Deforestation is the process of clearing forests for land. Humans use land for many reasons, and there is much talk about moves to stop deforestation.
It could be that people use the land to develop buildings or factories or extract natural resources underground, or use the resources of the forest to contribute to other business interests. In any case, deforestation contributes to a great deal of destruction.
It’s estimated that 18 million acres of land are deforested each year. That’s roughly the size of Panama every year.
While individual efforts are small, we can make a difference if everyone works to reduce their involvement in deforestation. Here are some ideas on how to stop deforestation.
How to Stop Deforestation
Deforestation refers to the permanent removal of forests. The progression of deforestation causes a loss of natural habitats and, in many cases, species extinction. Humans are responsible for 80% of recent forest destruction and that number is only increasing with time in some regions.
It is estimated that there have been over 1 billion acres of land cleared since 1990. The state of Oregon alone has lost about 140 million acres due to deforestation. Deforestation may contribute roughly 25% towards land warming. If this trend continues at its current rate then there could be catastrophic environmental changes within the next few decades which will have drastic effects on both human life as well as animal life on our planet.
One cause of deforestation is the natural “edge effect” that occurs when there is an abrupt change in vegetation from one type to another. Due to human encroachment, the size of these boundaries are increasing. An example is the border between Canada’s boreal forests (northern coniferous forests) and arctic tundra. Another cause is logging with some of the worst deforestation occurring in tropical regions where dense rainforests are being harvested for timber at rates as high as 50,000 acres per day.
Other causes include firewood collecting, farming, real estate development and cattle ranching. Deforestation has many impacts including: air pollution and water quality issues, erosion problems and a loss of habitat for both plants and animals. By addressing each of these causes we can begin to reverse the trend of deforestation.
One way to address deforestation is the reduction of fires through a safer use of firewood by means of efficient stoves that burn much less wood than open fires or traditional cookstoves. Another solution would be to have a tax placed on imported timber which would encourage countries to protect their forests instead of cutting them down for sale. Moreover, developing countries could assist developed ones with replanting efforts in an effort to increase forested regions.
The Amazon forest is one example of deforestation. The Amazon is home to more wildlife than any other region of the planet. In fact, it’s believed that nearly 1 in 10 of all animal species exists in the Amazon forest.
Deforestation has already lead to the loss of 20 percent of the region. That means millions of plants and animals, some of them endangered, have already lost their habitats.
The World Wildlife Foundation has predicted that more than one-quarter of the trees in the Amazon will be gone by 2030. So, what can we do to slow or prevent these things from happening?
1. Purchase Wisely and Mindfully
Being aware of what goes into the products you buy might be the single most important thing you can do to stop deforestation and climate change.
Cutting down on your use of wood and paper products is one way to make a difference. When you do buy these products, don’t treat them lightly. Use them as much as you can and recycle whenever possible.
The idea is to cut down on the demand for these things so that there is less reason to cut down trees to create them. This idea extends into the foods we eat as well.
A lot of forest in Central and South America has been cleared to make space to raise cattle for beef. Try and buy locally sourced beef, or stop eating meat altogether, to reduce the demand for deforested land to raise cattle on.
2. Support Organizations in the Fight
There are a lot of groups working on the front lines to enact legislation to protect our forests and prevent businesses from contributing to the destruction of places like the Amazon.
You can contribute to these causes financially, spread awareness about them on social media, or offer your services as a volunteer. Groups like the World Wildlife Foundation are always willing to accept donations and offer volunteer opportunities.
The World Wildlife Foundation is a great organization to donate money to. It helps protect endangered species and their habitats, which in the end will benefit us all.
3. Visit Vulnerable Places
Another way to show support for these places is by visiting them. This adds value to the natural beauty by increasing demand for the tourist industry.
Further, experiencing the natural beauty available will motivate you to recruit others as agents of change. If you’re interested in seeing places like the Amazon, visit www.amazoncruise.net.
Interested in Learning More?
If learning about how to stop deforestation is on your mind, don’t stop there. Learn about other ways in which to contribute to the health of our planet. There are many ways to help stop deforestation. One of the best is through planting new trees.
Visit our site to learn more.