Friday, June 6, 2008

Deforestation is worst in Africa

Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land and cattle pasture. And although the word deforestation is most often spoken in context with Amazon rainforest, current data shows that deforestation has the worst impact in Africa. According to a U.N. atlas "Africa is losing more than 4 million hectares (9.9 million acres) of forest every year - twice the world's average deforestation rate."

This is very alarming because 4 million hectares is very large area, for instance bigger than the U.S. state of Maryland. This rapid deforestation rate is major concern in 35 African countries, especially in Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Nigeria and Rwanda. This rapid deforestation will have serious impact on global warming as forests play important role in fight against global warming because of their ability to act as a carbon sink that can slow down increase of CO2 emission into the atmosphere.

African population is constantly growing and there is not enough food which of course causes higher demand for more arable land and pastures. And the ones that pay the price are forests. What many people don't know is that deforestation has also lowered the chance of getting rain, which is already low, and without enough rain there is also not enough water.

With current overpopulation and food shortage problem deforestation is very likely to continue in the upcoming years as well which could end in a real catastrophe. African governments are really helpless without the help of rich West countries that should provide necessary funds to ensure enough food for African population. Another problem that will have to be solved is the low education of African population. Last thing that low educated people think of is deforestation and this is something that needs quick change.

All these necessary changes are only possible with the help of rich West countries and they still haven't showed enough sympathy for Africa and its poor population.

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