DEFORESTATION Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests and woodlands. The population requires food production; deforestation occurs as the forests are converted for agricultural uses. Deforestation has resulted in the reduction of indigenous forests to four-fifths of their pre-agricultural area. Indigenous forests now cover 21% of the earth s land surface.

In the last three decades one fifth of all tropical forests were lost. Currently at the rate in which deforestation is occurring there is great concern. 12 million hectares of forests are cleared annually. Almost all of this deforestation occurs in the moist forests and open woodlands of the tropics. If it continues, by the year 2050 all tropical forests could be gone, except for protected areas.

Even some countries such as Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka are likely to lose all their tropical forests by the year 2010. Deforestation is happening for many reasons. For developing cash crops and cattle ranching; both which earn money for tropical countries. Commercial logging, which supplies the world market with wood. For firewood and building materials, and for the conversion of forests and woodlands to agricultural land to feed growing numbers of people. There are many consequences of deforestation.

For example: The carbon cycle. Forests act as a major carbon store because carbon dioxide is taken up from the atmosphere and used to produce the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up the tree. When forests are cleared, and the trees are either burnt or rot, this carbon is released into the air that is then called carbon dioxide. This leads to an increase in the carbon dioxide around the world. It is estimated that deforestation contributes one-third of all carbon dioxide releases caused by humans and Carbon dioxide is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect. Another example is the Extinction of species All species depend on forests for food shelter and survival.

Forests contain more than half our species on the earth. If the habitat for these species is destroyed, so are they! The list keep going on and on from Soil erosion to the Water cycle. Deforestation is one of the largest problems World Resources Institute is dealing with. It is so bad that every minute an area of forest equal to 20 football fields is destroyed.

The best thing to do is to spread the word. No one wants to be left without a home, and if man keeps destroying we are the only one s who will suffer in the end. When there is nothing left!