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Deforestation: A General Overview Essay

3091 words - 12 pages

Introduction
When most people think of deforestation they think of the rainforest. However, this is an environmental issue that takes place all over the world. In the following pages I will expand on what exactly deforestation means, and why as a world we have a need for it, even though it has adverse effects globally. Deforestation affects our environment by reducing biodiversity, changing the water cycle, affecting soil erosion and also plays a part in the ongoing phenomenon of global warming. Since, this is a global matter, the United Nations has implemented policies to help reduce the damage done by deforestation. The UNREED policy is globally based, while the REED+ policy is nationally based. I will also explain the importance of these policies and what they mean.
Understanding Deforestation
Deforestation is simply the killing of trees and conditions being where trees can no longer survive where they once stood. It can occur through natural changes in climate and man’s need for cleared land. For instance, if weather conditions occur that make a forested area to cold, dry or wet, killing all the trees, and making it to where they can no longer survive the area, this is natural occurring deforestation. This type of deforestation has occurred in the past. During the Pleistocene period, which occurred 1.5 million to 10,000 year ago, glaciers melted. This melting caused sea level to rise, and wiped out forest from areas of Europe, Asia, North America and other flooded areas. Over the last 1,000 to 100 years there have been varying cooling and warming trends around the globe. The cooling trend have caused forest at high altitudes to die, due to the extreme cold conditions. The warming trends have caused an increase in the about of desert land, wiping out forest as this occurs.
Globally, we as humans create deforestation, which only helps speed up nature’s process. As humans, we have a need for timber, agriculture, grazing lands, and places to put our buildings. These things all contribute to the rate of deforestation. However, we cannot simply stop agriculture, or animals from needing a place to graze. So, it is up to mankind to come together to find a happy medium between the Earth and our needs.
Deforestation rates are on the rise. This rise seems to be a directly caused by humans. Deforestation has only began in the last 10,000 years, making its start in Chile and the Mediterranean. However, officials estimate that in the year 2,000 BCE, the world’s forest covered 8 billion hectares. As of 1995, this number has dropped down to 3.45 billion. In Europe, North America, Asia, and South American, humans have played a major role of the rise of deforestation. However, these countries have been making changes to reduce this rate. In Asia and South America, they have abandoned some ancient temple sites, and allowed the forest to regrow. North American and Europe have also taken steps to slow the deforestation rates.
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