Deforestation is fast becoming one of the world’s worst environmental/geographical occurring disasters known to mankind, and is due to humankind’s greed, ignorance and carelessness when considering the future of our environment.
On average millions of hectares of forests are destroyed each year resulting in severe consequences that will affect not only our lifestyle, but also all the animals with which we share our planet. Many species of animals and plants will become extinct and if we continue with the destruction of our forests, earth will be unable to sustain life.
Countries such as Brazil and Indonesia have been greatly affected by deforestation with well over two million hectares of naturally forested land now rendered barren (See appendix 1).
HISTORY OF DEFORESTATION
Deforestation began with man’s ability to manipulate his environment. Wood has always been a primary source for shelter and has been affected by human expansion. As the worlds population grew, so to did the need for wood to make housing. As cities grew so did the demand for space to accommodate the growing population. Throughout history and even today, man has manipulated the environment affecting it’s resources.
Adding to the devastating effect of mans obsessive consumption of wood was the needless destruction of natural forests during times of war, leaving lasting scars of barren earth which would take hundreds of years to recover. World War One also had severe impacts on forested areas due to the devastation of mass bombing and fire clearing.
CASE STUDY: IN INDONESIA
In Indonesia, 8.828 million hectares of forests have been destroyed (see appendix 2). Around fifty acres of forests are removed every minute, not only to clear land needed for multimillionaire plantation companies for palm oil, but also to generate enough wood, pulpwood and plywood to satisfy Indonesia’s ever growing demand for these resources (see appendix 3). In 1985 forests covered nearly all of the island of Borneo, but by 2020, only around 50% of the forests remain (see appendix 4). Forested land on this island has suffered to the extreme, between 2000 and 2012 over five million hectares of forests have been destroyed.
Causes Of Deforestation
Continual demand for land promotes the destruction of natural forests, which teem with endangered wildlife. This demand comes from two sources;
a) Small pieces of land used for family work, farming rice or vegetables
b) Large areas of land deforested for plantations.
Palm oil plantations are now responsible for over 20% of the reduction of Indonesians undisturbed natural forests and wetlands. Green Peace studies show that three hundred thousand hectares of unprotected Indonesian forested land almost 25% of all forested areas was removed between 2009 and 2011 to make further space for palm oil plantations. Scientists now know that when forested areas of land are removed the soil it holds...