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Sep 2004 Kelberul (Holzkohlegewinnung im Regenwald - GNU-FDL selbst fotografiert) taken from Wikipedia Commons

Deforestation: Facts, Causes &

Deforestation is ridding the world of our forest lands and causing harm not only to
our environment but to the wildlife that inhabit the land as well. So why do we continue
to destroy forests and cut down trees? There are many root causes and drivers to
deforestation but scientist believe the number on reason is for agricultural business and
timber enterprise. These two alone are responsible for 10% of the pollution that is
causing global warming (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2011).
Common methods of deforestation are clear cutting all of the trees or burning
them. Clear cutting occurs when large amounts of trees are cut down all at once.
Burning them down is the quickest method and is also used in a slower process called
slash and burn technique (Bradford, 2015). The land will then be used to grow crops

and plant farms, the ash from the burnt trees will provide nutrients and help the crops
Deforestation is occurring all over the world but it is more seen prominently in
tropical forest areas. Countries that are most effected are Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand,
The Democratic Republic of Congo, and other parts of Africa and Eastern Europe. The
country seeing the most deforestation is Indonesia. This country has lost 15.79 million
hectares of land.
Deforestation has been happening throughout history but has increased rapidly
in the past 50 years. 90% of the continental USAs indigenous forests have been
completely removed since the 1600s. Much of the Amazon has been burned to make
room for cattle ranches and soy plantations. These are irreplaceable forests that are
being destroyed for humans economic gain.
While agriculture is probably the direct cause of deforestation a lot of what is to
blame is the growing population here on earth. With the 7 billion humans on earth today
brings upon a dependency for agriculture and other resources that are being rapidly
used up (Angelsen & Kaimowitz, 1999). The more the population grows the more
forests we will see being destroyed.
Roads and railroad, house, business, factories, and many other things are taking
the place of our forests. They are being built where forests once flourished. The part
that the population increase plays on deforestation is going to have a negative impact
on the populations survival.
Ending deforestation is one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to slow
down global warming. It is a complex problem and although there is no direct solution
there are things we can start doing today that will have an impact tomorrow. Companies
can introduce zero deforestation policies and clean up their supply chain (Green Peace,
2013). If corporations have the power to destroy our forests than they also have the
power to save them. If people came together to put pressure on big business we could
have an impact on saving the forests that we have left. The consumer has the final say,
and we could support the companies that are deforestation free. The power of purchase
can go a long way and it can even save our lives.

A big contributor to deforestation is politics. The best way to get results is to

change who we have in office. Politicians have the loudest voice and people will listen,
so it is important to elect the people who care about this issue into office. We can also
make little changes to our own day to day habits that can help make an impact.
Choosing to ride a bike or walk when you need to get somewhere, recycling, even
choosing to go vegetarian can make a big difference. (Savedge, 2009)

Works Cited
Angelsen, A., & Kaimowitz, D. (1999). Rethinkin the Causes of Deforestation: lessons
from economic models. 2-3.
Bradford, A. (2015, March 4). Live Science. Retrieved from
Green Peace. (2013). Retrieved from
Savedge, J. (2009, January 12). Mother Nature Network. Retrieved from
Union of Concerned Scientists. (2011, June). Retrieved from