Deforestation may be described because of the large-scale elimination of bushes from forests (or different lands) for the facilitation of human activities. It is a severe environmental difficulty because it is able to bring about a lack of biodiversity, harm to herbal habitats, disturbances in the water cycle, and soil erosion. Deforestation is likewise a contributor to weather extrude and worldwide warming.
● Forests combat climate change by absorbing greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) and acting as carbon storehouses.
● They are a source of oxygen, food, clean water, and medicine.
● They play a vital role in the water cycle – they work to add water to the atmosphere via the process of transpiration.
● Forests help mitigate the disastrous effects of floods by acting as a floodwater sinks. Therefore, deforestation also increases the vulnerability of the landmass to certain natural calamities.
● The large mass of trees in forest areas combats soil erosion by providing mechanical support to the soil.
● Forests are home to over 50% of all known species on the planet. They account for over 80% of the land-based biodiversity. Globally, forests are home to approximately 30,00,00,000 human beings.
● They are also a source of raw materials for many commercially important products such as paper, wood, and fabric.
● Approximately 1.6 billion jobs are forest-dependent. Forests also account for approximately 1% of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product).
Data behind Deforestation
● Forests cover approximately 31% of the total land surface of the Earth.
● Tropical forests harbor over half of all land-based animal and plant species in the world.
● Between the years 2000 and 2012, over 568 million acres of forest have been claimed by deforestation.
● Approximately 9 million acres of virgin tropical forest were cut down in the year 2018.
● The Amazon rainforest, which is the source of 20% of the world’s oxygen supply, loses approximately 1.32 acres of its area every minute due to deforestation.
According to the secretariat of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), agriculture is the root cause of 80% of deforestation. Logging accounts for another 14% and the cutting of trees for use as wood fuel account for 5%. A pie chart detailing the driving cause of the deforestation of tropical forests between the years 2000 and 2005 is provided below.