Deforestation: [Concept, Causes and Solutions]

Among the ecological problems that are most occupying the attention of all people around the world isdeforestation.

For this reason, today we wanted you to know a little more about everything that this concept represents and the real problems that it will bring to humanity.don’t stop her right now.

What is deforestation?

Deforestation is a process by which man eliminates tree plantations that exist to use the land for other purposes.

Imagine that you live in a wooded area and one of your favorite plans is to walk through the paths that have been made together with your community.

Now imagine that this area is cleared for a dairy factory.

Surely you will get a benefit from milk and fresh cheese daily, butIs this change really positive?

The fact is that there are many more elements to this matter than the simple fact of eliminating a few plantations.

You have to know that its formation takes years, that many living beings live there who will now be homeless and that a good part of the oxygen you consumed comes from there.

deforestation isa sensitive issue at the momentbecause the wood is quite valuable for man, because through it a great variety of products are obtained.

In addition, population growth makes space more and more necessary to build new homes. So, if we continue at this fast pace, it would not hurt to think, what will we have left in the end?

Why are forests destroyed?

The World Bank estimates that some 10 million square kilometers of forest have been lost since the early 20th century.

In the last 25 years, forests have shrunk by 1.3 million square kilometres, an area larger than the size of South Africa. In 2018, The Guardian reported that a piece of forest equivalent to the size of a football field is lost every second.

Agriculture and Livestock

Deforestation often occurs when a forested area is cut down and cleared to make way for farming or grazing.

The UCS reports that only four commodities are responsible for tropical deforestation: beef, soybeans, palm oil, and wood products. The UCS estimates that an area the size of Switzerland (38,300 square kilometers) is lost to deforestation each year.

Natural and man-made fires

Natural fires in tropical forests tend to be rare but intense. Man-made fires are commonly used to clear land for later agricultural use.

Valuable wood is harvested first, then the remaining vegetation is burned to make way for crops such as soybeans or cattle ranching.

In 2019, the number of human-caused fires in Brazil skyrocketed. In August 2019, more than 80,000 fires burned in the Amazon, a nearly 80% increase from 2018, National Geographic reported.

The palm oil problem

Many forests are cut down to make way for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is the most commonly produced vegetable oil and is found in half of all supermarket products.

It’s cheap, versatile, and can be added to both food and personal products like lipstick and shampoo. Its popularity has prompted people to cut down tropical forests to grow more palm trees.

Cultivation of the trees that produce the oil requires the leveling of native forest and the destruction of local peat bogs, which doubles the damaging effect on the ecosystem.

According to a report published by Zion Market Research, the global palm oil market was valued at $65.73 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $92.84 billion in 2021.

What are the main types of deforestation?

types of deforestationThey are classified according to the purpose pursued to make use of the land.

This has evidenced 4 main types:

  • Industrial.
  • Agricultural
  • Mining.
  • other human purposes.

In this sense, it is important to know how each one proceeds and the impact they are currently generating.

industrial deforestation

It originates from the search for raw material to make a modification that results in other products.

In this case, it is common to find it in industries dedicated to the manufacture of furniture or paper production, for example.

It is one of the types that has caused the most damage worldwide sincedoes not respect reproductive cycles,the wildlife that lives there, nor the lifetimes of the plantations.

Industrial deforestation is too harsh on wild flora and fauna.

agricultural deforestation

It consists of the cleaning that is carried out of a land to be used in other types of crops.

Depending on the efforts made by the farmers, it can lead to some benefits, such as if large plantations are used for rubber extraction.

However, in most cases individual goals are pursued that end up in a disproportionate exploitation of the land.causing it to not be reusable in the future.

Deforestation by mining

mining is one ofThe main problemsthat the soils and, therefore, the plantations face.

This is because these exploited resources are generally intrinsic in the soil and people do not care about the damage it will cause to the soil.

In these cases, what matters is the enrichment that will be obtained, without the damage produced playing a greater role.

Deforestation for other human purposes

At this point, very varied reasons are handled that can include the growth of production land, the construction of new houses, the creation of roads, etc.

Although they generally occur in smaller numbers than the above types, they still cause ahuge negative impact.

What are the consequences of deforestation?

It is evident that a problem as serious as this brings with it a series ofconsequences in many areas of the environment: atmosphere, land and biodiversity.

The idea is, then, that we can get to know each one and understand the importance of combating its effects, knowing that it is not only harmful to us but also to future generations.

Effects in the atmosphere

Plants have certain functions in maintaining life on the planet.

The atmosphere, on the other hand, isthe protective layer that the earth hasagainst the effects of the sun and other space elements.

So it happens that part of the good management of the plants is evidenced in the maintenance of the internal climate andair purification giving it high oxygen content.

In the first case, it is noted that one of the problems that is most affecting the world at the present time is global warming.

The fact is that the loss of vegetation as a result of deforestation causes the Carbon Dioxide present in the environment to be treated too little by little,generating more heat.

This not only affects that extent, but also causes solar radiation to remain longer in the environment and, therefore, damage due to the greenhouse effect advances.

It is also clear that when an area is devoid of vegetation, the soil tends to heat up more easily due to the direct action of the sun.

On the other hand, we must be aware that everything in nature is concatenated, so other elements such as water and wind are also affected by deforestation.

effects on earth

There is no doubt that the land is directly linked to the damage caused by deforestation, since it is precisely the land that keeps all the plantations alive.

But the impact does not end here, as it is common to find that the loss of tree protection accelerates their erosion.

In addition, depending on the purpose that is expected to be promoted with the use of land, the most common is that it is subjected to different processes.

Soil erosion is capable of affecting it up to leave it dry and without useful properties,but also causing sediments to move to other sites.

With this, it is possible to observe how riverbeds and other hydrographic sources are also affected.

Effects on biodiversity

We understand biodiversity as the set of flora and fauna that coexist together in environments.

When deforestation is present in them, the first thing it does is eliminate all the plant species that used to live there.

But they also leave homeless all the species of fauna that inhabited it, counting from the largest to the microscopic ones that move on the ground.

They also cause an indescribable negative effect on the soil and the microbes that live in it and that perform a specific function in the areas, such as combating pollution.

It is also necessary to consider the fact that many species may be in danger of extinction or have significant properties that may be useful to humanity in medicinal matters, for example.

The point is thatThis damage is practically is not enough to plant a tree in one area when another has been totally devastated.

How do you fight against deforestation?

Today they have deviseddifferent methods to combat this problem.

In the opinion of the experts, some of them are giving real positive results, so it is worth doing your review.

emission reduction

In this case, it is a measurement that is carried out by agreement between the countries attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in terms of emissions resulting from deforestation.

According to it , countries with higher levels of emissions from deforestation are expected to progressively reduce them by promoting incentives for this.

The initiative of the electric car company Tesla also has this as one of its main objectives.

Payments for forest protection and property transfer

It is a practice that has been advanced in some parts of the world,giving good results.

What is sought is that the owners of land with forests obtain economic benefits for caring for and preserving them.

In addition, it is something that is convenient for them because they have this advantage added to other sources that come from the areas, such as honey production.

In this sense, another good way that has been found to combat deforestation is that the guard and custody of the areas are in charge of the indigenous populations.

They develop their lives in direct contact with nature and their main interest is to care for and protect it.

New cultivation methods

Innovation has not only reached electronic equipment, since today it is possible to use different cultivation methods (such as hydroponic cultivation) that are not directly linked to deforestation.

With the use of greenhouses, good food production results have been obtained and they are reusable areas.

A similar case applies to home gardens, where although production is not very high, it helps curb commercial consumerism.

Another good way is by making use of organic farming, where food production is promoted without causing enormous damage to the soil.

This system avoids the use of chemical substances that are harmful and instead reinforces the plantations with organic compounds that provide nutrients.

Among the other methods used in this matter, there are alsoartificial forests.These have been created by man but with their natural processes they once again offer suitable conditions for living beings to develop.

Many advances are still needed in this matter, since not only is it enough to combat it, but also to work towards recovering everything that has been lost and that is possible with the implementation of reforestation and the planting of trees.

However, the pace of deforestation is much faster and it is essential to stop it before it becomes unsustainable for humanity.

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