Introduction: Deforestation is a continuous process in India where about 1.3 hectares of forest land has been lost. The per capita availability of forest in India is 0.08 hectares per person which is much lower than the world average of 0.8 hectares. The presence of waste land is a sign of deforestation in India.
Deforestation, clearance or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use.
About half of the world's original forests had been destroyed by 2011, the majority during the previous 50 years. Since 1990 half of the world's rain forests have been destroyed. More than half of the animal and plant species in the world live in tropical forests.
The term deforestation is often misused to describe any activity where all trees in an area are removed.[not in citation given][neutrality is disputed] However in temperate climates, the removal of all trees in an area[not in citation given]—in conformance with sustainable forestry practices—is correctly described as regeneration harvest. In temperate mesic climates, natural regeneration of forest stands often will not occur in the absence of disturbance, whether natural or anthropogenic. Furthermore, biodiversity after regeneration harvest often mimics that found after natural disturbance, including biodiversity loss after naturally occurring rainforest destruction.
Causes of Deforestation:
- Major causes of deforestation are listed below:
- Development projects
- Shifting cultivation
- Fuel requirements cutting and burning
- Construction of dams
- Growing food needs.
Consequences of deforestation: Some of the effects of deforestation are listed below:
A) Effect on climate
- Global warming
- Less rainfall
- Hot climate.
B) Effect on biodiversity
- Loss of medicinal plants.
- Loss of timber, fuel wood.
C) Effect on resources
- Loss of land resource
- Loss of soil fertility
- Soil erosion
- Drastic changes in biogeochemical cycles
D) Effect on economy
- Increase in medicinal values
- Demand of industrial products.
E) Effect on food
- Loss of fruit production
- Loss of root based foods.
- Desertification in hilly regions of the Himalayas.
- Desertification in Himalayas, involving clearance of natural forests and plantation of monocultures like Pinus roxburghi, Eucalyptus camadulensis etc., have upset the ecosystem by changing various soil and biological properties.
- The area is invaded by exotic weeds. These areas are not able to recover and are losing their fertility.
Causes: According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, the overwhelming direct cause of deforestation is agriculture. Subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation; commercial agriculture is responsible for 32% of deforestation; logging is responsible for 14% of deforestation and fuel wood removals make up 5% of deforestation.
Experts do not agree on whether industrial logging is an important contributor to global deforestation. Some argue that poor people are more likely to clear forest because they have no alternatives, others that the poor lack the ability to pay for the materials and labour needed to clear forest.One study found that population increases due to high fertility rates were a primary driver of tropical deforestation in only 8% of cases.
Other causes of contemporary deforestation may include corruption of government institutions, the inequitable distribution of wealth and power, population growthand overpopulation, and urbanization.Globalization is often viewed as another root cause of deforestation,though there are cases in which the impacts of globalization (new ﬂows of labor, capital, commodities, and ideas) have promoted localized forest recover.