Deforestation isthe action or process of cutting down the trees in a large area or thedestruction of forests. There are many causes of the deforestation such as bothillegal and legal logging, farming activities as well as poor land management.Deforestation has brought negative impacts too, which includes the damage toland, the extinction of plants and soil erosion. This essay will discuss thecauses and effects of deforestation.
First of all,legal and illegal logging including farming activities are the causes ofdeforestation (McLeish,2007). As the population increase, humans cut down many trees and clearforests to provide more fields for crops such as tea, rubber and oil palm (Pakenham, 2005; Golden andMiller, 1994). It is suggested that “to satisfy the need of the growingpopulation for food, fuel and land, the Mayas cut down more and more of thetropical forests on hillsides” (Pakenham, 2005, p. 7). Stenstrup (2009) states that slash and burn is oneof the techniques that have been used to clear the forest and convert it to theagricultural land. In addition, illegal logging activities occur in order to supplymahogany for luxurious furniture production (Golden and Miller, 1994). Since there are manydemands of mahogany and the price is high, mahogany logging keeps increasingsince the furniture company want to gain high profit.
Trees are not replantedafter the logging activities. Furthermore, Pakenham (2005) suggests that forests are clearedto provide lands for grazing livestock. The animals walk around to find foodand eat too many of the plants which led to overgrazing (Klissinger, 2002). As a result, it is clear that theseactivities are the causes of deforestation that can lead to many negativeimpacts even though there are many short-term benefits that can be obtained.
Secondly, poorland management is one of the causes of deforestation too (Klissinger, 2002). Mostfarmers use poor farming methods in order to meet the demands of food from theconsumers. For instance, they will use too much fertilizer and reduce thefallow period, as they want to increase the production of food to fulfill theneeds of consumers. (Klissinger,2002 ; McLeish, 2007). They alsouse the irrigation system, which is the application of controlled amounts ofwater to plants at needed intervals, to ensure the growth of their plants (Irrigation, 2018).
Theinefficiency of farming techniques and productivity happen since some of thefarmers only use old and outdated farm equipment due to the lack of funds.Hence, it is obvious that poor land management is the cause of deforestationeven though the methods can meet the demands of the consumers. The previousparagraphs have discussed the causes of deforestation. Therefore, the nextparagraphs will discuss the effects of deforestation. Firstly, poorland management results in the damage of the quality of land (National Geography, 2009, para.1). The infertility of soil occurs since the acids levels in the soil havedecreased due to the excess amount of fertiliser. The overuse of fertiliserswill lead to the contamination of water due to the release of nitrous oxideduring the denitrification process (Sustainable Baby Steps, 2018, para.
2). The contamination ofgroundwater can affect humans’ health that is linked to gastric cancer and hypertension.The fertilisers also consistof chemical substances such as carbon dioxide, ammonia and nitrogen, canincrease the percentage of greenhouse gases present in the environment(Sustainable Baby Steps, 2018). These situations will raise thetemperature of earth above what it should be and lead to the increase in globalwarming. Furthermore, infertility happens because farmers are not letting theland rests for a sufficient time causing the soil to wear-out. Additionally,the soil can no longer be used for farming since there is too much salt buildup in the soil because of the irrigation system (Klissinger, 2002). Irrigation systems decreasethe production of food as the quality of soil decreases and it becomes lessproductive. As a result, it is clear that poor land management decreases thequality of land and has many negative impacts in different aspects.
Next, theextinction of plants including soil erosion will occur resulting from the legaland illegal logging activities as well as farming activities. According to Golden and Miller (1994),as the forests are cleared, the numbers of medicinal plants that havepotentials to cure countless diseases have decreased. Moreover, as the trees are not replanted,there are no trees to hold the good soil, which can lead to soil erosion. Soilerosion removes the most productive part of the soil for agricultural purposes,which is the topsoil (QueenslandGovernment, 2016, para.
2). The loss of the topsoil makes it verydifficult or nearly impossible to grow the new plants. The soil will quicklydry-out too since there are no trees that can protect them from the sun. Inaddition, as a result of overgrazing, the rainwater could not be absorbed bythe soil because it is compacted due to the impact of animals’ hooves.Furthermore, overgrazing also led the regrowth of plants to become moredifficult and slow since the root system of native plants is damaged. The soilwill keep drying because of the insufficient amount of water and only fewerplants can grow. The land will become less productive and less useful due tothe overgrazing by farm animals. As a result, it is clear that these long-termeffects happen because of both illegal and legal logging including farmingactivities.
Finally, millionsof species lose their habitats because of the deforestation. The logging offorests means there are only a few trees left to block sunrays during the dayand hold in the heat at night (National Geographic, 2009, para. 2). This damaging disruptionleads to extreme temperature changes that are harmful to animals. Orangutans,giant pandas and rhinoceros are the examples of animals that lost theirhabitats as the forests have cleared (Emily Holland, 2017, para. 3). The lost of the habitats canlead to the extinction of the animals since many of them cannot survive thedeforestation that destroys their homes. Deforestation has destroyed manyforests, and as a consequence, many valuable species lose their naturalsurroundings.
To sum up, theseare the causes and effects of deforestation. It is obvious that logging andfarming activities as well as poor land management will lead to negativeeffects. The negative effects are the damage of soil, the extinction of plantsand soil erosion including the lose of habitat. It is important to ensure thesustainability of the forests as it will be beneficial for future generations.ReferencesMcLeish,E. (2007). What if we do nothing?Rainforest destruction.
London: Franklin Watts. Pakenham,K. 2005. Making Connections: a strategicapproach to academic reading (2nd edition).
Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. Stenstrup,A. (2009). Diminishing resources:Forests. Greenboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds Publishing. Golden,A.
and Miller, M. (1994). Rainforest destruction has reached crisisproportions, in Leone, B (Executive editor) Globalresource: opposing viewpoints. SanDiego, CA: Greenhaven Press Klissinger,E. 2002. “Which way will it go?” In ContemporaryTopics: 2. New York: Longman National Geography.
(2009). Deforestation and Its Effect on thePlanet. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.
com/environment/global- warming/deforestation/ Sustainable Baby Steps. (2018). Effects ofChemical Fertilizers.
Retrieved from http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/effects-of-chemical- fertilizers.html Queensland Government. (2018). Impacts of erosion.
Retrieved from https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/soil/erosion/impacts Emily Holland. (2017). Deforestation—Causes, Effects, andSolutions.
Retrieved fromhttps://futurism.media/deforestation-causes- effects-and-solutions