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Running head: DEFORESTATION
The Issue of Deforestation
The Issue of Deforestation
The global ecosystems are very dynamic. Therefore, the changes in the ecosystems
cannot be avoided. The environmental changes are fueled by natural as well as factors that result
from the activities of people. Some of the most common factors that have been studied so far by
scholars include the high rate of the growth of human population and the economic activities that
people participate in to facilitate their lives and the lives of people in their families. The factors
have grown to a level that is so alarming and therefore can no longer be ignored. The quality of
many aspects of the natural environments is reducing rapidly in the recent times. There is
pollution in the air, the water, and the soil because of the high rates of tree cutting. Another
primary source of environments pollution if the current world is emissions from industries and
engines such as vehicles as well as burning fossils. Forest depletion occurs by mechanisms that
include both deforestation as well as degradation of the existing forests. To discourage the
harmful practices that make the planet unsafe to live in, it is essential to discuss the various
issues independently. Deforestation, as already established is a big problem that needs to be
solved. However, to resolve the issue, it is crucial that scholars understand the importance of the
forest covers and various aspects of the problem to appreciate that the problem is going out of
The trees are essential for various reasons. Therefore, cutting them down is the invitation
of significant problems in the lives of organisms that live in the world. One of the importance of
trees is the assimilation of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and therefore purifies the air that
animals and other living things breath. Plants, unlike animals, use the carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere to make their food (Longobardi et al., 2016). Therefore, they purify the air and
reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is introduced into the atmosphere by animals and other
factors like burning fire. Trees are also important in holding the soil together and therefore
prevent erosion. The absence of trees causes the soil to be loose and consequently prone to
erosion and leaching. Also, forests are homes to many organisms. The diverse forests are home
to many types of birds and other forms of wild organisms that depend on the forests for their
food and shelter as well as protection from predators. Trees are also known to attract rainfall.
Forests across the world provide the atmosphere with water vapor that falls as rainfall. Therefore,
it is clear that forests are critical despite the fact that people put other needs before them and curt
the trees. People cut down trees to solve problems that look urgent to them forgetting that the
role of the trees is also critical and important for their survival.
Several reasons lead to the problem of deforestation. As already established like other
environmental changes, the high population growth and economic needs of people are central to
the problem. The high populations in countries of the world have led to people needing to clear
more land for their settlement. Countries in Africa, South America, and Asia have an enormous
population and keep increasing their populations due to inadequate family planning methods and
therefore created the need to clear forests and settling in them (Longobardi et al., 2016). The
population explosion has also led to the need for more food, and therefore more forest space has
been converted to farmland. In Brazil, for example, large portions of the Amazon rainforest have
been converted to ranches to increase the amount of food that is produced both for local use and
export. According to Hahn et al. (2014), some of the leading reasons for the deforestation of
parts of the Amazon forest in Brazil is the growth of cattle production as well as farming of
beans in the fertile lands that were once covered by the forest. Farming accounts for the removal
of about 28,000 km2 per year. Hahn et al. (2014) also say that by the year 2008, the everincreasing need for farmland has led to the removal of about 70 percent of the forest cover that
was there before 1970. Economic reasons for the destruction of forests include mining and
logging (Assunção, Gandour & Rocha, 2015). Miners of gold and other minerals in Africa and
other parts of the world clear the forests to get the precious metals from under the surface of the
earth. Logging is common in Brazil and therefore contributes to the deforestation that is common
in the southern country of the American continent (Nepstad et al., 2014). Other structures that are
important for the growth of the economy have also been built after deforestation. For example,
roads require that the ground cover be cleared for the construction can begin. Also, needs such as
fuel lead to the cutting of treats. Charcoal is an example of a fuel that is common in Africa and
other parts of the world.
There are several issues associated with the removal of forests. The first problem is the
social and cultural problem. For the indigenous communities, the excessive removal of forests
may result in the loss of traditional and cultural knowledge that concern the use and protection of
woods in ways that are sustainable (Culas, 2009). Even though communities benefit from the
cutting of trees, the harms on the society are more than their gain. The excessive cutting of trees
makes it hard for people to survive as the wood that they previously used for timber is no longer
available because of the cutting down of trees in ways that are not sustainable. Therefore, it is
clear that deforestation is dangerous for both the forest dwellers and the people in urban places.
Deforestation is also associated with the reduction of biodiversity on the planet. Forests
are the home to many types of plants and animals. Therefore, the organisms depend on the forest
for their habitat. Hence, when the forest covers are reduced or degraded, the plants and animals
that rely on the forests become exposed to vulnerable situations. Because about 80 percent of the
organisms in the world are found in the tropical forests, deforestation is very dangerous, and it
causes a substantial threat to biodiversity (Burns, Kick & Davis, 2015). The Amazon, for
example, is the home of unique species of plants and animals that require the forest to survive.
The anaconda, for instance, is snakes that are rear in other parts of the world but found in the
Amazon rainforest. The snakes need the forest because it is not only their source of food but also
their shelter as they camouflage trees and therefore survive away from other organism and
human beings that may trouble them. The rainforests are also home to many insect species that
depend on nectar from flowering trees and their cover to survive (Longobardi et al., 2016). The
reduction of the cover of trees means that the space for the living of the organisms is reduced and
not only are they forced to be congested, if the deforestation continues, but they may also have to
leave the forests and be exposed to hunters and other predators such as humans.
The release and accumulation of gases cumulatively called greenhouses gases is another
effect of deforestation (Burns, Kick & Davis, 2015). Forests are the most prominent reservoir of
carbon dioxide on the planet. Therefore, the trees in forests absorb and filter the excess carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere. The removal of carbon dioxide is essential in the regulation of the
temperatures of the atmosphere. The incerase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the air results in
the trapping of warmth in the air and therefore creating the effect called the greenhouse effect.
The cutting of trees reduces the assimilation of carbon from the atmosphere especially in the
time when there is a lot of fossil fuel being used. Trees shield the planet from the adverse effects
of greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gases cause high temperatures that in turn result in climate
change. There are already effects of greenhouse gases (Longobardi et al., 2016). The impacts of
the inability of the available trees to absorb the greenhouse emissions from industries, domestic
uses and respiration of organisms include the melting of ice in the mountain tops and the
increasing of the sea levels in places that border the seas of the world. The current climate
change that is evident in the world threatens to not only cause the extinction of different species
that exist on it but also promise to make the lives of humans worse in the future.
Deforestation also causes direct effects on the climate and therefore directly fuels climate
change. One of the ways is that deforestation leads to there being no tree cover and thus
increases the evaporation of water from the ground (Burns, Kick & Davis, 2015). The
evaporation of groundwater contributes directly to desertification of places that were ones wet.
The existing deserts are also growing as the result of the increased evaporation of water from the
surface of the planet. Trees are also known to bring rain through the evaporation of water from
their leaves. In the absence of trees, the evaporation from leaves does not happen (Longobardi et
al., 2016). Therefore, the atmosphere dries leading to further droughts due to lack of adequate
rainfall in deforested regions of the world. If deforestation continues, the combined effect of
evaporation of water from the soil as well as the lack of sufficient rain will turn the world into a
big desert. Desertification of the world will be dangerous to all living things including human
Another adverse effect of deforestation is an increase in soil erosion as well as leaching
of nutrients to deeper parts of the earth and rivers (Burns, Kick & Davis, 2015). Trees are
important because their roots grow and spread in the soil to hold the soil together. In places
where the earth is loosely held together such as places where the soil is sandy, trees are the ones
that prevent the topsoil from going with the water of the rain and other sources. However, the
cutting of trees for the various reasons is leaving the soil exposed. Logging and farming in lands
that were previously forested loosen the soil and therefore expose it to rainwater (University of
Maryland, 2015). The rainwater then carries the earth from their initial position to other parts of
the world such as oceans and rivers. Soil erosion leads to the reduction of fertility in the soil as
well as landslides during heavy rains. Such events are dangerous to people because they lead to
people losing their lives and property.
In conclusion, deforestation happens because of the high population growth in the world
as well as the economic needs and greed of people. High populations lead to the demand for
more land for cultivation and living. Regarding economics, the need for commodities such as
timber and minerals from the forests lead to the need to cut down tries to pursue the economic
interest of people. However, the truth is that the negative impacts of deforestation are more than
the gains. The negative effects of deforestation are long-lasting. They include the long-term
climate change, the reduction of the diversity of species due to the potential extinction of some
living things, and the loss of the cultural heritage of some people. Other adverse effects such as
the greenhouse effects and reduction of rainfall in the world may cause further adverse effects.
Therefore, it is clear that deforestation is a problem that requires being solved urgently.
Assunção, J., Gandour, C., & Rocha, R. (2015). Deforestation slowdown in the Brazilian
Amazon: prices or policies?. Environment and Development Economics, 20(6), 697-722.
Burns, T. J., Kick, E. L., & Davis, B. L. (2015). Theorizing and rethinking linkages between the
natural environment and the modern world-system: Deforestation in the late 20th century.
Journal of World-Systems Research, 9(2), 357-390.
Culas, R. (2009). The Causes and Consequences of Tropical Deforestation: A
Review. ResearchGate. Retrieved 16 February 2018,
Hahn, M., Gangnon, R., Barcellos, C., Asner, G., & Patz, J. (2014). Influence of Deforestation,
Logging, and Fire on Malaria in the Brazilian Amazon. Plos ONE, 9(1),
Longobardi, P., Montenegro, A., Beltrami, H., &Eby, M. (2016). Deforestation Induced Climate
Change: Effects of Spatial Scale. PLOS ONE, 11(4),
Nepstad, D., McGrath, D., Stickler, C., Alencar, A., Azevedo, A., Swette, B., … & Armijo, E.
(2014). Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef
and soy supply chains. Science, 344(6188), 1118-1123.
University of Maryland. (2015). Deforestation is messing with our weather and our
food. Sciencedaily.com. Retrieved 16 February 2018,
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