Thursday, June 11, 2009

Deforestation - Definition and meaning

What is deforestation? The most simple definition would be cutting down trees in forests and rainforests so this is really a form of forest destruction that is usually done by logging and/or burning of trees. Why are people clearing so many forests and rainforests around the globe? The biggest factors that contribute to deforestation are farms and cattle pasture. In many countries of the developing world population is growing, and as the population grows people need more and more room to expand so many forests are cleared out, and on once forested areas now are mostly farms and savannas.

The biggest reason for concern are old tropical rainforests that are disappearing really fast. These ancient forests absorb large quantities of CO2 which not only regulates climate but also helps in slowing the global warming impact. Rainforests and forests are not only important because of their role in climate they are also areas of extremely rich biodiversity with lots of unique plants and animals that need forests to survive.

Deforestation is also giving significant impact to climate change problem. The more forests disappear the less carbon emissions they sink but what is even worse is often use of slash and burn techniques. By using slash and burn techniques we are constantly releasing huge CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Industry and cars are not alone as leading causes of global warming, one major factor is also deforestation. One study showed that in just 24 hours time deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York.

Deforestation has reached an alarming rate in many countries around the world but three areas hit the most by deforestation are Amazon rainforest, Africa, and Indonesia. In these three areas condition is really no longer alarming, it is really already in critical zone. Deforestation is really one of the biggest environmental evils that happen on this planet, and if current trend continues with somewhere around 16 million hectares of forests disappearing each year, our planet will head into a real environmental disaster in years to come.

About half of the forests that once covered the earth are already gone, and we are definitely not doing enough to protect the ones that remain. Our forests and rainforests mean so much to us but most people still do not understand how important forests really are. What we definitely need is some very quick solution to stop deforestation. Will this solution turn out to be forest funding, or something else it really doesn't really matter. As long the forests are saved.


  1. Best deforestation website I have gone on so far.

  2. Nice! information about deforestation.

  3. Deforestation is not simply cutting trees! Deforestation is when trees are removed and the land is then used for non-forest purposes. Logging for timber is not necessarily deforestation, even in rain forests. If the forests do not reforest naturally or by reforested through forestry means and allowed to convert to non-forest use, then the forest is deforested. Many, if not most, of the statistics regarding deforestation vary greatly by how the author/researcher defines deforestation. Rarely, do the authors explain their definition of deforestation they use. This then can affect the relationships to other factors(erosion, global warming, biodiversity, etc) and may overstate or underestimate the correlation or cause and effects interpretation.