Health hazards of deforestation

During this five-year period, the biggest forest area loss occurred in the tropics, particularly in South America and Africa. Per capita forest area decline was also greatest in the tropics and subtropics but is occurring in every climatic domain except in the temperate as populations increase. Others claim that rainforests are being destroyed at an ever-quickening pace. Despite these uncertainties, there is agreement that destruction of rainforests remains a significant environmental problem. Main international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank, have begun to develop programs aimed at curbing deforestation.

Control can be made by the companies.

Effects of Deforestation

In the biggest palm oil traider, Wilmar, decided to control his suppliers for avoid deforestation. This is an important precedent []. In Bolivia, deforestation in upper river basins has caused environmental problems, including soil erosion and declining water quality.

“The problem of Deforestation: causes, effects and possible solutions” – Arid Zone Afforestation

An innovative project to try and remedy this situation involves landholders in upstream areas being paid by downstream water users to conserve forests. Transferring rights over land from public domain to its indigenous inhabitants is argued to be a cost effective strategy to conserve forests. New methods are being developed to farm more intensively, such as high-yield hybrid crops, greenhouse , autonomous building gardens, and hydroponics. These methods are often dependent on chemical inputs to maintain necessary yields.


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In cyclic agriculture , cattle are grazed on farm land that is resting and rejuvenating. Cyclic agriculture actually increases the fertility of the soil. Intensive farming can also decrease soil nutrients by consuming at an accelerated rate the trace minerals needed for crop growth. These systems have low dependence on fossil fuels and agro-chemicals , are highly self-maintaining, highly productive, and with strong positive impact on soil and water quality, and biodiversity.

Deforestation—Causes, Effects, and Solutions

There are multiple methods that are appropriate and reliable for reducing and monitoring deforestation. From an environmental point of view, quantifying the damage and its possible consequences is a more important task, while conservation efforts are more focused on forested land protection and development of land-use alternatives to avoid continued deforestation. Efforts to stop or slow deforestation have been attempted for many centuries because it has long been known that deforestation can cause environmental damage sufficient in some cases to cause societies to collapse.

In 16th-century Germany, landowners also developed silviculture to deal with the problem of deforestation. However, these policies tend to be limited to environments with good rainfall , no dry season and very young soils through volcanism or glaciation. This is because on older and less fertile soils trees grow too slowly for silviculture to be economic, whilst in areas with a strong dry season there is always a risk of forest fires destroying a tree crop before it matures.

In the areas where " slash-and-burn " is practiced, switching to " slash-and-char " would prevent the rapid deforestation and subsequent degradation of soils. The biochar thus created, given back to the soil, is not only a durable carbon sequestration method, but it also is an extremely beneficial amendment to the soil. Mixed with biomass it brings the creation of terra preta , one of the richest soils on the planet and the only one known to regenerate itself.

Certification, as provided by global certification systems such as Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and Forest Stewardship Council , contributes to tackling deforestation by creating market demand for timber from sustainably managed forests. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization FAO , "A major condition for the adoption of sustainable forest management is a demand for products that are produced sustainably and consumer willingness to pay for the higher costs entailed.

Certification represents a shift from regulatory approaches to market incentives to promote sustainable forest management. By promoting the positive attributes of forest products from sustainably managed forests, certification focuses on the demand side of environmental conservation. In reality, monitoring systems are inadequate and various cases of fraud have been documented worldwide. Some nations have taken steps to help increase the number of trees on Earth. Using fuel from bamboo rather than wood results in cleaner burning, and since bamboo matures much faster than wood, deforestation is reduced as supply can be replenished faster.

In many parts of the world, especially in East Asian countries, reforestation and afforestation are increasing the area of forested lands. Asia as a whole gained 1 million hectares of forest between and In the People's Republic of China , where large scale destruction of forests has occurred, the government has in the past required that every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 11 and 60 plant three to five trees per year or do the equivalent amount of work in other forest services.

The government claims that at least 1 billion trees have been planted in China every year since This is no longer required today, but 12 March of every year in China is the Planting Holiday. Also, it has introduced the Green Wall of China project, which aims to halt the expansion of the Gobi desert through the planting of trees.

In Western countries, increasing consumer demand for wood products that have been produced and harvested in a sustainable manner is causing forest landowners and forest industries to become increasingly accountable for their forest management and timber harvesting practices.

The charity uses donated money to buy up and preserve rainforest land before the lumber companies can buy it. The Arbor Day Foundation then protects the land from deforestation.

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This also locks in the way of life of the primitive tribes living on the forest land. Greenpeace in particular has also mapped out the forests that are still intact [] and published this information on the internet. In order to acquire the world's demand for wood, it is suggested that high yielding forest plantations are suitable according to forest writers Botkins and Sedjo. By contrast, natural forests produce about 1—2 cubic meters per hectare; therefore, 5—10 times more forestland would be required to meet demand.

Forester Chad Oliver has suggested a forest mosaic with high-yield forest lands interspersed with conservation land. Globally, planted forests increased from 4. In the country of Senegal, on the western coast of Africa, a movement headed by youths has helped to plant over 6 million mangrove trees. The trees will protect local villages from storm damages and will provide a habitat for local wildlife.

The project started in , and already the Senegalese government has been asked to establish rules and regulations that would protect the new mangrove forests. While demands for agricultural and urban use for the human population cause the preponderance of deforestation, military causes can also intrude. One example of deliberate deforestation played out in the U. Before the onset of the Cold War , defeated Germany was still considered a potential future threat rather than a potential future ally.

To address this threat, the victorious Allies made attempts to lower German industrial potential , of which forests were deemed [ by whom? Sources in the U. As a consequence of the practice of clear-felling, deforestation resulted which could "be replaced only by long forestry development over perhaps a century".

Operations in war can also cause deforestation. For example, in the Battle of Okinawa , bombardment and other combat operations reduced a lush tropical landscape into "a vast field of mud, lead, decay and maggots". Deforestation can also result from the intentional tactics of military forces.

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Clearing forest became an element in the Russian Empire's successful conquest of the Caucasus in the midth century. Deforestation eliminates a great number of species of plants and animals which also often results in an increase in disease. Often the destruction of predatory species can result in an increase in rodent populations which can carry plague. Additionally, erosion can produce pools of stagnant water that are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitos, well known vectors of malaria , yellow fever , nipah virus , and more.

Deforestation is occurring all over the world and has been coupled with an increase in the occurrence of disease outbreaks. In Malaysia , thousands of acres of forest have been cleared for pig farms. This has resulted in an increase in the zoonosis the Nipah virus. Another pathway through which deforestation affects disease is the relocation and dispersion of disease-carrying hosts. This disease emergence pathway can be called " range expansion ", whereby the host's range and thereby the range of pathogens expands to new geographic areas.

Accompanying the reservoir species are pathogens that have the ability to find new hosts in previously unexposed regions. As these pathogens and species come into closer contact with humans, they are infected both directly and indirectly. A catastrophic example of range expansion is the outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia. The bats, through proximity spread the Nipah to pigs.

While the virus infected the pigs, mortality was much lower than among humans, making the pigs a virulent host leading to the transmission of the virus to humans. This resulted in reported cases of encephalitis , of which resulted in death. This example provides an important lesson for the impact deforestation can have on human health. Another example of range expansion due to deforestation and other anthropogenic habitat impacts includes the Capybara rodent in Paraguay.

A now well-developed theory is that the spread of HIV it is at least partially due deforestation. Rising populations created a food demand and with deforestation opening up new areas of the forest the hunters harvested a great deal of primate bushmeat, which is believed to be the origin of HIV.

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