Deforestation is the removal of trees and vegetation in a place, resulting in conversion of wooded land to bare land. This removal could be due to two major factors; human factors and natural factors.
Several human activities in the bid to develop has severely led to the disappearance of much of the earth’s forests and vegetation. These activities include:
1. Urbanization: As the human population grew, the need to increase the living space grew. Much of the forest was, and is still being destroyed to build more houses, hospitals, roads, electricity and other amenities to accommodate and take care of the growing geometrically growing population.
2. Industrialization: The establishment of industries is one of the major prerequisites of development. This includes the establishment of industries in different sectors of the economy to facilitate the production of goods and other commodities to solve various problems of the economy like hunger, revenue generation, employment, etc.
3. Agriculture: The need for food and raw materials has led to the destruction of most of available forests. Most forests have been cleared and replaced with agro-industries and processing plants. Agricultural expansions, mining, cattle breeding and other related activities have also taken a very big toll on our forest reserves.
What can we do?
With the ozone layer fast depleting and daily increasing reality of global warming, what can we do about deforestation ?
1. Plant more trees. Many governments and institutions have come up severally with programs that encourage massive planting of trees in deforested zones. These programs should be supported and encouraged. Also people should be encouraged not to totally cut down trees for timber and other purposes without planting other trees to replace them.
2. Find alternatives for books and other wood products. With advancement in learning, many institutions have embraced total digital learning. If digital learning is encouraged it would greatly reduce the demand for wood for paper making.
3. Recycling of products. Nearly every product made out of wood can be recycled. Encouragement and general practice of recycling would definitely go a long way to reduce demand and consumption of wood.
Compiled by Ozoemena