresh’. Lands are often used for a short period of
time, and it cannot support intensive agriculture anymore (Stenstrup, 2009).
Additionally, tremendous deforestation results into the failure of soil support
that was supposed to be from trees’ roots. When the soils is not supported or
hold, this leads to horrible mudslides and flooding (Golden
and Miller, 1994).
These disasters are seen to harm not only the species in forests, but also a
threat to human’s lives.
addition, massive deforestation destroys the homelands of indigenous people,
especially in the Amazon. Indigenous people, in this context, are those who
live in rainforests by depending on natural species. Obviously, their wellbeing
is under threat. Statistics showed that an average of 4.5 million indigenous
people used to live in rainforests, but to date only 500,000 of them are left. As
if damaging their homeland is not bad enough, Awá tribe in the Amazon were distressed when
they found out that armed loggers have been killing their children and
families. Hired gunmen are said to be killing any of the Awá tribe who stood in
the way of loggers (Chamberlain, 2012). The loss of food resources and disrespecting
the culture are impudent consequences from the acts of the unlawful loggers. It
is clear that deforestation is raising threat to the endangered tribes in the
conclude, the event of high population, logging, and agriculture is undoubtedly
catastrophic: habitats of various species and indigenous people as well as the
conditions of land are projected to cause more harm than good. It is vital that
governments play their roles in solving this issue without unnecessary
bureaucracy. Conceivably, greater awareness and care for forests could be a
large contributor to the society and environment.
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