Deforestation is a primary contributor to climate change. It is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but they are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Each year more than 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests are lost, an area roughly the size of England.
Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification.
Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and retains heat at night. That disruption leads to more extreme temperature swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.
Tropical deforestation is responsible for approximately 20% of world greenhouse gas emissions.
We need trees for a variety of reasons. Not only they absorb the carbon dioxide that we exhale, but also the heat-trapping greenhouse gases that human activities emit. As those gases enter the atmosphere, global warming increases, a trend scientists now prefer to call climate change.
Causes of deforestation
Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches or urban use.
Agriculture is the primary cause of deforestation. It cuts trees down for use as building material or sold as fuel (sometimes in the form of charcoal or timber). It then uses clear lands as pasture for livestock and plantation.
Consumption and production of beef is the primary driver using around 80% of all converted land to rear cattle.
International Day of Forests
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Forests on the 21st day of March.
Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.
On International Day of Forests, countries undertake efforts to organise local, national, and international activities involving forests and trees.
The International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013.
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