Deforestration, Cause and Effect

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Trees are one of the most important aspects of the planet we live in. Trees are vitally important to the environment, animals, and of course for us humans. They are important for the climate of the Earth, they act as filters of carbon dioxide, they are habitats and shelters to millions of species, and they are also important for their aesthetic appeal. However, the trees on our planet are being depleted at a very fast rate. According to some estimates, more than 50 percent of the tree cover has disappeared due to human activity.

Although humans have been practicing deforestation since ages, it was in the mid-1800s that forests began to be destroyed at an unprecedented rate. As a matter of fact, throughout the earlier part of the medieval age, Europeans used to live amongst vast areas of forested land. But later, they began deforestation at such a high rate that they started to run out of wood for cooking and heating. Also, due to the depletion of their natural habitat, wild game too began disappearing, which the Europeans largely depended upon for their nutritional requirements. Today, parallels can clearly be observed in the deforestation that is occurring in most developing countries.

One of the most worrying factors today is the massive destruction of the rainforests of the world, which is affecting the biodiversity adversely, as well as being one of the major contributory factors of the Holocene mass extinction that is ongoing.

What are the Causes of Deforestation?

The destruction of the forests is occurring due to various reasons, one of the main reasons being the short term economic benefits. Given below are some more common causes of deforestation:

Used for Urban and Construction Purposes: The cutting down of trees for lumber that is used for building materials, furniture, and paper products. Forests are also cleared in order to accommodate expanding urban areas.

To Grow Crops: Forests are also cut down in order to clear land for growing...
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