The Impact of Deforestation
Rainforests around the world continue to fall. By destroying the tropical forests, we risk our own quality of life, gamble with the stability of climate and local weather, threaten the existence of other species, and undermine the valuable services provided by biological diversity.
🌳 Loss of Habitat Resulting to Human-Wildlife Conflict
One of the most dangerous and unsettling effects of deforestation is the loss of animal and plant species due to their loss of habitat. As their habitat dwindles, animals are forced to forage outside their traditional forest range and move into areas populated by humans. Fatal encounters with wild animals like elephants, venomous snakes, and big cats occur in and around degraded forest areas.
🌳 Increased Greenhouse Gases
In addition to the loss of habitat, the lack of trees also allows a greater amount of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. Healthy forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, acting as valuable carbon sinks. Deforested areas lose that ability and release more carbon.
🌳 Water in the Atmosphere
The trees also help control the level of water in the atmosphere by helping to regulate the water cycle. In deforested areas, there is less water in the air to be returned to the soil. This then causes dryer soil and the inability to grow crops.
🌳 Soil Erosion and Flooding
Trees help the land to retain water and topsoil, which provides the rich nutrients to sustain additional forest life. Without forests, the soil erodes and washes away, causing farmers to move on and perpetuate the cycle. The barren land which is left behind in the wake of these unsustainable agricultural practices is then more susceptible to flooding, specifically in coastal regions.
🌳 Destruction of Homelands
As large amounts of forests are cleared away, allowing exposed earth to wither and die and the habitats of innumerable species to be destroyed, the indigenous communities who live there and depend on the forest to sustain their way of life are also under threat.
🌳 Destruction of Renewable Resources
Tropical forests provide important renewable resources that can significantly contribute to national economic growth on a continuing basis. Many rainforest products cannot exist without a fully functioning rainforest system. Thus, deforestation puts renewable forest resources at risk.
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