The Detrimental Effects of Deforestation Essay

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The Detrimental Effects of Deforestation

Deforestation has been around for many years. Before America was discovered, fuelwood was the main source of energy, so many trees were being cut down all over Europe to provide energy for the inhabitants. Even still today, 2000 million people in low income countries still rely on wood for cooking and heating (Causes, 1).

The rate at which we are loosing our world’s forests is steadily increasing. During the 1980’s, worldwide deforestation rates were at 15 million hectares per year for tropical forests alone (WRM, 1). This compares with 11.3 million hectares that were lost annually during the 70’s- a 50 percent increase (The Problems, 1). And as one might expect, this trend is being continued
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Brazil is one of the many countries that is not so fortunate. Government studies show that between 1985 and 1990, the Atlantic Forest was cut down at the rate of 13 football field per hour (Ecologists Trying, 2). Today, Brazilians enjoy just 3% of the forest that once covered 4,500 miles of land along the coast (3).

Another reason why deforestation is a serious issue is the fact that with deforestation comes eroded land which, in turn, leads to lakes and dams that are filled with silt (The Challenge, 9). Flooding can also be a result of deforestation as shown in 1979 when "India suffered $2 billion in property damage and numerous lives in the Ganges Valley in part because of deforestation in northern India and Nepal" (Thompson, 11).

In order to know how to reduce deforestation rates, one first must understand the causes of deforestation. Though the causes are many and varied, there are several main causes that I would like to point out. The first direct cause is probably the most obvious: industrial logging. In fact, industrial logging accounts for 20% of deforestation in low-income nations and approximately 84% in high- income nations (Causes, 2). Industrial logging accounts for the loss of about 1600 million cubic miles of forest per year (2). Today, the most important direct threat to forests in Central Africa, East Siberia, and British Columbia is logging (WRM, 2).

Along with logging comes international trade. Mahogany is a species of

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