The world’s forests are in grave danger. Over half of the original forest cover has been destroyed, and things are set to deteriorate unless the current alarming rate of deforestation is checked. Every …show more content…
Problems arise when the land is not allowed sufficient time to recover, and intensive farming results in irreversible soil degradation. This is the present situation, due to the needs of the growing population - and some sources identify shifting cultivation as the cause of 70 per cent of the deforestation in Africa.
As with shifting cultivation, if logging is carried out in a controlled way it can be implemented with only minor disturbance to the environment. It is when felling of trees begins to exceed tree production that logging becomes seriously detrimental. Before intensive mechanised logging took over from the use of handsaws, axes and animal power, it could be argued that the timber trade posed little threat to tropical rain forests, but the arrival of chainsaws, tractors, roads and railways had a much greater impact. Previously inaccessible areas have now become prime targets for commercial logging companies, and poor management has led to unprecedented losses.
Other factors such as the felling of trees for charcoal, and …show more content…
But that's not the end of the story.
Forest clearance also leaves human forest dwellers without food or shelter, and leads to the disappearance of ways of life which have existed largely unchanged for thousands of years. However, potentially the most damaging effect of forest clearance is its impact on the planet's climate. We have all heard of the perils of global warming and the greenhouse effect, and it is common knowledge that this is caused mainly be the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Trees and other green plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through photosynthesis, whereas animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. The destruction of the tropical rain forests would bring about a disastrous imbalance in the amounts of carbon dioxide produced and recycled, leading to a build up in the atmosphere, and increased climate change. Add to this the fact that many of the trees cut down to provide space for agriculture are either burned or left to rot, releasing even more carbon dioxide, and clearly we have a recipe for disaster. The whole of nature is a vast interrelated system