Forests are very important to the enviroment because they use carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce oxygen. They also provide shelter and food for many different types of plants and animals. Trees are cut down for many reasons but the main reasons are to make space to build new houses and to clear land to grow grass for cows and sheep to eat, to produce dairy foods. The trees which are cut down are sold and they are made into paper and furniture.
Cutting down trees is called deforestation and it can have serious effects. If animals’ homes, which are built in and around the trees, are destroyed, many species will become extinct. For example, were lost before scientists could learn about them. Deforestation also affects the climate. When rain falls on a forest, new clouds are created. If huge areas of trees are cut down, clouds do not form, rain does not fall and the land becomes drier. The CO2 builds up and adds to the global warming which is making the Earth become hotter.
Many European countries are planting trees faster than they are cutting them down. Many trees were planted a few years ago to replace woodland and to create forests in areas where there wasn’t much wood. We can help to save forests by reusing and recycling paper.
Cultural displacement is one of the effects of deforestation, In many cases, the people who live in a forested area do not have legal rights to the property. They are there simply because their ancestors were there, and because the land remained suitable enough to sustain continued generations over time. Companies that want to develop these regions sometimes make efforts to help native people transition into a more industrial lifestyle, but often, groups are simply pushed out of the way onto different land. These individuals generally have to adapt quickly to survive, and even when they do, the changes they accept often put them at risk of losing their traditional ways of life.
Palm Oil has been receiving attention lately for its potential as a biofuel and is used in many packaged foods and beauty products. But palm oil is another cause of deforestation. Its rising prices make it more valuable, and, in response, and farmers destroy acres of trees to harvest it. For this reason, several countries are currently debating a ban on palm oil as a biofuel.
This is a brief overview of some causes of deforestation and forest degradation, proving that their conservation is not an issue merely “technical” proper forest management. Forests are not disappearing because people and their governments are ignorant or because no suitable management plans are in place. Forests are disappearing because there is a series of interconnected national and international policies paving the way for that to happen. It is therefore at this level that solutions must be found. The way to prevent misleading information is to inform the same public opinion about the real causes –and included responsible for the loss of forests as a way of generating social pressure that forces the adoption of all necessary measures, both national and international levels to ensure the conservation of forests.