As we all should know, forests give us a wealth of benefits such as providing oxygen and absorbing human emitted greenhouse carbon dioxide. They also help in reducing land slides by keeping the ground through their strong roots and provide a habitat for about 80% of animal species. They are also the best tool in fighting climate change, yet we as humans cut them down without any regards for more development.
Forests cover about 30% of the world’s land area, however they are disappearing at a rapid rate. According to the World Bank, the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) of forest between 1990 and 2016. That is approximately a size just larger than South Africa. That is pretty staggering considering the size of South Africa which is about 2x bigger than the State of Texas. During the past 50 years, about 17% of the Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed. According to the Nature journal, since the start of tree cutting, about 46% of trees has been cut as of 2015.That is remarkable that we had so much more forest cover across the world which is no more there to see.
The key culprits of tree cutting across the world are due to logging, palm oil resource, agriculture and mining. Due to the growing population of the world which is close to 8 Billion people, there is more need for food and development for the urban sprawl. More resources are needed to sustain human life and the forests are suffering in turn.
What is being done to stop deforestation?
Countries in South America are fighting to save the Amazon Rainforests by working with local tribes. Stricter penalties are taking place for illegal logging and farming in South America. Countries of Pakistan and India are regreening their nations. Due to the new government change in August 2018, Pakistan is planting about 10 billion trees to reverse decades of deforestation. Voting for the right politicians can play a large part in conservation. New Innovative ways of tackling illegal logging has been implemented. National Geographic Explorer Topher White, for example, has come up with a way to use recycled cell phones to monitor for chainsaws. Groups such as Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship council are certifying products according to sustainable practices from the product’s respective brands. Canada has been using modern logging techniques which are efficient and allow less wastage of trees. Due to such practices, Canada has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world. Today, Canada’s 348 million hectares of forest lands represent about 9% of the world’s forest cover, but accounts for only 0.3% of global deforestation.
William Shakespeare once famously said, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” Let’s unite to stop deforestation and value nature more.