By Lara Taylor
Deforestation is a rapidly growing problem for our eco systems and wild life that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. With one and a half acres of forest cut down every second or 20 football fields a minute, a total of the worlds forest lost to date is 7.3 million hectares per year, If the current rate of deforestation continues it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforest on earth putting 28,000 species at risk of extinction by the next quarter of the century, Eighty percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes. Not only are the animals at risk but our health is too, with the the amazon providing 20% of the worlds oxygen
The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Often, small farmers will clear a few acres by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as slash and burn agriculture. Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Forests are also cut as a result of growing urban sprawl as land is developed for dwellings.
The most feasible solution to deforestation is to carefully manage forest resources by eliminating clear-cutting to make sure forest environments remain intact. The cutting that does occur should be balanced by planting young trees to replace older trees felled. The number of new tree plantations is growing each year, but their total still equals a tiny fraction of the Earth’s forested land.
We all play a part in deforestation everyday from the products we purchase to switching to renewable energy, with a bit of education and telling the truth a good bit of effort we may be able to make a difference.