Save the Planet! Positive and Negative Consequences of Deforestation for Us
Cutting Down Rainforests: Pros and Cons
Each year 10 million hectares of forests and woodlands disappear from the face of the earth as a result of expanding cropland and other human activities. This is leading to a rapid decline in the planet’s biodiversity. Deforestation is an issue that has been brought to the forefront on the international stage in recent decades. The topic of the pros and cons of logging has been discussed for many years and scientists can not find a consensus.
Unfortunately, as human needs have grown, so has deforestation. As urbanization develops, more and more land is needed, but at what cost? A forest is not just an assemblage of trees and shrubs, as it appears at first glance, but also a complex ecosystem that combines local flora and fauna. The climate, the purity of the air, the quality of drinking water – all this depends significantly on the number of forest plantations, which for good reason are called the lungs of the planet.
We will give you some shocking facts and figures to help you understand how deforestation affects our environment, why our forests are so important, and why we must protect them. Continue reading to find out the pros and cons of deforestation.
What is Logging?
Deforestation is the process of cutting down trees or burning areas of forests and jungles in a general, indiscriminate, poorly managed, or covert manner. It is a serious environmental problem for a variety of reasons.
The deforestation cons are that the tree cutting process as it is currently carried out, given the increasing demand for trees as a raw material for use as wood, or paper and cardboard production, is uncontrolled. Another reason for the forest to disappear is frequent fires. If humanity continues cutting down the trees with the current temps, then in 50 years we will be left with no forest at all.
The Importance of Forests for Mankind
People take a lot of benefits of deforestation: materials for construction, food, medicine, raw materials for the paper industry. Wood, needles, and bark serve as raw materials for many branches of the chemical industry. About half of the wood that is extracted goes to fuel, and one-third goes to construction. A quarter of all medicines used come from rainforest plants.
Through photosynthesis, forests give us oxygen to breathe while absorbing carbon dioxide. Trees protect the air from poisonous gases, soot and other pollutants, and noise. Phytoncides produced by most coniferous plants kill pathogens.
Forests are habitats for many animals, they are the real storehouses of biodiversity. They participate in the creation of a microclimate favorable for agricultural plants. Forest areas protect the soil from erosion processes, preventing the surface runoff of precipitation.
The forest is like a sponge that first stores and then gives water to streams and rivers, regulates the flow of water from the mountains to the plains, and prevents floods. The Amazon is the most full-flowing river in the world, and the forests in its basin are considered the lungs of the Earth.
The Reasons for Deforestation
Deliberate or illegally organized deforestation occurs for:
- obtaining building materials;
- processing of raw materials for paper, furniture;
- obtaining elements from wood, leaves, needles. They are used in the medical industry;
- chemical production;
- clearing of lands to be used for cattle breeding, cultivation of crops, extraction of minerals;
- clearing land for development.
The area of desertification is increasing rapidly. A significant percentage of deforestation and deforestation is due to illegal activities (Russia, Brazil, Indonesia).
The Reasons Why Deforestation Is Good
- Mankind is getting crowded and cutting down trees increases the area for people to inhabit. This is one of the good things about deforestation because it creates large areas for the sprawl of megacities. In the place of felled trees, they build infrastructure, which makes people’s lives easier and brings money to the economies of countries. It also facilitates communication between the city center and the outskirts, where, in most cases, logging is carried out. Scientists predict that in 30 years the planet will be populated by 10 billion people, and their number will only grow and this is the argument for deforestation. What emerges from this is that people need more space on earth to populate and develop. As cities grow, the outskirts, forested land becomes a potential site for new residential complexes and shopping centers with the appropriate infrastructure and roads.
- Other pros of deforestation are that forests give us usable material. As we wrote above, forests are also cut down to provide people with products made from wood. If you pay attention, half of your furniture at home is made of wood, offices are overflowing with paper, which is also made of wood. Wood is the material that is easiest to work with, is environmentally friendly, and is prized for production. Again, factories that use wood as a resource bring income to their provinces and the entire country, which, over time, affects the quality of life of the population. Forest-rich countries take positive effects of deforestation for the economy and export wood around the world. On the land that is left after logging, they develop agricultural activities.
- The third deforestation positive effect is that in the period of industrialization and development of agrarian business, there is a need for territory. If you look at a map, you can see that large areas are vacant and could be useful and profitable. If it were used, it could feed millions of people who starve in Africa for example. Another reason why deforestation is good is that cutting down the forests creates more jobs for nearby residents. Logging forests pay a lot of money, which has a positive effect on people. For many people, cutting down forests feeds the whole family, and then the areas freed from the trees are used by other people who also make money from it. However, there are no benefits of deforestation to the environment.
Cons of Deforestation
Although forests are a renewable resource, the rate at which they are cut down is too high and is not covered by the rate of regeneration. The negative consequence of deforestation is that millions of hectares of deciduous and coniferous forests are destroyed every year.
Tropical forests, which are home to over 50% of the world’s species, used to cover 14% of the planet, but now only 6%. The negative impact of deforestation is visible with the Indian case, as India’s forests have shrunk from 22% to 10% in the last half-century. Another negative effect of deforestation can be felt by Russians. Coniferous forests in central Russia, massive forests in the Far East and Siberia are being destroyed, and swamps are appearing in the place of cuttings. Valuable pine and cedar forests are being cut down.
Burning forests causes carbon monoxide pollution, more of it is emitted than absorbed. Also, when forests are cleared, carbon stored in the soil under trees is released into the air. This contributes to about one-fourth of the Earth’s greenhouse effect.
The deforestation cons on ecosystems are horrible! Many areas left deforested by logging or fires become deserts, as the loss of trees causes the thin fertile layer of soil to be easily washed away by precipitation. Desertification causes a huge number of ecological refugees, ethnic groups for whom the forest was the main or only source of subsistence.
The bad thing about deforestation is that many inhabitants of forest areas disappear along with their homes. Entire ecosystems are being destroyed, plants of irreplaceable species used for medicines, and many bioresources valuable to mankind are being destroyed. More than a million biological species living in tropical forests are threatened with extinction.
Soil erosion that develops after logging, which is another argument against deforestation, leads to floods because nothing can hold back the flow of water. Floods are caused by disruption of groundwater levels as tree roots that feed on them die. For example, as a result of extensive deforestation in the foothills of the Himalayas, Bangladesh suffers major floods every four years. Previously, floods did not occur more than twice every hundred years.
As you may have noticed, all the pluses are related to the economic growth of countries and people, but the disadvantages are related to human health and the danger of extinction of flora and fauna. We believe that deforestation’s negative effects are more harmful because it leads to a huge number of negative consequences. We are for ecology and we ask you not to destroy forests, but rather to plant new trees!