When it comes to the issue of deforestation, more often than not, it is regarded as something negative. However, there are also several reasons why this practice is done. Deforestation is the clearing and removal of forests or trees for various purposes. It can also be caused by natural disasters. According to reports, about 18 million acres of deforestation occur in a year and approximately 30% of the world’s forest had already been cleared. Be that as it may, there are also numerous benefits the clearing of rainforests bring. Let us take a look at the two opposite sides of this topic.
List of Advantages of Deforestation
1. It is a means of livelihood.
One of the advantages of deforestation is its being a source of income for farmers who cut down trees to be made into coal and be sold as fuel. Moreover, trees from forests are also made into construction and building materials to build houses. This helps not to provide shelter to people but also to boon the construction industry. Another use of deforestation in livelihood is through conversion of forests into agricultural or farm lands to be used by farmers to plant crops.
2. It makes expansion possible.
Another benefit of deforestation is the transformation of forests into paved roads to transport goods and commodities to other places and meet the demands of consumers. Also, it can be used by industries for different kind of businesses such as infrastructure, construction and theme parks.
3. It can be a source of materials.
Deforestation results to availability of trees that can be made into timber and be used for construction. Aside from this, other parts of the trees have numerous uses such as sap used to become paper, toothpick, tissue and food, among others.
4. It offers more job opportunities.
To make clearing of the forest possible, man power is needed. This does not only include engineers but also skilled workers who are given the chance to earn and provide for their families. Also, those who convert some parts of the forest and convert them to farm lands become agriculturists and entrepreneurs. People who invest money to create theme parks or tourist attractions employ workers to build and operate their businesses.
5. It contributes to industrialization.
Forests encompass large areas of land which can be used to build manufacturing plants and additional infrastructure. All these are all indications that a country or community is developing and becoming industrialized. Consequently, there can also be a boom of the economy.
6. It provides food for animals.
Farmers and agriculturists who feed animals by sending them to forests are also benefiting from deforestation. By using the method of animal grazing for deforestation, they not only expand their land areas but also are able to keep their livestock healthy and well-fed.
List of Disadvantages of Deforestation
1. It destroys the habitat of animals and birds.
One of the disadvantages brought about by deforestation is the destruction of the natural habitat of animals and birds living in the forests. With continuous cutting down of trees, wild animals and birds that use these trees as their homes find themselves with nowhere to go. This has also exposed them to danger from hunters and poachers. Consequently, birds migrate to other places looking for home and they sometimes die in the process from natural causes and predators. This also reduces the number of these birds and animals, making extinction possible.
2. It causes floods and fires.
With lesser trees to slow down the fall of water coming from the mountains during strong typhoons and to absorb water as well, flooding and overflowing of rivers can result to these which can lead to loss of property and lives. Moreover, with one of the methods of this practice is through burning trees, forest fires can happen. Not only does this put the lives of wild animals in danger but it can also reach the houses nearby and lead to thousands of dollars of property damage.
3. It causes green house gases build-up.
With more trees being cut down, there will be less source of oxygen in the air. The process of photosynthesis makes it possible for the filtration of carbon dioxide since it helps remove this gas from the air. When this happens, carbon emissions in the air will not be lessened but instead increased.
4. It can limit the supply of wood or timber.
There are some people who are into deforestation but do not follow the best practices of the method. Some of these farmers who burn or cut trees down do not plant new ones to replace what they have removed and because of this, there will be lesser trees to be used in the future as sources of wood.
5. It can affect the discovery of new herbal medicines.
Deforestation can also put a dent in the field of science and medicine. If deforestation worsens, this would mean there will be lesser trees and plants which are also sources of medicine. With the careless burning of trees, even plants that can be used as alternative medicines can be affected.
6. It can eradicate forests for good.
If this practice will not be lessened or regulated, a time will come that there will be no forests left in the world. When this happens, there will be several negative effects that can happen. One is soil erosion. With lesser trees to keep the soil intact, it sediments can fall off and if there is a body of water near the forest, this can cause overflowing and flooding.
7. It affects water cycle.
Trees extract water from the soil and release it to the atmosphere. These add to the moisture in the air and also trap precipitation. With no trees to transpire water, the soil will dry up and this can lead to drought especially in the summer months.
8. It may hinder the production of future medicines. Only a small fraction of the forests in the world have been explored by non-tribal humans, and many of the best medicines today have a foundation from items that were secured from these rich lands. Now, deforestation would remove the possibility to study the biome, learn from it and help improve human life for all.
9. It only renders a short time to lose all forests. Given the rapid rate that forests are being hacked down every day through deforestation, it is a very likely possibility that the planet will lose all rain forests in as little as 100 years. And if this happens, all of the species of plants and animals that are native to them will be lost as well.
10. It introduces countless environmental and community harms. The abrupt and irreversible consequences of global deforestation can certainly put the existence of human beings and the whole world at risk.
11. It causes a domino of unfavorable effects.
Deforestation can cause a domino effect on the whole planet, including global climate change, indigenous people annihilation and biodiversity extinction. One wrong move, and the process will lead us to an empty and meaningless world. The death of plants and animals can lead to a partial loss of human life.
Deforestation has both advantages and disadvantages and these should be taken into consideration by leaders, especially from industrialized countries as well as the people who practice this method. Although there may be reasons for deforestation, the long-term effects should not be ignored.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.