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WRITING 3: FINAL ASSIGNMENT DEFORESTATION: A THREAT AGAINST OUR PLANET

Student: Khuc Van Mai Student number: 20135988 Class: TA1.01 – K58

School of Foreign Languages Hanoi University of Science and Technology December 2014 Contents Introduction 1. Impacts of deforestation 2.1. Deforestation contributes to global warming 2.2. Deforestation loses biodiversity 2.3. Deforestation impacts soil negatively 2. Causes of deforestation 1.1. Population growth is an indirect reason of deforestation 1.2. Deforestation is rooted by urbanization and industrialization 1.3. Agriculture leads to deforestation 3. Solutions Conclusion References | 111233345567 |

Deforestation: A threat against our planet
Introduction
Forests play an important role in our lives. Not only do they maintain biodiversity, for example providing food and shelters for animals and plants, but they also provide important sources such as food, woods, and herb medicines for human beings. They, moreover, help control climate and prevent soil from erosion. Forests, however, are under threat by deforestation – an act of clearing trees to exploit resources like woods, minerals, medicines and to create land for agricultural activities or space for building facilities, for instance houses, roads, etc. Deforestation is a pressing problem, and it is killing our planet because of many reasons. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impacts of deforestation on our planet, the causes of deforestation, and some necessary solutions to reduce deforestation. 1. Impacts of deforestation 2.1. Deforestation contributes to global warming
Deforestation leads to a lot of problems. One of the most serious ones is global warming (rising temperature worldwide). Greenhouse gases, namely CO2 are one of main components making the Earth’s temperature rise. In Bawal’s view (2012), “Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that allows incoming heat to protrude through the atmosphere and prevents its escape; an effect that has given rise to the warm temperatures seen today” (Discussion section, para 3). Whereas, forests play an important role in containing and absorbing greenhouse gases, especially CO2 to make food through photosynthesis for themselves. “Forests are an essential part of our biosphere for regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by acting as a ‘sink’, utilizing carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and storing carbon dioxide underground” (Badwal, 2012, discussion section, para 3).
Deforestation, however, induces greenhouse gases to increase. When the forests are destroyed, usually with fire, CO2, stored in the forests, will expel into the air. Also, according to Badwal (2012), clearing forests makes up 18 percent of carbon dioxide emissions each year and is the second reason of greenhouse effect, and nearly 13 million hectares is the figure of loss of forests area, estimating from 25 to 30 percent of greenhouse emissions. Therefore, more and more greenhouse gases, especially CO2 are released into the air, more and more temperature raises worldwide. Above of all, deforestation is a huge source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and a direct reason of global warming – human beings’ tremendous disaster. 2.2. Deforestation loses biodiversity
Another extremely serious effect of deforestation is to lose biodiversity. Forests are important shelters for animals and plants. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2010), forests cover 31 percents of total land area in the world (over 4 billion hectares). In the NASA Earth Observatory’s view (as cited in Trucksess, 2003), rainforests make up 7 percents of Earth’s total land area, and half of all 5 to 80 million species live in there. Moreover, forests are sources of abundant precious medicines. For instance, vincristine and vinblastine, which were researched over past 20 years from a wide periwinkle in the forests of Madagasgar, are the success of medicinal application from tropical rain forest plants. These drugs dramatically improved the effectiveness of treatments for leukemia and other forms of cancer (University of Michigan, 2010).
Deforestation, however, is destroying the biodiversity. It kills and damages the habitats of fauna and flora. This makes many animals migrate to other places, many species die out or even extinctive. Researchers have only confirmed the name of 1.5 million species thoroughly, but yet approximately 137 species become extinct daily (NASA Earth Observatory, as cited in Trucksess, 2003). After all, deforestation is threatening the biodiversity and the precious values of forests.

2.3. Deforestation impacts soil negatively
Not only does deforestation contribute to global warming and biodiversity loss but it also impacts soil negatively. Top soil and important nutrients are protected by the cover of forests. Therefore, soil erosion will not be unavoidable. Researchers have calculated that the soil erosion has lost a third of the word’s farmland since 1960 (World Wide Fund (WWF), 2014). Furthermore, important nutrients in soil will be worn away, and soil will become compact because of deforestation. As an area of forests is destroyed for agriculture, trees and vegetations are usually fired to produce a fecund layer of ash. After this slash – and – burn deforestation, the nutrient source in soil is lost, so soils are difficult to grow crops in just a few years. After farmers convert land into cattle pasture, the land will compact and prevent reforestation (Lindsey, 2007). Once again, the quality of soils will gradually lose due to deforestation.
Deforestation is threatening every aspect of the Earth because of human beings. Population of the world is still increasing. They need more sources for activities of life, urbanization and industrialization and more space for building houses and agriculture for food. Forests, therefore, are cleared to help human to meet those need. 2. Causes of deforestation 3.4. Population growth is an indirect reason of deforestation
Population growth is an indirect reason of deforestation. Population in the world still increases annually. According to Jha (1999), “Human population of the world increase at rate of 2 persons per second and such the total population will be nearly 7 billions in 2000 A.D” (p. 11). The increase in population with rapid speed requires more food and space. To have more food and space, people surely destroyed forests for fields to grow food and space to build houses or shelters. In short, forests are under pressure and threat of population. 3.5. Deforestation is rooted by urbanization and industrialization
Urbanization and industrialization also lead to destruction of forests. Activities of urban and industry require a lot of resources, particularly materials from forests as timber, fuel, and food for building, road transport, areas of industry and human activities. For example, “Urbanization of Himalayan region has upset the ecosystem as a result of such human activities as road construction for defense, tourism, settlements and forest management” (Jha, 1999, p.12). Urbanization makes the rich become wealthier, while the poor will become poorer. Poverty causes many issues. In many areas, poor people have few chances to earn money, and forests have few guardians, and so they clear forest land for agriculture and sell valuable timber for benefit, namely earning money (University of Michigan, 2010).
Beside that, many industrial activities release a lot of chemical pollutants such as SO2, NO, CO2, CO, etc. These substances are extremely toxic and poisonous. Forests, in fact, can contain and absorb them, but each organism only lives in its limit of permission. When toxic chemical pollutants are over the limit of permission, they will be killed by these substances, and so do forests. “Sixty tonnes of SO2 emanate from 1000 tonnes of crude petroleum, besides other with oxides of nitrogen with water resulting in acid rain, leading to loss of biological productivity and damage to forests” (Jha, 1999, p. 14). In brief, urbanization and industrialization have negative effects on forests worldwide. 3.6. Agriculture leads to deforestation
Agriculture is one of the most serious causes of deforestation. The rapid world population increase requires a lot of food for human being. Without food, human will not be able to survive on the planet, and to have more food, they need more land. A question is where land can be exploited, and the answer is forests – one of the ideal lands to grow plants and to raise animals, so farmers have been destroying the forests for yearly or enduring crops (Eckholm, as cited in Allen Barnes, 2010). Countries where little or no progress has been carried out in agricultural productivity, or where land productivity falls rapidly are likely to have higher rates of destroying after the natural forest cover is replaced (World Bank, as cited in Allen Barnes, 2010). Large areas of rain forest in the Amazon basin have been removed by subsidized cattle raising (Fearn, as cited in Allen Barnes, 2010). Beside that, nomadic farming of ethnic minorities also led to deforestation. To have farmland, they used negative method to clear forests, that is, using fire. In World Wide Fund’s survey (2014), fire damaged millions of acres of forests around the world each year. To summarize, agriculture reduces a great number area of forests in the world. 3. Solutions
Deforestation causes a lot of dangerous and serious problems for animals, plants, and human beings. Therefore, the “lung” of our planet needs to be preserved. Many programs and actions are urgently undertaken to reduce minimum deforestation. Increase population with high speed needs more food and other sources from forests, so forests are destroyed for agriculture. The degraded lands need restoring by planting trees again.
People exploit wood from forests to supply for industrial activities. For instance, the material for paper industry from trees makes up most, so paper should be made of other sources instead of being made of trees. “China uses rice straw and other agricultural residues to make much of its paper” (Norman Myers Scott Spoolman, 2013, p. 251). In addition, human should use bioenergy from scrap wood, oil and fats, sugar and starch crops, residues and wastes, and even algae to reduce deforestation for fuel (WWF, 2014).
To reduce deforestation efficiently, mission of education is not to be ignored. In Joseph’s opinion (2006), in forest areas, young generations need to know about the biological, social and economy values of forests, and workers should know how to use technology to promote forest ecosystem instead of clearing them and reforestation.
An important thing helps the programs and actions to become reality is budget. “Because of budgetary limitations, in many countries, only about 5% of the world land is strictly protected from potentially destructive human activities” (Norman Myers Scott Spoolman, 2013, p. 251). Government and social organizations, therefore, should invest more money and raise fund to help reduce deforestation more effectively.
Conclusion
Deforestation is a threat against our planet due to human’s activities. This essay has attempted to demonstrate the effects of deforestation and causes of deforestation and suggest some necessary solutions to reduce clearing forests. Because of population pressure, the development of urbanization and industrialization, and the human’s need of agriculture for food, forests are under destruction. Deforestation raises temperature worldwide, loses biodiversity, and impacts on soil negatively. However, recovering the degraded lands, using alternative materials and energy, or education citizens, even raising fund can reduce the suffering of deforestation. Indeed, deforestation has been increasing significantly and is likely to be more serious. But, if human destroy forests then they can also recover forests. Therefore, if human have timely solutions, they will protect “the green lung” of the planet. | |

References Allen, C. J., Barnes, F. D. (2010). The causes of deforestation in developing countries. Association of American Geographers, 75(2), 163-184. Badwal. (2012). Deforestation: a major threat to the destruction of our planet. Retrieved from http://earthreform.org/deforestation-a-major-threat-to-the-destruction-of-our-planet

Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2010). Global forest resources assessment (Information series No. 163). Rome, Italy: Author.

Jha, R. K. (1999). Deforestation and village life. New Delhi: Naurang Rai for Mittal Publications.

Joseph, B. (2006). Environmental studies (Jntu). New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Company Limited. Lindsey, R. (2007). Tropical deforestation. Retrieved from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/deforestation/deforestation_update2.php

Myers, N., Spoolman, S. (2013). Environmental issues and solutions: A modular approach. Belmont, USA: Yollanda Cossio.

Trucksess, C. (2003). Deforestation and biodiversity presentation essay. Retrieved from http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/ctrucks1/essay05.html

University of Michigan. (2010). Deforestation: Global change. Retrieved from www.globalchange.umich.edu/current/deforest.html

World Wide Fund. (2014). Deforestation: Threats. Retrieved from http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation

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