Main Causes Of Deforestation Essay

569 words - 3 pages

Deforestation is the removal of damage of forest vegetation to the extent that the effected area can no longer support its natural flora and fauna (Thomson, www.dmc.engr.wisc.edu). I think that the four main causes of deforestation which interrelate with each other are logging, agriculture, ranching and population growth. There is an argument called the tragedy of the commons theory which will be discussed.One cause of deforestation is logging. Logging is the practice of cutting down trees, then cutting out their central boles. This is for the demand of wood for fuel, paper and furniture. It is a form of income for third world counties, and provides jobs for people (www.wikipedia.org)Ranching is the up bringing of livestock on open land (www.wikipedia.org).Cattle ranching ...view middle of the document...

Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber and many other desired products (www.wikipedia.org). Both commercial and subsistence farmers have an effect on deforestation. Commercial agriculture however has a twofold effect on deforestation. Agribusiness can directly result in the deforestation by clearing forest land for farming, or indirectly by occupying large tracts of land and displacing other small scale farmers, causing them to clear forests to set up new farms (www.rcfa-cfan.org). The original nutrients in the soil are short lived as is with ranching, causes farmers to move further and further into the forests.The world's rapidly growing population is one of the largest driving forces behind deforestation (Hecht, 1993; www.rcfa-cfan.org). The world's population is growing at a rate of a thousand million people every decade (www.rcfa-cfan.org). This increase results in a greater demand in forestry products, land and jobs which the forest can provide (www.dmc.engr.wisc.edu).Debate on one main cause of deforestationThe Commons theory argues that environmental resources under common ownership are most likely to be overused, this is known as the 'tragedy of the commons theory' (Hardin, 1968). This is when individuals look at their own interests by grazing as many livestock as possible. This leads to the land becoming infertile and overgrazed. Where common ownership however doesn't always lead to this. Areas where land is owned by individuals where there are strong social and cultural rules. These rules control the use of resources. (Middleton 21; 22).Deforestation may have serious concerns on the planet but it provides resources and jobs for thousands of people. Responsible and sustainable deforestation will minimise negative impact on the environment while still allowing people to benefit from the forest (www.rcfa-cfan.org).

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