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Deforestation The Causes Effects And Controlling Techniques Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 2966 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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As we all know that fires, urbanization, and other infrastructures from the main causes of deforestation. Also we All know that living organism in this ecosystem was facing or will suffering from deforestation impact directly or indirectly through other environmental issues that happen because of deforestation. Therefore , in the next few papers we will illustrate to the seriousness and the importance of this problem depending on statistics ,pictures, studies and articles that published on books and internet websites.


Is it right that our planet is under threat of climate changing? It is true that it is related to deforestation? What will happen if we didn’t solve this problem? All of these question will be answered in this research…. which will give you more information about deforestation, its causes, impacts, some statistics and how we could take people attention to the climatic change and prevent their actions on deforestation to save our planet.

The cutting of forests or the destruction of the forests is called deforestation. deforestation term is called in cases that human-induced it or due to the forces of nature as well, so Human are mainly responsible for the destruction.

Deforestation for need

humans has cut down trees since they first appeared. In modern times the human needs was not limited on food , and shelter, but it surpassed it into weapons ,paper, furniture, paved roads, entertainment places and housing. So, Thousands upon thousands of acres of forest have disappeared worldwide to fill our appetite for wood and land.

Deforestation for Profit

The governments are often poor and the land is more valuable to large corporations than used for conservation and tourism. for this reason ,in poor countries Governments gives permits and licenses to those who have the money to buy the land and make their money. The activity of Deforestation is a way of making a living, through selling timber , and using the land for growing crops or grazing herds or to provide land for homes and businesses. As you can see in (Figure 1) that companies ,attract and involve the native people who are exist in the forest when they conduct this business.

figure : Book: William P. Cunningham, 1990: Environmental Science A GLOBAL CONCERN. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, USA.

Raising Consciousness

Undoubtedly the reason that makes people more aware than ever of the effects of deforestation as more and more people become affected by climate change and extreme weather events which is the most important consequences resulting from deforestation. All of that would make human think of stopping or reduce deforestation activities for maintaining our atmosphere, slowing global warming , protecting us from floods, and ensuring a reliable and sustainable suppliers of natural resources .


What is Deforestation?

Deforestation is the clearing or removal of trees from an area of woodland or forest for many differing reason usually commercial [1] . And it also defined as “the destruction of a forest and changing the use of the land” [2] .

Causes of Deforestation

There are many different causes for deforestation and they vary widely from location to location. As it is known most of deforestation cases happen by human practices. And this idea is true , but also there are some natural causes leads to deforestation such as : firs, natural disasters(floods).

Agriculture and Cattle-Raising

The expansion of cattle-raising has also been promoted by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as through tax incentives and has been closely linked to land concentration [3] .

Cattle expansion in the Amazon in the last twelve years has been phenomenal. During this period, the number of cattle more than doubled, from 26million in 1990 to 57 million in 2002. In the process it has gone from representing 17.8% of Brazil’s total cattle herd to almost one third (see table 1).

Table 1:INTERNET: Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) www.ibge.gove.be

The phrase described how the rapid growth of beef exports from Central America to fast food chains in the United States was driving deforestation. [4] 

Dams and Megaprojects

Usually the rivers that extend to thousand hectares or more in the forest have the greatest chance to implement of major infrastructure works , such as building dams for obtaining hydroelectric energy like what happen in Xingu river. It is estimated that nearly all the Amazon forest will be destroyed during the first half of this century if the present trends are increased with the implementation of major infrastructure works in the region. [5] 


In many tropical areas mining is a major cause of deforestation and forest degradation, generating a large number of social and environmental impacts. A recent study published by Third World Network-Africa provides a detailed picture of those minerals in the Wassa West District of Ghana. The main minerals being mined in Ghana are gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese, but the most dominant mineral commodity is gold. [6] 

Effects of Deforestation

Deforestation is a problem with unlimited effects.

Environmental problems:


Studies show that 99% of the water absorbed by the roots moves up to the leaves and evaporates to keep the weather nice and moisture, therefore if trees are cut down it will cause into drier climate.

Another important hydrological impact of deforestation is that the soil capacity to store water is affected negatively because after deforestation , litter and other organic residue of plants change soil properties to make it good stores of water. But that water will not stay for long time because it will affected by sun rays which will evaporate most of groundwater.


Trees represent a thick cover that prevent the damaging sun rays. And because of deforestation ,the sun rays can deeply penetrate into the forest than before, if that happen trees will wilts and dies .

Green house effect:

If forest is cut down forest and replaced by vegetation with a smaller biomass per hectare, there is a release of CO2 by burning or decomposition of forest plant [7] .Tropical deforestation

is a substantial contributor to total CO2 production by human activity ( see table 2.4).

TABLE 2 :Edward I. Newman, 2000: Applied Ecology & Environmental Management.

global climate change:

green house gases ,forest fires, and the Pollution that rapidly growing along with population .



Trees absorb water through their roots and release it into the atmosphere. In the Amazon, half of the water is returned in the trees. If the trees are removed, the region becomes drier because it cannot hold as much water.

Mudslides and erosions:

Roots are existing to prove the soil ,and by deforestation The land becomes unstable because their are no trees. therefore it causes erosion.

Economical impacts:

In economic terms, forests does not only provide fuel and wood for industry, but they also provide the medicinal plants , fruit trees and nuts, which is the main source of food for forest dwellers. Also The forest have a large economic and environmental benefits , it is a haven for everyone, as they provide them with a feeling of comfort and peace of mind, and give them the fresh air and gains entertainment that any industrial facilities can not provide them , and beautifully landscaped. Therefore, it provides significant economic value through tourism activity. And when governments encourage individuals to cut trees timber and exercising a certain economic activities detrimental to the environment such as set on fire which leads to over-exploitation of forest wealth and the deterioration of its condition. The consequences of these behaviors are: population migration from these areas and the emergence of the problems such as: poverty, diseases, conflict on food, unemployment.

Deforestation and biodiversity:

Plants diversity

No one can deny that we still rely on plants or herbs in the treatment of some diseases, such as cough, constipation and some skin diseases. we will proof this by these two facts about rainforest plants :

Rainforests currently provide sources for one-fourth of today’s medicines, and 70 percent of the plants found to have anticancer properties are found only in the rainforest. [8] 

Two drugs obtained from a rainforest plant known as the Madagascar periwinkle, now extinct in the wild due to deforestation of the Madagascar rainforest, have increased the chances of survival for children with leukemia from 20 percent to 80 percent. [9] (See figure 2)which is Madagascar periwinkle plant.

Figure2: Book: William P. Cunningham, 1990: Environmental Science A GLOBAL CONCERN. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, USA.

Animal diversity

The human species has been the direct or indirect causes of most of the extinctions, especially through habitat destruction. When Europeans first arrived in the Hawaiian islands , there were sixty-eight unique bird species. of these, forty one now are extinct, mainly because of deforestation to create pineapple and sugarcane plantations, resorts, and cities [10] .

Fish diversity

In this aspect we illustrate that removing forest to build government projects, such as roads and dams, could protect threatened habitat.

In the 1960s the Tennessee valley authority (TVA) announced intentions to dam the little Tennessee river for power , flood control, and recreation. opponent fought against this project for years, arguing that the dam was not needed , the cost was too high, the payback was too low, and it destroyed valuable forest , wildlife habitat, native American archeological sites, and recreational, historic, and scenic values. It was revealed that the only known habitat of small paperclip-size fish called the snail darter (percina tanasi) (figure 3) would be destroyed if the river valley was flooded [11] .

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Figure 3: Book: William P. Cunningham, 1990: Environmental Science A GLOBAL CONCERN. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, USA.

How to Stop Deforestation

We know that , stopping deforestation activity definitely not an easy task, but to reduce the impact of rapid spread of deforestation in previous years and to increase consciousness rate we suggest people to :

* Try to use the paper more than once. For example, use both sides of paper.

* put the paper in recycling paper box.

*Use e-mails to aware your friends about impact of deforestation.

*Aware about type of wood and avoid the tropical hardwood, such as ebony and rosewood. And make sure the manufacturer can guarantee that the hardwoods were harvested from agro forestry plantations.

Also we Suggest government to:

*Create law to deforestation: by making law that cutting trees from forests become a crime punishable by law.

*Encouraging companies: that working in reforestation by decrease taxes for them and try to give them all help to increase number of those companies.

* using selective timber -cutting instead of clear- cutting:

because in selective cutting, foresters remove desirable tree species ,like deformed trees to get rid of them.

* posting fire danger warnings and sponsoring television and radio announcements [12] .

*reducing demand on wood by:

– using thinner saw blades in saw mills, which reduce the kerf ,and improved machines that do a better job of processing logos for plywood along with a host of other technologies.

– special training for workers could also help reduce wood waste [13] .

*Farming: is a New methods are being developed to farm more intensively, such as high-yield hybrid crops, greenhouse, autonomous building gardens, and hydroponics. to keep balance between rates of farming and deforestation [14] .


Forests are a source of beauty, food, medicines, also its highly responsible in keeping and sustaining global ecosystems. It is also the home of more than half of all creatures and organisms in this planet. On the other hand we also gain other benefits by deforestation . For example: building the communities, residential houses, factories, and roads ; to be more suitable for the growing numbers of population. By Deforestation we can also convert the forest land to productive land for agricultural uses. As a result, we and all the other creatures on this planet suffer greatly from the consequences of deforestation. So deforestation should be stopped at any cost, especially the illegal cutting of trees. By increasing the government laws and punishment ,and increasing Perception and awareness among people which may leads us to gradual disposal of deforestation.



Edward I. Newman, 2000: Applied Ecology & Environmental Management, Second Edition. Blackwell Science Ltd, England.

William P. Cunningham, 1990: Environmental Science A GLOBAL CONCERN. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, USA.

William & Mary Ann,2009, Principles of Environmental Science(Inquiry & Application), Fifth Edition, Mc Graw Hill, New York.


Effect of deforestation,< http://www.effects-of-deforestation.com/what-is-deforestation.php


Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) www.ibge.gove.be

Issue Number 85 – August 2004:World Rainforest Movement, < http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/85/general.html#deforestation>.

Center for International Forestry Research, http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/publications/pdf_files/media/Amazon.pdf>.

WRM’s bulletin N° 67, February 2003, World Rainforest Movement, < http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/67/Brazil2.html>.

INTERNET: WRM’s bulletin N° 41, December 2000, World Rainforest Movement, < http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/41/Ghana.html>.

Rain Tree, < http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm>.

Ask, < http://www.ask.com/wiki/Deforestation?qsrc=3044#Control>.


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Abstract 2

Introduction 2-3


What is Deforestation? 3

Causes of Deforestation

Agriculture and Cattle-Raising 4

Dams and Megaprojects 5

Mining 5

Effects of Deforestation

Environmental problems: 5-6

Economical impacts: 7

Deforestation and biodiversity: 7-8

How to Stop Deforestation 9

Conclusion 10


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