Effects of Deforestation:
“Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted for non-forest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of original woodland to other uses.” (SAFnetDictionary|DefinitionFor [deforestation])
When trees are cut down, soil is disturbed and huge volumes of greenhouse gases and carbon are exposed back into the atmosphere. Other trees absorb the greenhouse gases which cause global warming. The more we cut down trees, the drier the soil gets. Every second, 1.5 acres of rainforests are destroyed. Western Europe has already lost 99% of its primary forest! At this rate, the world’s rainforests could be gone in 100 years.
There are many reasons that forests are being cut down around the world.
Here a couple of the reasons:
1. People cut down forests to make room for homes. They also use the timber to construct these homes.
2. People clear huge areas of forests for the purpose of growing food crops and grazing of live stock.
3. Timber is still used as a major fuel in many areas of the world.
4. Land is cleared for the making of roads, mining, etc.
Our Group’s Focus:
Palm Oil has been one of the many causes for deforestation, endangered wildlife species, the killing of habitat & fragmentation, soil, air, water pollution, toxic chemical contamination, social conflict and displacement of local communities. Wildlife habitats are cleared in the process of clearing trees for new plantations of palm oil trees.
A problem associated with palm oil plantations is animal endangerment. For example, orangutan numbers are plummeting at a dangerously fast rate, all for our sugary, prepackaged snack foods and fragrant, chemical-filled soaps and shampoos. The estimated orangutan population today is about 45,000, and there are fewer than 7,300 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild. Palm oil deforestation led to the loss of 2,500 orangutans a year. If this deforestation for palm oil keeps up, orangutans could be extinct in as little as 20 years.
Many other species are endangered too, not just orangutans. The proboscis monkey, the pygmy elephant, asian rhinoceroses, sumatran tigers, sunbears, gibbons, bay cats, clouded leopards, spectral tarsiers, bornean flat-headed frogs, birds, anoas, fishing cats, and still many more are all endangered due to habitats disappearing from palm oil plantations.