Forests are an important part of our life and our environment. Without forests we can’t exist. We consider forest as a resource, but now enormous deforestation is occurring. The disappearance of the forest is referred to as deforestation. It means clearing trees, transforming a wooden area into a cleared land, and also decrease in forest areas across the world that are lost for other uses such as agriculture, cropland, urbanization, or mining activities.
Types of deforestation:
There are two types of deforestation:
- Clear cutting
- Selective logging
Clear cutting- The removal of all the trees in forest areas.
Selective logging- The cutting down of selected trees in forest.
Causes of deforestation:
There are two causes of deforestation:
- Natural – Hurricanes, Fire, flood
- Hurricanes- In the case of hurricane, forceful wind can reach speeds of 156mph and pull and stretch tree roots, causing them to snap and fall over.
- Fire- Deforestation may also occur by fire in a natural way. Such as fire ignited by heat from the sun or by a lightning strike.
- Floods- Floods reduce the fertility of the soil over time and frequent floods reduce the number of trees on the earth.
- Manmade- Agriculture expansion, wood extraction, illegal logging, mining
- Agriculture- According to FAO, 80% agricultural causes are responsible for deforestation. Growth of agricultural lands leads to deforestation.
- Wood extraction-In modern era cutting down tree for purpose of timber industry, wood cutting causes serious damage to the ecosystem and environment.
- Illegal logging – everything is done by approval of the government of India. But some people want to be become rich in an illegal way. So they cut down trees for their economic strength, like timber and furniture industry.
- Mining- mining is important factor for the industrial growth. But now-a-days enormous mining activities are happening. It leads to deforestation and also destruction of the ecosystem.
Effects of Deforestation-
Due to deforestation there is an increase in the temperature and pollution, and an increase in the level of carbon dioxide. Deforestation reduces rainfall and fertility of the soil, causing flood and drought, and has a huge impact in global warming.
Trees and humans are interrelated to each other. Humans need oxygen for their respiration and trees need carbon dioxide. All plants take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen. But when the forest is cut down, much of the stored carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere and we know co2 is a greenhouse gas, so it leads to increase in temperature and global warming. Deforestation is responsible for the soil erosion. Tree roots hold the soil. If we cut down trees the root becomes weak which leads to soil erosion.
Forest Conservation Movements:
- Bishnoi Movement
It is the 1st forest protection movement of India which was held at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, in the year 1730. The king of Jodhpur, Abhay Singh gave orders to cut down trees for the construction of a new palace. Amrita Devi was a brave lady who protested against this and many villagers had also joined them.
- Chipko Movement
It is a prominent movement in our history. It is also a forest conservation movement leaded by Sunderlal Bahuguna. The movement started in 1973 at the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Slogan of the movement was ‘ecology is permanent economy’.
- Appiko movement
It was led by environment activist Panduranga hedge. It was launched in Karnataka in 1983.
Forest provides us with food, cloth, shelter and oxygen and also balances our ecosystem. Without forest we cannot exist. So, it is important to protect forest for the environment. Now the time is coming. We should protect our forests as well as create more forests to help the planet thrive. Save trees, save the environment.