You are on page 1of 3

CONSEQUENCES OF DEFORESTATION

In some cases, deforestation can be beneficial. Given the right mix of social needs, economic opportunities, and environmental conditions, it can be a rational conversion from one type of land use to a more productive one. The tragedy lies in the fact that most lands that have been deforested in recent decades are not suited for long-term farming or ranching and they quickly degrade once the forest has been cut and burnt. Unlike the fertile soils of temperate latitudes, most tropical forest soils cannot sustain annual cropping. The carrying capacity of the soil ill not support intensive annual cropping ithout rapid, irreversible degradation. !imilarly, intensive cattle gra"ing cannot be supported because grasses gro n on forest soils do not have the same productivity levels as those on arable soils. In fact, there are very fe forested soils in developing countries today that are available for future agricultural expansion, underscoring the urgent need to increase agricultural production on existing farmlands rather than converting more forests to farms. In many cases, political decision-makers kno ingly permit deforestation to continue because it acts as a social and economic safety valve. #y giving people free access to forested lands, the pressure is taken off politicians to resolve the more politically sensitive problems that face developing countries, such as land reform, rural development, po er-sharing, and so on. $onetheless, the problems do not go a ay. They persist as do the in%ustices associated ith them. The social consequences of deforestation are many, often ith devastating long-term impacts. &or indigenous communities, the arrival of 'civili"ation' usually means the destruction of their traditional life-style and the breakdo n of their social institutions. Individual and collective rights to the forest resource have been frequently ignored and indigenous peoples and local communities have typically been excluded from the decisions that directly impact upon their lives. (any of the indigenous peoples of the #ra"ilian states of )ma"onas and *ond+nia have been encroached upon by slash-andburn farmers, ranchers, and goldminers, often resulting in violent confrontations. The intrusion of outsiders destroys traditional life styles, customs, and religious beliefs. ,atersheds that once supplied communities ith their drinking ater and farms ith irrigation ater have become sub%ect to extreme fluctuations in ater flo . The loss of safe, potable ater puts communities- health at risk for a variety of communicable diseases.

999 million tons or about =0 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions are a consequence of deforestation and forest fires 1. )nnual discharges from burning fossil fuels are estimated to be about @. deforestation disrupts normal eather patterns. all potential future revenues and future employment that could be derived from their sustainable management for timber and non-timber products disappear. mostly from the burning of fossil fuels. ho ever. 7robably the most serious and most short-sighted consequence of deforestation is the loss of biodiversity. . The negative consequences of global arming are catastrophic -. carbon dioxide has a high capacity to absorb radiant heat 1.oodall. The antiseptic phrase 'loss of biodiversity' masks the fact that the annual destruction of millions of hectares of tropical forests means the extinction of thousands of species and varieties of plants and animals. This is due to the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. It is thought that an additional =. )lthough there is some debate about the rate at hich the atmosphere is arming. The principal cause of global arming is the excessive discharges in industriali"ed countries of greenhouse gases.increasing drought and desertification. melting of the polar ice caps. a consequence of our limited kno ledge of tropical forest ecosystems and our inadequate monitoring systems. 34406. and displacement of ma%or vegetation regimes. #y destroying the forests. coastal flooding. 34456. !ome estimates put the annual loss at 09. many of hich have never been catalogued scientifically. :eforestation is eroding this precious resource of biodiversity. crop failures. )lthough it is less than 3>=9 of one per cent of the earth-s atmosphere. 2o many species are lost each year8 The exact figure is not kno n. :eforestation is an important contributor to global arming.U! /0 billion 12ansen.In economic terms. mostly in the form of carbon dioxide. there is general agreement that it is arming. The amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere is estimated to be about ?99.999 million tons and is increasing at the rate of about 3 percent annually. &ragmented stands of trees left during deforestation are usually not large enough to be self-perpetuating in terms of maintaining even an altered balance of biodiversity.. its contribution relative to the other factors is not precisely kno n. degree <elsius increase per decade in global temperatures over the next century 1<iesla. 34456. 344=6.<&!:. The currently accepted models predict a 9. creating hotter and drier eather. hich has risen by about =0 per cent in the last 309 years. )t the regional level. the tropical forests destroyed each year represent a loss in forest capital valued at .999 million tons of carbon.999 separate species but this is an educated guess at best.

resulting in extreme cases in desertification. :esertification is the consequence of extremes in climatic variation and unsustainable land use practices including overcutting of the forest cover. often resulting in disastrous do nstream flooding..999 to . or =9 per cent of the orld-s population. This can negatively affect the soil by increasing its compaction. t o billion people. about one-quarter of the orld-s land area. !ubsequent cropping. &resh ater and coastal fisheries are devastated by the high sedimentation loads carried by the rivers. It affects about . and overgra"ing by livestock accelerate the degradation of the soil. Gro ing populations are making everincreasing demands on the land to produce more. frequent tillage. The long term impact of deforestation on the soil resource can be severe.099 million hectares. 344/6. The economic and environmental costs are staggering. the same atersheds lose their capacity to regulate stream flo s and experience rapid fluctuations in stream and river levels. &ood security is threatened as irrigation ater becomes scarcer.Unfortunately. efforts to find solutions to the deforestation crisis has not been as success in capturing investment money as have improvements to automotive exhaust emissions. leading to an intensification of use beyond the carrying capacity of the land. Ance denuded.ater shortage is a ma%or health risk in terms of inadequate se age disposal. ill suffer from ater shortages 1. land degradation has become an increasingly serious problem. In the dry forest "ones. leeching out its fe nutrients available. and threatens the livelihoods of 499 million people in 399 countries of the developing orld. #y =909. increasing its aluminum toxicity of soils. <learing the vegetative cover for slash and burn farming exposes the soil to the intensity of the tropical sun and torrential rains. . !edimentation from degraded atersheds is also one of the principal causes of the decline of coastal coral reefs.ithout the protection of the tree cover. soils are exposed to the rigors of severe tropical climates and are rapidly eroded.. .*I. making it marginal for farming. as are ildlife-rich etlands. poor personal hygiene. and insufficient potable ater. reducing its organic material. (ost of these people ill be living in developing countries. .