1. What is deforestation, what are its causes or objectives and consequences?
Deforestation is the action of cutting down the trees of a rainforest or a forest through human activity to clear large areas or the entirety with different objectives. The FAO defines deforestation as “the conversion of forests to another type of land use” (changes in land use).
“The health of the forests is essential for humanity and the survival of the planet and despite the clear promises made by multiple sectors to prevent their degradation, each year we continue to destroy some ten million hectares of forest, it helps us regulate the climate, cool urban areas, absorb a third of greenhouse gas emissions, and are havens for biological diversity,” said the UN Secretary-General. (UN)
Causes or objectives of the deforestation of a forest
A forest is generally deforested with a double objective: one, to obtain wood for the lumber and paper industry and secondly, to clear spaces for different purposes, such as industrial agriculture, mainly the cultivation of soybeans and oil palm, large-scale cattle ranching, oil and gas extraction, mining, and urbanization of the forest. These changes in land use are the main causes of deforestation and the destruction of habitats and ecosystems.
Consequences of deforestation
Land use changes result in habitat loss, land degradation, soil erosion, decreased clean water, and release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. “Despite the conventions on forests and desertification that were established at the Rio-92 Conference, deforestation is far from diminishing and the worst thing is that in the 21st century it has increased, and, in some parts, it is out of control.” (Wikipedia)
Ultimately, deforestation of forests would affect the Earth system itself, by becoming the primary contributor to climate change and species extinction. To say this, we base ourselves on the fact that there is no known effective action to prevent illegal logging, nor a schedule to reduce forest marketing, as there are for the replacement of fossil fuels with clean energy.