Essay On Cause And Effect Of Deforestation In Indonesia
Cause-Effect Essay: Deforestation
- Length: 1146 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
People have been deforesting the Earth for thousands of years, primarily to clear land for crops or livestock. Although tropical forests are largely confined to developing countries, they aren’t just meeting local or national needs; economic globalization means that the needs and wants of the global population are bearing down on them as well. Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural expansion, wood extraction (e.g., logging or wood harvest for domestic fuel or charcoal), and infrastructure expansion such as road building and urbanization. Rarely is there a single direct cause for deforestation. Most often, multiple processes work simultaneously or sequentially to cause deforestation.
The single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is conversion to cropland and pasture, mostly for subsistence, which is growing crops or raising livestock to meet daily needs. The conversion to agricultural land usually results from multiple direct factors. For example, countries build roads into remote areas to improve overland transportation of goods. The road development itself causes a limited amount of deforestation. But roads also provide entry to previously inaccessible—and often unclaimed—land. Logging, both legal and illegal, often follows road expansion (and in some cases is the reason for the road expansion). When loggers have harvested an area’s valuable timber, they move on. The roads and the logged areas become a magnet for settlers—farmers and ranchers who slash and burn the remaining forest for cropland or cattle pasture, completing the deforestation chain that began with road building. In other cases, forests that have been degraded by logging become fire-prone and are eventually deforested by repeated accidental fires from adjacent farms or pastures.
Although subsistence activities have dominated agriculture-driven deforestation in the tropics to date, large-scale commercial activities are playing an increasingly significant role. In the Amazon, industrial-scale cattle ranching and soybean production for world markets are increasingly important causes of deforestation, and in Indonesia, the conversion of tropical forest to commercial palm tree plantations to produce bio-fuels for export is a major cause of deforestation on Borneo and Sumatra.
Although poverty is often cited as the underlying cause of tropical deforestation, analyses of multiple scientific studies indicate that that explanation is an oversimplification. Poverty does drive people to migrate to forest frontiers, where they engage in slash and burn forest clearing for subsistence. But rarely does one factor alone bear the sole responsibility for tropical deforestation.
State policies to encourage economic development, such as road and railway expansion projects, have caused significant, unintentional deforestation in the Amazon and Central America.
How to Cite this Page
|Cause and Effect of Deforestation in Sumatra Forests Essay - ... Another cause of deforestation is illegal logging. Many people who cut down trees to sell to other companies. Illegal logging can include cutting down property that is either not theirs or is a protected species. The demand for plywood and hardwood have increased and because of this illegal logging has also increased. According to greenpeace.org fourty percent of the trees cut down in 1998 were from illegal productions. WWF’s research in 2002 shows that in Africa, rates of illegal logging vary from 50 percent in Cameroon and 70 percent in Guinea and 80 percent in Liberia (Greenpeace).... [tags: palm oil plantations, endangered species]||557 words|
| Deforestation, A Possible Cause of Malaria Essays - A common fact that reminds people everyday of how important the rain-forests are to the world is that they provide about three-fourths of the world’s oxygen. So what if this source of life to the planet is removed or even destroyed by Earth’s inhabitants. The obvious answer is that species won’t be able to survive without an oxygen source, but the less obvious is what is happening now with deforestation of the forests, and specifically rain-forests. In these rain-forest regions, such as Vietnam, the Amazon, and Sub-Saharan Africa, the effects of deforestation can be seen dramatically.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 4 Works Cited
| The Devastating Effects of Uncontrolled Deforestation in Malaysia Essay - According to Wikipedia (2008), deforestation can be defined as the removal of a forest or stand of trees where there is land. According to the data from the United Nations (2006), Malaysia’s rate of deforestation is accelerating faster than that of any other tropical country in the world. There are countless causes and effects of deforestation on nature and its wildlife and it is essential to determine ways to overcome uncontrolled deforestation. Due to the failure of the Malaysian government in providing figures showing the change in extent of primary forests during the period of 1990 to 2000 and 2000 to 2005, the analysis of figures from the food and agriculture organization of the United... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 1 Works Cited
| The Causes of Deforestation in the Amazon Rain Forest Essay - The Causes of Deforestation in the Amazon Rain Forest The Amazon Rain Forest crosses several national boundaries in South America, although the majority of it is located in Brazil. It covers over 3,562,000 acres, making it the largest in the world. But globally, over 138,600 acres of rain forest are lost each year to deforestation, 50,000 of those in Brazil alone (Holdsforth), and the world's rain forests are quickly disappearing. Deforestation in the Amazon occurs primarily for three reasons: clear-cutting, fragmentation, and edge effects.... [tags: Expository Cause Effect Essays]|
:: 4 Works Cited
| Long Term Negative Effects of Deforestation in the Amazon Essay example - What would happen if one day the Amazon rainforest disappeared. The Amazon rainforest will disappear is not an assumption. It absolutely will be happen if people keep on deforesting the Amazon rainforest for many different demands. Huge amounts of area in Amazon were deforested because of agricultural pursuits. Also, the deforestation rate has increased in other ways, such as obtain more land for living and excessive uses of wood. Therefore, a large amount of trees were cut down and led to forest destruction.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 1 Works Cited
| Deforestation of the Amazon Essay - Forests are vegetable formations which cover 31% of the terrestrial surface in the world. According to the FAO*, 300 million of people live in or around forests and 1.6 billion depend on different degrees to the forest to live. Moreover, 40% of the terrestrial carbon is stocked in the forest. Consequently, forest are essential for the survival of our planet. By 2008, more than 17% of the pre-1970 forests had been cleared. Deforestation has become a huge problem, and the Amazonia is probably the forest which is the most in danger since 2000.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 4 Works Cited
| Deforestation of the Amazon Essay - Deforestation, or “the cutting down and removal of all or most of the trees in a forested area,” has caused an adverse effect on the natural habitats, or “the natural environment of an organism”, of plant and animal life(“Deforestation”; Random House). Besides the destruction of the animals’ homes, deforestation has caused and will continue to cause an increase in soil erosion, flooding, and carbon emissions ("Amazon Rainforest: Consequences."). Deforestation ravages not only the land, but every living creature and their habitats within.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 11 Works Cited
| Tragedy of Deforestation Essay - Being home to more than half of the species in the world, the tropical rainforests are one of the most exciting and interesting places on Earth. To many, these areas are known as jungles due to the large amount of vegetation found. Tropical rainforests are located in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), which is in the Equatorial region. These forests can be found in Central and South America, Western and Central Africa, as well as in South East Asia. Some other places also include small islands in the Pacific Ocean.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 12 Works Cited
| Essay on Tragedy of Deforestation - Human activity can negatively impact on the environment in different ways, which can lead to consequences which are not only bad for the environmental area affected, but humans too. Activities such as causing radiation leaks with nuclear meltdowns and dumping waste are just some examples of how humans can worsen their own environment. One environment damaging human activity in particular is deforestation. It is a significant problem in many parts of the world, with over four fifths of the worlds forest wiped out according to the World Resources Institute.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]|
:: 6 Works Cited
|Essay on Deforestation - Deforestation is a major global problem with serious consequences to the planet. These consequences have a negative effect on the climate, biodiversity, the atmosphere and threatens the cultural and physical survival of life. Deforestation is the permanent destruction of indigenous forests and woodlands. It has resulted in the reduction of indigenous forests to four-fifths of their pre-agricultural area, so that now indigenous forests cover only 21% of the earth's land surface.... [tags: Deforestation Essays]||2206 words|
Deforestation Significant Role Economic Globalization Multiple Livestock Roads Timber Magnet Bearing Developing Countries
Agricultural subsidies and tax breaks, as well as timber concessions, have encouraged forest clearing as well. Global economic factors such as a country’s foreign debt, expanding global markets for rainforest timber and pulpwood, or low domestic costs of land, labor, and fuel can encourage deforestation over more sustainable land use.
Access to technology may either enhance or diminish deforestation. The availability of technologies that allow “industrial-scale” agriculture can spur rapid forest clearing, while inefficient technology in the logging industry increases collateral damage in surrounding forests, making subsequent deforestation more likely. Underlying factors are rarely isolated; instead, multiple global and local factors exert synergistic influences on tropical deforestation in different geographic locations.
The local level is where deforestation has the most immediate effect. With forest loss, the local community loses the system that performed valuable but often underappreciated services like ensuring the regular flow of clean water and protecting the community from flood and drought. The forest acts as a sort of sponge, soaking up rainfall brought by tropical storms while anchoring soils and releasing water at regular intervals. This regulating feature of tropical rainforests can help moderate destructive flood and drought cycles that can occur when forests are cleared.
When forest cover is lost, runoff rapidly flows into streams, elevating river levels and subjecting downstream villages, cities, and agricultural fields to flooding, especially during the rainy season. During the dry season, such areas downstream of deforestation can be prone to months-long droughts which interrupt river navigation, wreak havoc on crops, and disrupt industrial operations.
Situated on steep slopes, montane and watershed forests are especially important in ensuring water flow and inhibiting erosion, yet during the 1980s, montane formations suffered the highest deforestation rate of tropical forests.
Additionally, the forest adds to local humidity through transpiration (the process by which plants release water through their leaves), and thus adds to local rainfall. For example, 50-80 percent of the moisture in the central and western Amazon remains in the ecosystem water cycle. In the water cycle, moisture is transpired and evaporated into the atmosphere, forming rain clouds before being precipitated as rain back onto the forest. When the forests are cut down, less moisture is evapotranspired into the atmosphere resulting in the formation of fewer rain clouds. Subsequently there is a decline in rainfall, subjecting the area to drought. If rains stop falling, within a few years the area can become arid with the strong tropical sun baking down on the scrub-land. Today Madagascar is largely a red, treeless desert from generations of severe deforestation. River flows decline and smaller amounts of quality water reach cities and agricultural lands. The declining rainfall in interior West African countries has in part been attributed to excessive clearing of the coastal rainforests. Similarly, new research in Australia suggests that if it were not for human influences—specifically widespread agricultural fires—the dry outback might be a wetter, more hospitable place than it is today. The effect of vegetation change from forests that favor rainfall to grassland and bush can impact precipitation patterns. Colombia, once second in the world with freshwater reserves, has fallen to 24th due to its extensive deforestation over the past 30 years. Excessive deforestation around the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, combined with the dry conditions created by el Niño, triggered strict water rationing in 1998, and for the first time the city had to import water.
There is serious concern that widespread deforestation could lead to a significant decline in rainfall and trigger a positive-feedback process of increasing dessication for neighboring forest cover; reducing its moisture stocks and its vegetation would then further the dessication effect for the region. Eventually the effect could extend outside the region, affecting important agricultural zones and other watersheds. At the 1998 global climate treaty conference in Buenos Aires, Britain, citing a disturbing study at the Institute of Ecology in Edinburgh, suggested the Amazon rainforest could be lost in 50 years due to shifts in rainfall patterns induced by global warming and land conversion.
The newly dessicated forest becomes prone to devastating fires. Such fires materialized in 2007 and 2008 in conjunction with the dry conditions created by el Niño. Millions of acres burned as fires swept through Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Central America, Florida, and other places. The Woods Hole Research Center warned that more than 400,000 square kilometers of Brazilian Amazonia were highly vulnerable to fire in 2010.
Deforestation is the process of cutting down trees and clearing land. Deforestation occurs for a variety of reasons. In many countries, people clear land to use it for other purposes, such as agriculture, pasture land, and urban development. Deforestation can also occur to produce the wood and organic materials needed for a variety of industries. Forests cover approximately 30 percent of the entire surface of the Earth, with tropical rainforests taking up about 7 percent of the land area. Trees serve a variety of important functions, so losing vital forest area will likely have far-reaching implications for Earth and life residing on this planet.
Causes of Deforestation
Deforestation is not a new development. Humans have been removing trees to make room for crops and livestock pastures for centuries. The "slash and burn" clearing method involves intentionally setting fires to clear land. This practice enables farmers to completely clear out the understory of forests, decimating shrubs, small trees, flowers, and vines. Logging and harvesting wood for construction and domestic fuel is another significant reason for deforestation. With the expansion of the human population, people have chosen to clear both deciduous forests and tropical rainforests to build roads, highways, and cities. As countries have built roads for access in and out of remote areas, these roadways have made it possible for logging activities to expand in many locations. Roads pave the way for logging trucks to drive in and out of logging facilities as they deliver materials to processing plants.
Effects of Deforestation
The ecosystems that exist within tropical rainforests provide homes for approximately half of all of the living species on the Earth. Many of these plants, animals, and other organisms need very specific living environments that they can only find in tropical rainforests. If deforestation eliminates these natural ecosystems, many species will likely face extinction. Even the forests left standing are vulnerable to damage thanks to the changed environment that often results from deforestation. The soil left after deforestation is often of poor quality, and it lacks the nutrients necessary for agriculture. This tropical soil is dependent on trees to continually replenish its nutrients. When the trees disappear, the soil is unable to sustain crops.
A number of climate impacts may also result from deforestation. Tropical rainforests are an integral part of the water cycle, contributing to water evaporation from the soil. If this evaporation disappears, rain may not fall as it typically would. Evaporation also contributes to natural cooling of the Earth's surface. The end result of deforestation could cause changes in the amount of rainfall and higher temperatures for some geographic locations. Trees are also important for replenishing the Earth's atmosphere with oxygen. In fact, the Amazon rainforest produces about 20 percent of the oxygen supply for the entire planet. Eliminating forests has a direct correlation with global warming and an increase in dangerous levels of greenhouse gases.
Preventing and Reversing the Effects of Deforestation
People can help to preserve forests in a variety of ways. Locally, governments can work with citizens to encourage agricultural practices that have less impact on the environment in general and forests specifically. Shade farming is one option to help prevent additional deforestation for agriculture. Creating protected forest areas can provide jobs, and it also may increase tourism in various countries. National and international environmental laws and treaties can also help prevent future deforestation. However, continual monitoring is necessary to ensure that countries uphold laws and treaties, preventing activities such as illegal logging. As the global community becomes more aware of deforestation risks and alternative sustainable options, deforestation becomes more preventable.
Written By Ava Rose.