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Forests provide oxygen, clean water, food and medicine.


They absorb greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and serve as carbon storage, fighting climate change.


Playing a vital role in the water cycle, forests act to add water to the air through transpiration.


Forests operate as floodwater sink and help lessen the destructive impacts of floods. It prevents soil erosion by giving mechanical support to the soil.


Moreover, half of all species on Earth exist in forests. They make up more than 80% of the biodiversity on land. There are roughly 30,00,00,000 people who live in woods worldwide.


Consequently, deforestation makes the land more susceptible to various natural disasters.

How is deforestation caused?

The main human activities and direct factors causing deforestation are:

  • Agriculture expansion: farming at both small-scale and large scale.
  • Wood extraction: cutting trees for raw materials, known as logging and harvesting wood for fuel
  • Construction of infrastructure: for mining and urban growth such as road construction, highways, the building of houses and other constructions, dams and other types of infrastructure.
  • Urbanisation


According to UNFCCC, agriculture is the primary cause of 80% of deforestation, whereas 14% goes into logging and 5% to cutting down trees for wood fuel.


Conversion to cropland and pasture, which is growing crops or rearing livestock to meet daily requirements, is the single biggest direct driver of tropical deforestation and the main factor endangering plant species.


Playing a vital role in the water cycle, forests act to add water to the air through transpiration.


Logging, legally or illegally, both follow road expansion. Countries build highways in remote regions to facilitate the movement of goods through land which was inaccessible earlier; this results in deforestation.


The roads and the logged areas act as a draw for settlers, who then clear the remaining forest for use as cropland or cattle pasture by burning it.


Forests damaged by logging turn into fire-prone that eventually become deforested due to frequent accidental fires from nearby farms or pastures.


In some areas, converting forests into commercial palm tree plantations to produce palm oil or biofuels for export is a major contributor to deforestation.

Consequences of Deforestation


Forests consist of more than three-quarters of land-based species of the world.


Many endangered plants and animals are at risk of great extinction due to deforestation.


Deforestation is responsible for the extinction of 137 species of plants, animals, birds and insects worldwide per day. Every year, a shocking 50,000 species go extinct.


It leads to biodiversity loss when animal species living in forests lose their home; they cannot relocate and hence die extinct.


Plants or tree species also permanently disappear, impacting biodiversity loss of plant species.


Many big cat species, including lions, leopards, jaguars and tigers, are at grave risk of extinction.


Massive soy, palm oil, cattle and timber production had led to a loss of tropical forests.


The wood obtained from deforestation is largely used for fuel, pulp, paper, construction and manufacturing. It is also used for pulp, paper and bioenergy.


Most of the wood removed from the rainforest is used for domestic purposes, such as cooking, or is allowed to rot or smoulder on the ground.