Did you know that deforestation was once a huge problem in New England? If you look at photographs from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, you would see a New England that looks dramatically different from the green and wooded countryside of today. This is because westward expansion led to the constant demand for building supplies, and this led to the stripping of huge swaths of the once forested landscape.

Was it a problem? Absolutely! Heavy rains collapsed hillsides, bird species vanished, and the many animals that once roamed the peaceful wooded hills and mountains had to find other homes. This is a single illustration of the hazards of rampant deforestation, and though we have been aware of the issues for decades, we still allow it to happen today.

For example, recent headlines cited that the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest was finally slowing. This was due to one simple fact - there really wasn't much left to cut down. So, you might ask, what's the problem with that?

The problem with modern deforestation of places such as the Amazon or other massive "green" spaces is that their loss translates to speedier global warming and the destruction of more species than ever.

Though it is a bit loathsome to indicate that we might be destroying plants and animals that are of benefit to us, the simple fact is that the loss of many different natural compounds could mean that humanity is losing out on things like cures for diseases. Not only could we be harming our chances for better health and longer lives through the ruination of forested areas around the globe, but we are also compounding the problems caused by global warming.

Just consider that around twenty years ago scientists were saying that it would take the forestation of an area the size of Australia to help stop the tearing apart in the ozone layer. The forestation would generate the carbon monoxide and oxygen vital to combating all of those gases in the upper layers of the atmosphere, and yet we still continue to remove rather than plant trees.

We have far too much information in the modern era to ignore the damages wrought by the removal of enormous numbers of the world's trees and plants. The simplest ways to combat the issue are to find how your consumer choices "connect" to it. Don't use certain meat and food producers, avoid many unnecessary paper products, and use your dollar to change this flawed path we have been following for too many years.

Deforestation is the practice of cutting down trees and clearing the land of natural habitats and forests. There are various reasons why people follow this practice.

These include using the land for human settlement which is a direct result of overpopulation, expansion of cities or urbanization, clearing land and cutting down trees for making use of forest resources such as trees and coal.

Deforestation results in many severely harmful repercussions such as soil erosion, imbalance in the forest leading to global warming, destruction of natural habitats which causes harm to wildlife, biodiversity and loss of native and rural tribes.

The Effect on Tropical Rainforests

The issue of deteriorating tropical rainforests is causing a lot of environmentalists around the world to protest. However, there is little progress on any significant steps being taken on this front. Tropical rainforests are ruthlessly being cut down everyday. The good news is that this is a man-made problem and not a natural disaster and hence, we still have time to stop this practice and repair the damage. What this calls for is a colossal effort on a global level. Here are a few simple steps to ensure saving forests:

Awareness: Spread the message on how greenery is important for human sustenance.

Fix the damage: By re-foresting the cleared lands.

Making people environment friendly: By researching and propagating the use of environment friendly lifestyle and products.

Corroborate: Extend support to the eco-friendly groups and initiatives.

On the part of governments: To create more forest preserves and parks.

Putting a complete stop to cutting the trees is an overtly idealistic vision. Instead certain small steps towards fulfilling this vision have to be initiated on a war footing to tackle this issue in a realistic manner. Many efforts had been taken in the past to restore forests such as establishing forest preserves, closing of the sale of natural lands in forests for corporate ambitions, effective and efficient use of city area and tightening the laws on forest preservation and natural land conservation.


Further complication arises when developed countries restrain the corporate from clearing lands. They are then forced to move on to the third world countries where the laws and economy are not effective enough to tackle the issue of deforestation.

Being unable to stop the disturbance in their natural habitats, these countries suffer too in the long run as unfortunately they are rich in reserves but do not have the resources to save them. Striking a balance in the third world countries between industrial expansion and natural preservation is a great challenge for their governments.

The forests are many times cut down by farmers to grow crops and sustain their families. These poor farmers cannot be stopped on account of Global Warming. To tackle this problem tactfully these farmers need to be taught about efficient foresting methods and modern farming. Techniques such as Permaculture or multiple crop farming is beneficial to the Farmer and his family as far as economic viability is concerned and great for the natural habitats as it restores and replenishes the soil.

Return to "Ecology Articles" from "Deforestation".

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