Trees and forests contribute significantly to lives on earth. There is no doubt that they provide humans so many benefits, and so do animals. However, they are now being threatened by the decline of their population in a rapid rate. This problem has become a very terrible issue that brings much concern to the world.
Deforestation is increasing for several factors. Firstly, lumbering plays a role as a part of economic income to most nations. To meet domestic demand and export, they cut down trees and convert them into building materials, furniture, paper products and so on. Trees are also used as firewood and charcoal for providing heat and cooking.
Secondly, due to the rapid population growth, forests are being cleared in the purpose of increase land for farming, urban development, transportation, settlement, recreation site and so on. In fact, parts of forests are replaced by large fields and grazing land, trade center, industries, buildings, roads, houses and so forth. Besides, mining is also involved in forest depletion. As minerals lie beneath the ground, before mining, it is necessary to remove the forests. Actually, every year, thousands square kilometers of forests are removed for mineral extraction. The final point is that illegal commercial logging with advance equipment is now increasing in most developing countries. Apparently, every day, a large number of trees are cut down and transferred from forests, especially those valuable.
Deforestation seriously influence our environment. Erosion of soil occur when forest areas are cleared, so the soil expose to the sun, making it very dry and finally, infertile, due to volatile nutrient such as nitrogen being lost. The soil will be totally devoid of essential nutrients. Cultivation in this land will also become impossible. Anyway, one of the important functions of forests is to absorb and store great amount of water quickly when there is heavy rain. Trees contain a large amount of water by their root, which is then released into atmosphere. When the trees are cut down, this regulation of the flow of water is disrupted, which leads to change period of flood and then drought in the affected area. These result in the disruption of water cycle. Also, many areas have lost biodiversity.
Nowadays, about 50 to 100 species of animals are becoming extinct because of lacking shelters cause by deforestation. So there would be more animals in the world. One more thing is climate change. In fact, trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen; it is likely that deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus leads to global warming. For instance, in Cambodia is also facing the problem of deforestation as well that resulted a dramatic climate change. Sometimes the weather is very hot even though in rainy season.
Deforestation could be slowly stopped if people would be more environmentally conscious. It is now time to slow down or eliminate deforestation. Stopping deforestation would be easy if people would just cooperate with one another and follow some of the solutions below.
Reforestation is the opposite of deforestation. In reforestation, forests are replanted with trees. In years, the forests would be much alive again. Even though deforestation could not be avoided in some cases, trees could be cut at slower rates. For each cut trees, a new one should be replanted. By that, there will be a balance between cutting and replanting. Apart from that, the government should restrict the law enforcement. Punishment should be the most serious one for those who do an illegal logging. Furthermore, some trees should be forbidden from being cut unless it is legal. Beside, forest conservation should be created in order to prevent our remaining trees from extinction.
In short, forest is very important for all creatures in the world. We can take lots of advantages from the forests for our living. If the forests are destroyed, we will be facing a lot of serious problems as we have described above. Therefore, as a human being, we should unite and have a commitment to maintain and protect our forests as well as environment. In addition, we should participate in some planting activities. All of us should help to stop deforestation now before it becomes too late.
1. Global Studies 201 2. Introduction to Environment in Khmer 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_in_Cambodia