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Deforestation Devastation Tiojanco

Deforestation Devastation Tiojanco

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Published by: api-3706215 on Oct 17, 2008
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The Baiji is a mammal much like a dolphin. Does it sound familiar? It doesn’t, right? That is because Baijis are considered functionally extinct. Same goes for the Western Black Rhinoceros, Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus and the Caspian Tiger. How about the climate, have you noticed anything different? It seems that there are so many changes with the climate: Increased humidity, weather unpredictability, and extreme temperature changes. And what’s with the news recently? Excessive flooding, landslides, and soil erosion are occurring more frequently nowadays. These events that are currently happening in our world are truly alarming. But what could’ve caused these? The answer is deforestation.

According to Wikipedia, deforestation is “…the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land”. These converted lands are then used for commercial purposes like cattle-raising, real estate, and farming to name a few. Also, deforestation is considered as the result of excessive removal of trees without reforestation, which then results in declines in habitat and biodiversity, wood for fuel and industrial use, and quality of life.

          

Prehistory Pre-industrial History Agriculture Cattle Raising Dams and Megaprojects Fires Commercial Logging Shrimp Farming Mining Oil and Gas Plantations

 Deforestation

for agricultural purposes is probably the most common among all causes of Deforestation.

 When

used for this purpose, forests are totally cleared away so that there will be a grazing land for the cattle for six to ten years. And since the cost of land is cheaper in South America compared to the United States, many companies have chosen to set-up cattle business in South America.

A dam is a barrier that divides water. Its purpose is to retain the water or redirect the flow to other routes. Dams affect many ecological aspects of a river. Rivers depend on the constant disturbance of a certain tolerance. Dams slow the river and this disturbance may damage or destroy this pattern of ecology. The water contained by the dams can cause flooding to the surrounding area, most of which are forest areas. The trees affected by the flooding eventually die.

 Many

developing nations practice what is called slash-and-burn agriculture. This form of agriculture attempts to take advantage of nutrients stored in forest land to grow crops. Unfortunately, the forest areas in these countries are most often tropical forests, and in tropical forests most of the nutrients are stored in the planet matter itself – and not in the ground.

In Southeast Asia and Africa, commercial logging is recognized as the primary cause of deforestation. On a global scale, commercial logging is responsible for destroying around 5 million hectares of land annually. Logging roads allows people who do not own land to enter the forest as in Africa wherein 75% of land being cleared by peasant farmers was land where logging has occurred before.

Mangrove forest are characterized by low tree diversity, almost all of them are mangroves, with a low broken canopy. They are found in silt-rich, saline habitats worldwide, usually along river deltas, estuaries and coastal areas. Mangrove forests are ideal for shrimp farming because of their location and perceived low-cost value. The Environmental Justice Foundation estimates that as much as 38% of global mangrove deforestation is linked to shrimp farm development.

 Large-scale

mining operations, especially those using open-pit mining techniques, can result in significant deforestation through forest clearing and the construction of roads which open remote forest areas to transient settlers, land speculators, and smallscale miners.

The construction of gas pipelines affects the forests. This is the case in the Lawachhara National Park in Bangladesh. In a report, the environmental activist Philip Gain describes how oil giant Unocal is setting a gas pipeline through the Lawachhara National Park, posing a major threat on that unique patch of forest. Previously, there were cases in Magurchhara and Tengratila wherein gas pipes caused explosions and fires as these could surely be disastrous to the Park.

Cash crop farming is also one of the culprits of deforestation. In Third World countries, it is considered a major part of the so-called development and is causing a huge deal of deforestation. The best pieces of forest land are converted to cash crop plantations to earn export income. Extensive areas of Brazil and Thailand now provide feed for Europe's cattle, much of it at the expense of the rainforest. In Malaysia, over 3.5 million hectares of forest have been cleared for rubber and oil palm plantations. Worldwide, between 1.2 and 5.5 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually to grow and cure tobacco.

 Biodiversity  Water

Cycle  Soil Erosion  Landslides  Atmospheric Pollution

 According

to the Haribon Foundation, the Philippines have the world’s most rapid and massive deforestation. Commercial logging and mining have caused so much destruction in the Philippine forests.

During the 1900’s, an estimated 21 million hectares of forest cover is in the Philippines, roughly 70% of our total land area. Fast forward to 1988, less than a century later, the country’s natural forests have dwindled down to 6 million hectares. Then a decade later, the once lush cover of green became a mere 800,000 hectares of forest land. Currently, the deforestation rate in our country is 2% per annum

1900s, 70%

1988, 23%

2010, 6%

 Farming  Forest

Management  Reforestation  Forest Plantations

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