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Deforestation Essay

3244 words - 13 pages

The Devastation of Deforestation
According to National Geographic, forests cover about thirty percent of the Earth’s land area. This percentage is falling drastically. Deforestation is the process of forests being cleared through logging and/or burning to use for timber or to use the area for other purposes. Many estimate that the Earth’s rainforests will be completely wiped out in 100 years. The World Wildlife Fund is the leading organization in the fight to prevent deforestation. Along with protesting, petitioning, and working with companies and governmental organizations to fight deforestation, the WWF has over the years created a huge amount of activist- art; ads with the aim to raise ...view middle of the document...

Many don't realize the extent to which deforestation is responsible for climate change. An article on the website for Greenpeace explains this correlation: Mature forests store enormous quantities of carbon, both in the trees and vegetation itself and within the soil in the form of decaying plant matter. Forests in areas such as the Congo and the Amazon represent some of the world's largest carbon stores on land. But when forests are logged or burnt, that carbon is released into the atmosphere, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and accelerating the rate of climate change. (Greenpeace)

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The amount of carbon released from such forests is so great that it contributes up to one-fifth of the carbon emissions produced by humans globally. Although many believe that automobiles and various other forms of transportation are the leaders in

carbon emissions, deforestation is actually a greater contributor to carbon emissions. Deforestation has such a profound effect on climate change that Indonesia and Brazil are now the third and fourth largest emitters of carbon dioxide on the planet, purely due to deforestation. The majority of the deforestation in Brazil comes from burning and clearing areas of the Amazon rainforest. Up to seventy-five percent of Brazil’s carbon emissions come from deforestation alone. By making a strong effort to prevent deforestation, the global community could easily drastically lessen the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, therefore slowing down climate change. Rhett Butler, the founder of mongabay.com (one of the world's most popular environmental science and conservation news sites) explains that Indonesia has displaced Brazil as the largest deforester in the world, which has a huge negative impact on the climate because Indonesian forests release amounts of carbon that are far greater than most forests. Indonesia is the world’s 3rd greatest greenhouse gas emitter, even though it is not a major industrial economy. Another example that Butler gives is that research has shown that rainforests in Brazil and Central America can directly affect rainfall in the U.S. “If you clear those forests, then a soy farmer in the Mid-West may see less rainfall, so there’s a direct economic impact” (Butler). The World Wildlife Fund works directly with companies to tackle the root cause of deforestation- logging. The WWF has created the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), a network that spans over 30 countries; linking forest-dependent communities, non-governmental organizations, companies, and entrepreneurs with the goal in mind to create a market for environmentally friendly forest products. The GFTN also fights to

fights to encourage the demand for “good wood” – wood and paper products that are made from forests that are well managed. GFTN minimizes the demand for products from forests that are illegal sources of logging, and helps members of this network benefit from sustainable...

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