Cutting down trees has become a very popular activity nowadays. It has become so much popular that when we see the numbers, it is disappointing how offensive we have been towards trees. As of now, an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, almost the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year.
What is Deforestation?
Deforestation is cutting down trees in a forest to free land for other form of use such as agriculture (farming), pastureland, urban development, wasteland (landfills) or for any other commercial use such as paper manufacture. This leads to various negative effects in the environment which include loss of habitat or loss in biodiversity and this is also a cause for global warming and climate change.
Below are a couple of facts about deforestation that everyone should know!
Forests cover as much as 30% of ground in the world.
A study estimated that there will be No Rainforests by the next century!
The major cause for deforestation is agriculture.
By the time you finish this sentence, an acre got cut down. One and a half acres of forest are cut down every second!
As I said, Deforestation contributes to Global Warming. Talking about numbers, around 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions every year are due to cutting down trees.
The rate of loss of forest land by deforestation is approximately 20 football fields every minute!
Rainforests have the remedies to make 121 medicines which can be used to treat all forms of diseases from the common flu to arthritis.
A Network aimed at protecting rainforests suggests that United States has 5% of the World’s population and yet uses 30% of the paper manufactured worldwide.
The deforestation occurs at a rate in which replacing the ecology would be impossible.
Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the oxygen in the world.
In the next 25 years we can expect 28000 species to go extinct at this rate of deforestation.
25% of the organisms used for cancer treatment are found in the Amazon.
Can you imagine almost 15 million hectares in South America, South Africa and South East Asia are converted from forests to agricultural land EVERY YEAR!
Half of the tropical forests we had in this world have been cleared out.
4500 acres of forests are destructed by forest fires, construction machineries and machineries etc.
Human-led deforestation is due to multiple reasons, majority of them include poverty, overpopulation or unfair land access.
Almost 2 Billion people depend upon products derived from forests thereby adding upon causes of deforestation.
United States along with Europe and Japan use almost half of timber and more than half (around 70%) of paper produced worldwide.
Since Sub-Saharan countries depend quite a lot on fuel wood, the annual rate of deforestation is 200% GREATER than the annual growth rate of forests over there.
Trees are most important for humans as they sequester carbon and produce Oxygen for humans to breathe.
Deforestation leads to multiple devastating effects that include floods, soil erosion, and damage to ecosystems, endangerment of species (even extinction in extreme cases) and cumulative increase in Global warming.
Tropical forests which endure the most deforestation are responsible for holding more than 200 million tons of carbon.
These tropical rainforests cover as much as 5% of the world’s land and are home to half of all the species of plants and animals.
Trees are responsible for effective working of the water cycle. Water evaporates or transpires from the leaves into the atmosphere and trees provide shade to the ground to prevent excess ground water to be evaporated, hence if deforestation occurs the climate automatically changes into a drier one.
The biomass of trees in the forests contains almost 300 billion tons of Carbon.
One can save up to 100 square feet of forest every month with proper contributions; we are doing 30 today, hopefully more next month.
4 million tons of junk mail is created in the name of deforestation, just for spamming!
Every adult receives 40 pounds junk mail to contribute for deforestation (for spamming).
In the United States, a single person uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year.
A major portion of paper in the United States is used for packing materials, which contributes further to deforestation.
Utilizing products with the least packaging is an ideal choice.
You can also help by sending the manufacturers of your product to advise them to use eco-friendly products.
Buy eco-friendly products if you can, so that you can support the companies that make them.
Take part in replantation activities to actively fight deforestation.
A reduction in eating beef cuisine could also help towards fighting for deforestation because trees are cleared out to make space available for cattle farms.
The funds required for saving trees and planting more trees are mostly collected online as we do over here, Please donate to save and protect trees.