El Salvador is the second most deforested country in Latin American after Haiti. In fact, nearly eighty five percent of its forest has disappeared since the 1960's. Today, less than 6,000 hectares are now considered to be primary forest. Deforestation in El Salvador occurs as a result of timber exploitation for fuel. The nation’s high population relies heavily on the collection of fuel wood and subsistence hunting and agriculture. Since the end of the 1990's, the country’s deforestation rate has increased by eighteen percent. The environmental, social and economic effects of deforestation have been nothing short of devastating. To date, more than fifty percent of El Salvador isn’t even suitable for food cultivation. In addition, much of the country suffers from severe soil erosion. The massive deforestation that the nation has experienced has dislodged the top soil and has even changed the climate according to environmental experts. What used to be a heavily wooded region is now more like a desert.... [continues]
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