Causes And Effects Of Deforestation

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Thirty percent of the earth is covered in forests and it plays an important role in providing food, fresh water, traditional medicine and shelter. Deforestation, which is clearing virgin forests or intentional removal of trees and other vegetation without replanting, has been aggressively executed. Nevertheless, these benefits are jeopardised as the level of deforestation is elevating drastically for the past few decades. This essay discusses the principle causes and effects of deforestation. Firstly, population growth is a major factor of deforestation because the demand for basic commodities such as food and shelter is likely to increase. Deforestation begins with human settlement escalating in near-forest areas which they produce their own food through subsistence agriculture. The use of traditional farming methods, the slash and burn technique by small-scale farmers is deemed destructive as suggested by Golden and Miller (1994, p. 14). This can be dangerous because these fires could expand and burn the remaining forested territories that they border and the affected soil is no longer suitable for farming. For instance, there was 62 000 square per kilometer of forest in Madagascar, but the current forest cover is only 10 000 square per kilometer (RAN, 1999). Moreover, trees are chopped down to be used as fuel as some people have no other alternative source of energy for daily routines such as cooking and boiling. When nearby trees are not available, they travel further
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