Deforestation: A Threat to Environment

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The unplanned and unwise removal of forest trees is known as deforestation. Deforestation can also be defined as physical destruction of forest vegetation that may cause by human intervention or natural disasters. The common methods of deforestation are cutting off trees, clearing of forest lands for agriculture practices and pasturing. The most concentrated forests in the world are tropical rain forest which is almost cleared 50 percent which has caused a great risk for the extinction of many wild species including animals and plants.  Most countries of the world are seriously facing the problem of deforestation but the most significant are developing countries, which include Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in south Asia. Other countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Democratic republic of Congo parts of Africa and some parts of Eastern Europe and central Asian countries facing the problem of intensive deforestation. It has been estimated that 12 to 15 million hectares of lands are deforested every year which is alarming situation for our environment. About 87 percent deforestation occurs in tropical rain forest which is a threat for global environment. Trees are the great source for carbon sink, component of water cycle in environment and filtrates for the underground water. There are different causes of deforestation but most of them are related to the needs of people like fuel wood and in some areas the forest wood is also a source of income for many families. It has been estimated that about 5 % deforestation occur due to fuel wood.  Forest are cut down by farmers for growing crops as the demand of food is increased day by day for increasing population. Globalization is also one of the major causes of deforestation. Increases in population need more land so cities and towns are extended and forest are cut down to clear land. Trees are also cut down for developing pastures so that farmers can meet needs of fodder for livestock. Logging operation is also continues for the production of wood for paper and other wood industries requirements. Forests are also cut down for developing urban sprawls. Some natural causes of deforestation are earthquake, forest fires, overgrazing by wild animals which prevent growth of young generation of plants. In most developing countries the forest trees are cut down by smugglers to get easy cash as there is no better management of forest lands. Deforestation has many negative effects on our environment and thus it is a serious threat to our environment. The most significant effect of deforestation is the loss of habitat for many wild animals and plants. It has been estimated that about 70 percent of animals and plants live in forest and due to deforestation the homes of millions of species have been damaged. Deforestation expose soil to rainfall due to which infiltration becomes less and floods in water channel produce which is serious threat for human, plants and animals. Deforestation also leads to soil erosion and thus top fertile soil can be loss. Global climate changes due to deforestation and our climate become abnormal. Forest has great role in maintaining water cycle. The disturbance of water cycle has brought many climatic changes in the world. Deforestation can increase the concentration of greenhouse gases due to which global warming is increasing continuously which leads to many life threating diseases. Deforestation may adversely affect water quality as water of precipitation is filter by trees during infiltration. Deforestation in developing countries produce different resource crises obtained from forest. Deforestation leads to the desertification of land as the soil become poor and loss the ability of growing more plants. Deforestation also arise economic problems. It has estimated that about 7% GDP will be reduced globally by 2050 due to deforestation. Biodiversity loss occurs due to deforestation. Forests are necessary for land scape of an area thus due to deforestation aesthetic beauty of an area decreases, tourist cannot be attracted and a country face economic loss. Lot of species becomes endangered, extinct and rare due to deforestation. The most significant species which are going to extict are Snow leopard, Common leapord, Gaint pandas, mountain Gorillas, Morcopolo sheep, Ibex, Musk deer, Wild goats, Houbra bustard, Cranes, Taxus baccata, Pinus geradiana, Rafflesia, Grass Ferns e.t.c.. The most suitable solutions for controlling deforestation are sustainable management of forest, afforestation practices and reforestation practices. The cutting of trees can be balanced by planting young plants. Although natural regeneration is also continuing in forest areas yet we must also encourage the artificial regeneration to control deforestation. Sustainable management of forest area means that we manage forest in such a way that we may fulfill our needs by cutting trees and then regenerate the area by suitable methods of plantation. Afforestation and reforestation is also a workable solution for controlling deforestation. It has estimated that about 10 % to 20% forest has improved in the last few years with Afforestation and reforestation practices. Agroforestry and farm forestry practices have also a significant effect to reduce pressure on commercial forest areas. Agro and farm forestry practices meet the needs of fuel wood, timber wood and also fodder for livestock. Most of the countries celebrate plantation day every year in the Month of March and has significant effect on the improvement of forest area. Conversion of forest lands to agriculture lands or pasturing lands should be minimized as possible and alternate sources should be used. Barren lands should be improved by fertilizers and water sources for growth of crop plants so that pressure may reduce on commercial forest areas. Better management of forest lands and implementation of laws for forest area may also be beneficial in controlling deforestation. Deforestation is an evil for our environment and every one should take a positive step for its control.


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