Recently, the deforestation issue has been widely debatedall over the world of science and humanity. It can be defined as a process ofdestroying the forests so that the lands are available for other reasons.Research suggests that “rainforests that once grew over 14 percent of the landof Earth now cover only about 6 percent, and if current deforestation ratescontinue, these critical habitats could disappear from the planet completelywithin the next hundred years” (National Geographic, 2015). It is undeniable thatthere are many causes and effects of deforestation, therefore this essay willconsider the causes which are agricultural and economic and social. It willthen put forward a number of effects regarding this view in terms ofbiodiversity loss and land degradation.
The deforestation of rainforest is started for a number ofreasons. The causes of deforestation include agriculture that has beenthe main occupation sector of people all over the world. Nowadays, traditionalfarming systems and processes have been manipulated into primitive farming methodsdue to modern technology without acknowledging the consequences that maydevelop. For example, farmers that have been carrying out the slash and burntechnique that involves clearing the forest by cutting the trees to growmore crops. The remaining vegetation was burned to convert it to agriculturalland, mainly for their own profits. Meanwhile, many countries make the point that cattle ranching isreasonably profitable since it only requires a small amount of labor and has abroad market, which results in more profits earned. For instance, ranchersin Central and South America will buy up land and turned it into grazingland to make ways for cows to feed the global population.
Apart from that, commercialfarming addresses the ability of agriculture to support growing demand forfood. That is to say, subsistence agriculture is farming for food whilecommercial agriculture is farming to provide a farmer with food and money. Forexample, due to the growing international demand for soya beans, an unfavorableaction has been taken in order to attain the soya beans market.
As a result, improvedagricultural process threatened many species that live in the rainforests. There are other possible causes of this widely knowndeforestation issues. It must be cleared that as human population keeps onenlarging, natural resources such as land and fossil fuels are highdemanded due to economic survival. According to Golden and Miller (1994),mining and road building projects that keep increasing have been removedanother 10,000 square kilometers of land which mainly to feed the internationalpopulation. Furthermore, the financial issue has become another cause ofdeforestation. In fact, most poor countries are forced to take the criticalmove like destroying their own ecosystem which actually their primary source offood.
As an example, most poor and developing countries are in need of moneysince they have many debts to be settled. McLeish (2007) states thatpeople believe that by exploiting the forest for timber, which is high-cost inthe longer term, is the only way to clear their large amount of money owed. Anotheressential cause is there is no national consensus in almost all of thecountry in the world. It is defined by National Coalition ( n.d.), nationalconsensus regarding the deforestation issue is an initiative designed toimprove the protection of the rainforests in the world.
This can be proven whenthere is no national consensus in the Philippines, which the number ofpeople carried out illegal logging increased and some overworked and underpaidforest rangers are usually distracted by logging interests which will be morebeneficial for them. As a result of the agricultural activities and economic andsocial problems, there are many consequences that can be examined. Deforestation of rainforests also raised many effects notonly to the animals and plants but also to the land as well. Biodiversityloss is one of the main effects of deforestation since it entails cuttingdown a massive amount of trees and herbs such as latex and natural oil fortheir own profits.
Pakenham’s 2005 study found that natural habitat such asherbivore is forced to move when their food supply getting cuts. Some animalsare unable to find different food sources and in some cases, they might becomeextinct. To illustrate, when there are one species faced the element of extinction,the food sources start running low which may be the reason of other naturalhabitat destroyed. As in industry, the world really needs rainforestproduct to ensure the life cycle of humans. It is true that everyday people harvesta large portion of raw materials such as rare plants and medicinal plantsthat could be used in medicinal either traditional or modern ways. For example,Pakenham (2005) found that Catharanthus roseus, which producevinblastine and vincristine, could be used to cure two forms of cancer. Inaddition, deforestation could also lead to the loss of genetic support.
Thishappens when humans clear the rainforests without realizing that it might have animpact on other plants. For example, the domesticated African oil palm relieson the wild American oil palm, which plays a major role in becoming naturalresistance to spear rot. In other words, African oil palm could also becomesusceptible to pests or disease through genetic diversity from the American oilpalm, which helps the oil palm to stay fresh longer (Pakenham, 2005). Hence, itis proven that biodiversity loss is the main effect of deforestation ofrainforests.
Another effects of deforestation is landdegradation. Along the Atlantic coast of Honduras, 200 people were killed due to the catastrophicfloods and mudslides that were formed when water washed away with dirt, mudand rocks (Golden and Miller, 1994). Some claim that the flood and mudslideswill be even worse in rainy season since there are no more trees that couldhold the soil.
Another point is that deforestation could lead the soil tobecome less fertile. This is because farmers took the initiative of using pesticidesthat have been spoil the soil in order to grow cash crops such as coffee andcitrus fruits. The problem is that some farmers took a large area to be usedand these affects the nearer area. Pesticides are a chemical agent used tocontrol pests but will also have negative effects if the usage is notcontrolled.
As the consequences, the soil is free to wash away which can leadto vegetation growth problems. In conclusion, from the point of agriculture, it is clear thatit is the single main causes of deforestation. Economic and social problems arealso the reasons why deforestation is prohibited in most of the countries. Onbalance, the increasing rates of deforestation have affected the biodiversityand land degradation.
It is evident that rainforests play important roles inour life, therefore deforestation should be avoided.