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Wednesday
Mar182015

Deforestation Rates: A Rising Danger 

Image Courtesy of Wagner. T Cassimiro

Satellite studies have revealed that deforestation rates are up by 62%. Even though the Food and Agriculture Organisation stated they were decreasing, it has begun to be evident that deforestation is having mass effects on the environment. This has a big impact on the changing climate, with deforestation ascending this means that carbon dioxide in the air is declining which will cause devastating effects on the earths wellbeing.

Deforestation has been rampant for decades and there has been an increase of 62% across the globe since the 1990’s. A study from 2011 conducted by Conservation International has determined that the top 10 most at risk forests are:

1.    Indo-Burma
2.    New Caledonia
3.    Sundaland
4.    Philippines
5.    Atlantic Forest
6.    Mountains of Southwest China
7.    California Floristic Province
8.    Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa
9.    Madagascar & Indian Ocean Islands
10.  Eastern Afromontane

All of these forests have lost up to 90% of their original habitat and each harbour at least 1500 endemic plant species, only found in these parts of the world.

Image Courtesy of Engineering for Change

Big Issues

The worry of deforestation is the massive decrease of the natural environment around us and the ongoing effects it has on the climate, causing bigger issues such as lack of carbon dioxide and an effect on greenhouse gases. By 2030, scientists have predicted that if a huge effort isn’t made to protect old growth forests that only 10% will remain throughout the entire earth. These worrying statistics show how important it is to begin to protect the remaining forests and start great conservation efforts.

Social Worries

Deforestation affects people directly, disrupted water cycles and harvesting being two of the main issues. The lack of forests leads to drier climates around the world, fewer trees’ means less absorption of groundwater and the whole environment around the area dies – which is having an immense impact on the people of the areas. It is also becoming clear that it is harder for people who rely on forests for harvesting products such as rubber; their socio-economic lives are becoming tougher and therefore it is causing huge strain on their social structure. It is easy to think that deforestation does not affect as many resources as it does, but in fact it has devastating effects on the whole world and the way it runs.

Image Courtesy of Wakx

Vicious Cycle

These forests and plants make a massive difference to the climate we live in. Without such, carbon dioxide accrues in the atmosphere and blocks radiation from the sun, instead of it being absorbed by the atmosphere it produces more heat and thus increases the temperature of the planet, and as we all know the rising climate is a huge detriment to the world’s health. The improvement of the forests around the world is still attainable, people just like you could be the answer, and everyone can help! This vicious cycle needs to be reversed.

There are so many conservation efforts with Frontier improving the world’s health right now. You could volunteer and help to improve a badly affected habitat. You could even work with wildlife and marine animals. This would be a step in the right direction for you and for the planet.

By Fay Partridge

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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