Deforestation is the process of removing or clearing trees from forests, making available the area to be used for non-forest purposes such as industrialization, urbanization, etc.
There has been massive intentional destruction of virgin forests, and rain-forests during the last few decades. Deforestation affects the livelihoods of around a sixth of the earth’s population as around 1.6 billion people rely on forests to survive in one way or another.
Deforestation and global warming are intimately linked. Scientists calculate that around 16-17% of total greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to deforestation. Halting deforestation thus means also helping to halt climate change and the catastrophic effects it will bring with it, such as sea levels rising.
Burning the timber we have cut down is catastrophic. Around 210 gigatonnes of carbon is locked in to the trees in the world’s tropical forests. Burning these would result in massive global warming and climate disaster, spelling death to most of the human and animal population.
Around 131 natural remedies are derived from rain forests. When deforestation occurs, our ability to access these often very powerful natural remedies diminishes.
Up until now, over the past few decades, we have been losing the world’s forests at a rate of about 7.3 hectares per year. This is too much.
If we do nothing, it is most probable that we will totally lose all of our forests by the start of the twenty second century. Now is the time to act to stop deforestation once and for all.