What are the major causes of deforestation?
Deforestation is a dreadful threat to our environment.
The phenomenon is a reason behind the ongoing climate change – which is considered a global concern.
Also, it puts several wildlife species at risk of extinction.
But what are the causes of deforestation? Let’s try to understand.
Simply put, deforestation is the permanent removal of forestsacross the world. While it’s done throughout history, the amount has increased manifolds over the last century. A report has shown that our planet has lost around 420 million hectares of forest since 1990. Needless to say, that the phenomenon is taking a heavy toll on the environment, and the effects are quite evident all around us. In this article, we will discuss some of the factors that cause deforestation.
Agriculture: Agricultural activities are recognized as the most significant reason behind deforestation. In fact, industrial agriculture contributes to more than 80% of the total deforestation worldwide. And due to the increasing demand, more and more forested lands are being converted into agricultural plantations.
Illegal Logging: Industries like paper, fuel, furniture, etc. are heavily dependent on wood. So, due to growing demands, some companies thrive on illegal logging which is a major contributor to deforestation. Be it Brazil, Indonesia, or even India – millions of trees are cut each year to meet the requirements.
Mining: With the rising demand for minerals, the number of mining projects (especially coal mining) has increased a lot across the world. These projects usually require huge land in tropical forests. Also, mining is associated with the construction of roads, railway lines, power stations, etc. – which is a major reason behind deforestation.
Forest Fires: Forest fires are another reason why millions of trees worldwide are lost each year. It can occur due to several reasons – both natural as well as human activities. The Amazon rainforest has seen some massive fires over the last few years.
Urbanization: With the growing population, the cities are getting expanded all over the world. So, more and more forests are cut to build roads, buildings, and more. A recent study has shown that around 70% of the global population will live in cities by 2050. So, it’s evident that the condition is only getting worse with time.
Climate Change: Deforestation is not only a cause but also a result of ongoing climate change. The extreme changes in our climate damage the forests to a large extent. Also, it ruins the soil quality – which is also affecting the normal growth of the trees. What’s worse is that the scenarios are getting worse each passing day.
Some other causes are Farming, Livestock Ranching, Timber Extraction, etc.