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Devastating Facts of Deforestation
Deforestation occurs when natural forests are cleared through logging and/or burning, to either be used as timber or to replace the area for alternative uses.
Deforestation in Numbers
Subsistence farming is responsible for 48 per cent of deforestation, while commercial agriculture accounts for 32 per cent. Additionally, logging drives 14 per cent of deforestation, and fuel wood removals is responsible for 5 per cent of deforestation
Forests are essential to life on Earth. Forest covers 30 per cent of the land area on our planet; provide shelter for countless species of plants and wildlife; produces vital oxygen. While tropical forests only cover 7 per cent of the Earth’s land mass, they are home to more than 50 per cent of the world’s 10-50 million plant and animal species.
In addition, forests help maintain the climate by regulating atmospheric gases, stabilizing rainfall and protecting against desertification. 1.6 billion people directly rely on the benefits of forests, which include
food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter
However, deforestation has continued at an alarming rate since the early 1950s. Wikipedia cites “13 million hectares of forests were converted to other uses, or lost through natural causes each year between 2000-2010.”
The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has had adverse impacts on bio-sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, along with damage to: habitat; biodiversity loss; aridity.
Did You Know?
The planet was originally decorated with 1.5 to 1.6 billion hectares of forest; nowadays 46-58 million square miles of forest are lost each year — the equivalent to 36 football fields, every minute!
An additional 80,000 acres of forests disappear and 80,000 acres are degraded from Earth each day. 15 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation.
Top 10 Most Endangered Forests
Indo-Burma and New Caledonia have just 5 per cent of remaining habitats, along with: Sundaland and the Philippines, with 7 per cent of remaining habitats; Atlantic-Forest and Mountains of Southwest China, with 8 per cent; California Floristic Province, the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa and Madagascar/Indian Ocean Islands with 10 per cent, and finally — Eastern Afromontane, with 11 per cent.
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