The Environmental Impacts of Industrial Deforestation

The desperate need of land for agricultural purposes, urban development, and industrial expansions is bringing untold adversity upon our planet and threatening our continuous existence. Industrial deforestation is harming our globe in more ways than you might know.

Every day, the existence of the planet earth, the only home known to man, is being threatened by our detrimental actions. One of such self-inflicting injury is the unchecked practice of industrial deforestation. The foods we eat, the fuel we consume, the products we use, are all part of the problem killing our forests. In fact, industrial activities remain one of the most serious causes of ecological and environmental challenges facing developing countries and industrialized regions of the world today.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost to industrial deforestation each year. In fact, observers have predicted that the rainforests of the world will be destroyed completely if industrial deforestation continues at its current pace. The world is losing its forests at the rate of a football pitch every two seconds.

What is Driving Industrial Deforestation?

Industrial deforestation occurs due to several reasons. But the main factor driving deforestation at an alarming rate is the increasing industrial activities around the world. Globally, farmers are being pushed to increase production in order to meet the growing demand for agricultural raw materials to ever-growing manufacturing industries. Tropical forests are being felled to provide timber and make space for new agricultural land. Global demand for commodities such as meat, timber, soy, and palm oil continues to rise, and the pressure on forests has never been greater. Every day, you and I, sit on comfortable chairs, sleep in the best beds, wear designer shirts, and consumes all forms of manufactured products, all at the expense of our dear forests. Whether you live in the developing countries or the developed ones, we are all guilty of the daily consumption of our forests through our lifestyles and vocations.

Effects of Industrial Deforestation

Climate Imbalance: Industrial deforestation affects the climate in many ways. Naturally, trees release water vapor into the air, thereby supporting life. Trees also provide shade and moisture for the soil. The rapid deforestation is therefore leading to an imbalance in the atmospheric temperature, since trees aren’t there to perform their natural functions. The situation is also creating ecological challenges. For instance, flora and fauna, and other animals across the world that are accustomed to their habitat, have been forced to either die or move away from their natural environment.

Increase in Climate Change: Trees help us to keep climate change under control. Today, the world is suffering from the adverse effects of an increase in climate change. Trees utilize the greenhouse gases to restore the balance in the atmosphere. However, with constant industrial deforestation the ratio of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased, adding to our climate change woes.

Soil Erosion: When there are constant removals of trees that shade the soil, the soil begins to lose its moisture. With the clearance of tree cover, the soil is directly exposed to the sun making it dry and loose. The soil is then exposed to wind.

Floods: Trees absorb and store large amounts of water with the help of their roots. Trees shades also reduce the impact of rail drops on the soil. So, when trees are cut down, the flow of water is disrupted and leads to floods in some areas and droughts in others.

Wildlife Extinction: Industrial deforestation also affects the animals’ natural habitat. Constant and continuous cutting down of trees is decimating species daily. We have lost so many plants and animals in the last couple of decades.

Awareness for a Better Future

Although there are laws again indiscriminate cutting down of trees in most countries of the world, such laws only exists on paper. Virtually all nations of the world are guilty of this self-inflicting injury to our planet. Thus, the best solution to industrial deforestation is collective consciousness. World leaders must not relent on their efforts at creating global consciousness about the danger of deforestation to our continuous existence. Political leaders must continue to ensure that forests are protected and wisely managed to allow future generations to have the same or better life opportunities than we enjoy today.

About Ramoni Aminu

Ramoni is an independent researcher and writer from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds both B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in sociology with special interest in social development. Ramoni is the founder of Essence Provider Consulting, a research and writing platform. He is happily married with kids.

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