Deforestation is the clearing of forested land usually by cutting and burning, and it must be stopped. It’s particularly bad for the Earth because it destroys habitats for countless wild creatures, exposes large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere, and dries out surrounding areas.
Also, the destruction of forests is a major contributor to global warming, which causes more and more water-diverting rains, floods, and heat waves.
In fact, experts have stated that one hectare of rainforest is equivalent in terms of its ability to absorb atmospheric CO2 to one hectare of crops grown on a field in Northern Europe.
The number of existing rainforests has been estimated at 11.7 million square kilometers, but experts insist that deforestation can be stopped if we have the will to do so.
However, in reality it’s not that simple because there are many ways in which deforestation is currently taking place.
When a piece of land is cleared of its trees, the released carbon from the burning biomass is immediately released into the atmosphere. In addition, soil that has been exposed to sunlight through deforestation can also emit carbon dioxide. Thus , the problem of deforestation is not restricted to its immediate effects.
While it’s true that if we reduce the number of trees that are lost through deforestation each year, we will reduce the amount of CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere, it’s not enough to just protect existing forests.
Besides improving carbon sequestration in areas where there is little or no deforestation, preventing further deforestation must be a priority for governments and NGOs all around the world.