” By 2000, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon region totaled 64 million hectares, the equivalent of an area as large as Sweden” (Pakenham, 2005, p. 11). This statement illustrates that deforestation is indeed a continuous issue in most of the countries. Generally, deforestation is the situation when people cut down trees, causing a permanent destruction towards the forests. There are many factors that lead deforestation to occur in a large scale nowadays, and consequently leave negative impacts on the environment. This essay will discuss the causes; economic pressure and agriculture and effects; climate change and destroy of natural habitat of deforestation.
Economic pressure is one of the main reasons for deforestation. Since the living expanses have increased especially in the city, people are facing with desperation to earn money in handling this issue (Golden and Miller, 1994). The most affected community is those who are living in poverty (Golden and Miller, 1994; McLeish, 2007). They need to earn extra money to cover the demand for living expanses such as house rent, water and electricity bills and food. The situation is worse if ones have a large family; he has to pay for school bills and requirements too. This financial issue forces them to cut down trees to gain extra money in a short term. Golden and Miller (1994) state an example of a farmer that had to cut down the mahogany trees in the rainforest to support his family because the money that he gained from growing corn and beans are not enough to cover their basic needs. The Forests Rangers in a country also have less equipment to cope with this situation since money shortage unable them to acquire full equipment for environmental protection purpose (Golden and Miller, 1994). Hence, economical pressure is an issue that causes deforestation.
Another factor that lead to deforestation is agriculture. Most of the time, rainforests are cleared for agricultural purpose such as farming and plantation (Golden and Miller, 1994). When the farmers want to ranch the cattle for instance, they require a vast area of land (McLeish, 2007). The trees are cut down to obtain the space needed for cattle ranching, and with the presence of farm animals around the area, the productivity of land will decrease. The soil will eventually become compacted and the rate of recovery for the rainforests will be slowed down. The trees are also cut down for plantation purpose. Farmer want to produce output at a large scale in order to support the non-producers such as police officers, soldiers and doctors (Ponting, 1990). In order to do so, they require a large area of land, so rainforests are cleared to fulfill the demand of the consumers. If the land is managed systematically, the impact on the land would be less severe, but poor land management is one of the problems that lead to deforestation. According to Rebecca Lindsey (2007), certain farmers chose a wrong technique to manage their land such as the slash and burn method. Briefly, the slash and burn method is a technique where the trees are cut down and burned to clear the forest for cultivation (Stenstrup, 2009). When the soil is no longer fertile at that place, they will search for a new spot and repeat the same technique. This will only lessen the area of the rainforests in the world.
With economic pressure and agriculture as the factors of deforestation, these will leave negative impacts to the environment in the terms of climate change and destroy of natural habitat.
Climate change is the most noticeable drawback that could be felt as a result of clearing the rainforests as a response towards the economic pressure. This is due to the abundance of carbon dioxide in the air. Since people are cutting trees without replacing them, fewer trees are available to absorb carbon dioxide released by the living things (Stenstrup, 2009). According to ThoughtCo (2018), it is said that tree is the best carbon dioxide absorber due to its large size. Even if we grow plants in the city to replace the decreasing trees, they could not help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in a short period of time. Most of us might have noticed that the weather is getting drier and hotter (Rebecca Lindsey, 2007). This is the result of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, trapping the heat, and lead to global warming (Stenstrup, 2009). Besides global warming, the climate change is also due to the inconsistent rainfall (Rebecca Lindsey, 2007). The rainforests can no longer functioning as the water catchment area that helps the rainwater to flow back to the river and sea, so that the water cycle will rotate normally (Earth Eclipse, 2016). Referring to the text written by Rebecca Lindsey, it is noted that the rainfall has increased lately.
Destroy of natural habitat is the next effect of deforestation. Rainforest comprises of many natural living and non-living things such as flora and fauna, river and waterfall. If the rainforests keep on being cleared to provide space for agricultural purposes, it will threaten the endangered species like Bryde’s whale and White Heron. Each and every species in the rainforest is a source of information for the scientists to do researches. To be more specified, certain species might have resistance towards certain diseases, and this can help to improve the quality of domesticated plants (Pakenham, 2005). If the endangered species extinct, we might lose the source of information needed to genetically modify the domesticated plants to be more resistance towards certain diseases. These endangered species could face extinction if the rate of deforestation keeps on increasing from year to year because they have lose their shelter and have nowhere to live within their habitat. Apart from threatening the endangered species, the land itself will ruin due to soil erosion and mudslides (Golden and Miller, 1994). Soil erosion happened because there is not enough support from the roots of the tree since most of the trees have been cut down. The soil erosion and mudslides will eventually lead to low water quality (Earth Eclipse, 2016). When the soil erodes, they will flow to the river alongside with the residue present in it, and thus, reduce the cleanliness of the water. The water will then be supplied to the households for daily use, and as the long-term effect of the unclean water, it will affect the humans’ health in the future (Earth Eclipse, 2016).
To conclude this essay, it can be seen that economic pressure and agriculture are some of the main causes of deforestation. If these causes could not be slowed down, the effects like climate change and destroy of natural habitat will continue to take place. It is agreeable by the experts that the implications could be worse if there is no action taken from now on to decrease the rate of deforestation.