Forest Dillema

This essay has a total of 1814 words and 8 pages.

Forest Dillema

Can you picture our earth without forests? Many of us can't. Forests cover approximately
one fifth of the worlds land surface and play an important role in our everyday lives
(Dudley 4). Forests provide us with many products and services from helping maintain
erosion to providing jobs for our citizens. Humanity depends on the survival of a healthy
ecosystem and deforestation is causing many social, economic and ecological problems. One
ecological problem is Global warming witch is caused when carbon is released into the air
after the burning of forests. Governments and industries must become more aware of these
consequences of their activities and change accordingly. They need to cooperate with
forest management and work towards a future that benefits all. Humans need to be educated
about the current issues of the forests in order for us to save, preserve or sustain these
places that provide us with so much.

Humans depend tremendously on the world's forests, but yet were the ones destroying them.
For humans, the forests have many aesthetic, recreational, economic, and cultural values.
Timber and other products of the forests are important economically both locally and as
exports. They provide employment for those who harvest the wood or for those who make
products from the living forest. Forests also provide us with medical drugs, dyes and
fabrics. There are many people who are dependent on forestland for their livelihoods. One
third of the world's people depend on wood for fuel as a significant energy source
(Dudley). Not only do the forests provide some people with homes, but also provides a
popular setting for ecotourism, which includes hiking, camping, bird watching and other
outdoor adventure or nature study activities. All these activities and products the
forests provide us are at great risk from deforestation.

Not only do forests provide us with all this but also protect soil from erosion and
reduces the risks of landslides and avalanches. Trees help sustain freshwater supplies
therefore are an important factor in the availability of one of life's basic needs.
Forests affect the climate and are also a very important source of oxygen. One major
factor that the forests carry is that they are the home to over one half of the world's
total species (Dudley). Currently we are discovering 20 new species of insects and 15
species of plants each day (Dudley 13). "Recent reports by the World Resources Institute
have shown that more than 80% of the plant's natural forests have already been destroyed"
(Hatch). Yes humankind is the cause of deforestation, however us humans are also capable
of having a positive effect on this crisis.

Tropical forests cover about 10 per cent of the world's dry land surface, mostly located
in South America and Asia (Dudley 6). In the tropical forests of the world, deforestation
is occurring for agriculture and livestock pastures. The main cause is the unequal
distribution of land (Anderson).

Temperate forests are found in land areas that are warm enough and low enough to support
trees but not so hot to be tropical. They are found in North America, Europe and cooler
parts of Australia (Dudley 4). The problems in temperate forests are not so much the
decrease in overall forest area, but the substantial change in the types of forests and
their ecological diversity and stability. Commercial forestry is the main cause of
deforestation in temperate forests. "In very broad terms, the total area of forest in
Europe, the USSR and North America is likely to decrease only slightly in the medium
future, but the proportion of forest existing as plantation is liable to rise sharply"
(Dudley 66). This however is going to lead to an increase in conflict between the
recreational and conservation interests and will also tend to make forestry a more
capital-intensive operation, thus providing fewer jobs.

Since so many people are dependent on the world's forests, deforestation will have a
social, economical and ecological effect on the world. Most of these effects are negative
ones. The loss of forestlands is connected to desertification, which translates into there
being fewer trees, thus decreasing the future forest workers employment. Heavy rainfall
and high sunlight quickly damage the topsoil in tropical rainforest, causing them to
regenerate slower and also providing insufficient farming grounds. When forests are
replanted there will also be a loss in quality. Also the medical treatments, cures and
vaccines will never be discovered if there are no forests to discover them in. There may
be a loss of future markets for ecotourism. The value of a forest is often higher when it
is left standing than it could be worth when it is harvested (Dudley). Deforestation can
cause the climate to change which could cause and increase in floods and droughts.

Global warming is a big factor in the destruction of trees. Forests store large amounts of
carbon that are released when trees are cut or burned. It is said that deforestation and
the burning of biomass will be responsible for fifteen percent of the greenhouse effect
between 1990 and 2025 (FAO). Because of global warming ranges of tree species could shift
with respect to altitude and latitude (Humankind 2). Furthermore, the stress of such
environmental change may make some species more susceptible to the effects if insects,
pollution, disease and fire (FAO). Also, areas of trees may be lost and genetic diversity
may decrease.

The clearing of forestland results in increase of erosion and landslides. Landslide is a
descent of a mass of earth and rock down a mountain slope. Landslides may occur when water
from rain and melting snow sinks through the earth on top of a slope, seeps through cracks
and pore spaces in underlying sandstone, and encounters a layer of slippery material, such
as shale or clay, inclined toward the valley (Encarta).

Logging has directly and indirectly damaged spawning grounds, blocked river channels,
raised water temperatures and caused water levels in streams to fluctuate dangerously.
Therefore, the removal of tress can reduce the viability of fist stocks in their watershed
and down streams environments.

People destroy or degrade forests because, for them, the benefits seem to outweigh the
costs. Underlying causes include such issues as poverty, unequal land ownership, women's
status, education and population. Immediate causes are often concerned with a search for
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