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Deforest Ration

Deforest Ration

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Published by Dhanya Charitha

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Published by: Dhanya Charitha on Jan 20, 2011
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DEFORESTRATION:Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to thequality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world¶s land area, but swaths thesize of Panama are lost each and every year.The world¶s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation.Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money or to people¶sneed to provide for their families.The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cutforests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Often many small farmerswill each clear a few acres to feed their families by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as ³slash and burn´ agriculture.Logging operations, which provide the world¶s wood and paper products, also cut countless treeseach year. Loggers, some of them acting illegally, also build roads to access more and moreremote forests²which leads to further deforestation. Forests are also cut as a result of growingurban sprawl. Not all deforestation is intentional. Some is caused by a combination of human and naturalfactors like wildfires and subsequent overgrazing, which may prevent the growth of young trees.Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a lossof habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth¶s land animals and plants live inforests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.Deforestation also drives climate change. Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun- blocking tree cover they quickly dry out. Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returningwater vapor back into the atmosphere. Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest landscan quickly become barren deserts.Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun¶s rays duringthe day and holds in heat at night. This disruption leads to more extreme temperatures swingsthat can be harmful to plants and animals.Trees also play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming. Fewer forests means larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere²and increased speedand severity of global warming.The quickest solution to deforestation would be to simply stop cutting down trees. Thoughdeforestation rates have slowed a bit in recent years, financial realities make this unlikely tooccur.A more workable solution is to carefully manage forest resources by eliminating clear-cutting tomake sure that forest environments remain intact. The cutting that does occur should be balanced
 
 by the planting of enough young trees to replace the older ones felled in any given forest. Thenumber of new tree plantations is growing each year, but their total still equals a tiny fraction of the Earth¶s forested land.
Deforestation
is the clearance of naturally occurring forests byloggingand burning(popularlyknown as slash and burn).Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees or derivedcharcoalare used as, or sold, for fuel or as a commodity, while cleared land is used as pasturefor livestock, plantations of commodities,and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficientreforestationhas resulted in damage tohabitat, biodiversityloss andaridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestrationof atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforested regions typically incur significant adversesoil erosionand frequently degrade intowasteland.Disregard or ignorance of intrinsic value, lack of ascribed value, lax forest management anddeficient environmental laws are some of the factors that allow deforestation to occur on a largescale. In many countries, deforestation is an ongoing issue that is causingextinction, changes toclimatic conditions,desertification, and displacement of indigenous people. Almost one-third of the earth's land is covered with forest. They play an important role insustaining life. They house over 60% of the world's biodiversity and provide human beings withmany products such as food, medicine, fuel, lumber, paper etc. Aside from the numerous products that can be acquired from the forests, they also play very important ecological roles bystopping erosion, protecting the watershed, controlling stream and river flows, regulatingatmospheric conditions, and preventing flooding and landslides.But because of several reasons, this valuable ecosystem is rapidly disappearing in various partsof the world. Deforestation rates have increased since the 1980s. To date, according to theestimate given by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, a groupresponsible for the forests, deforestation rates have accelerated during the 1990s translating to10.14 million hectares of denuded forests from 1990-2000 and to 10.4 million hectares in the period of 2000-2005.Deforestation and forest degradation occur in response to policy, market and institutional signals.It is the result of the interaction of many environmental, economic, social, cultural and politicalconditions in any given region.There are two main causes of deforestation. The primary and most common reasons for deforestation are known as the direct causes. Logging, overpopulation, urbanization, damconstruction etc are under direct causes. The other main cause of deforestation is known asnatural causes since they are brought by the Mother Nature.Rapid population growth has resulted to the conversion of forest areas to non-forest lands for settlement and farming. Together with this is urbanization and residential area expansion. This
 
takes a significant loss of forest lands both for harvesting forest products as more people needmore lumber to build their houses and for developing the greater area their houses, malls, business centers will be built.An increase in population also means an increase in produce consumption. Thus, rainforests aredestroyed and converted to cattle pasture to supply the burgeoning demand for meat. In CentralAmerica, almost half of the rainforests have been slashed and burned for cattle farming in order comply with foreign demands. Twenty-five per cent of the Amazon's forests have also beendestroyed for cattle ranches.Lack of government legislation for land reforms has also cleared the forest especially indeveloping countries like of the South East Asian nations. People in that region are among the poorest in the world and are desperate for a piece of land. Unequal distribution of resources hasled these people to find their way to exploit the forests.Another reason that denudes the forest is exploitative economic development schemes and the powerlessness of government to safeguard its resources. Poor countries in their attempt toincrease their revenues are in a way exploiting their resources like the forests. Timber is exportedto reduce the national debt. Countries rich in mineral resources open their doors to multinationalmining corporations that clear the forests as they go with their operations. The governmentespecially those belonging in the Third World cannot curb commercial logging and implement atotal log ban in exchange to higher foreign exchange rates. Development projects like dams,roads, and airports contracted by the government also cause deforestation.While most causes of deforestation occur due to human activities, there are uncontrolled causesof deforestation such as forest fires, volcanic eruption, and typhoon.Forest fires are started by lightning, and strong winds help to spread the flames. Drought in theforest has increased the amount of flammable bush and debris on the forest floor. Forest firesdestroy immeasurable amount of valuable timber. They kill not only trees but also other livingthings.Meanwhile, volcanic eruption is one of the several natural forces capable of causing damage toforests. The ashes emitted during the eruption coat tree leaves, which then interfere with photosynthesis. Animal population is also devastated. The organisms that survive have to copewith the changed habitat and reduced food supplies.Last is typhoon. These are violent storms when fierce winds destroy much of the island's rainforest.People can only hope that the uncontrollable forces causing deforestation would not do greatdamage. However, right decisions and good actions must be taken to address the problems brought by the other reasons of deforestation where the cause and the end result is at the hands of the people.

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