How Does Deforestation Affect the Environment

Deforestation is the process of clearing or removal and destroying of greenery through natural or human intervention in a specific area. Deforestation in India and other areas may occur where there is a massive presence of plant life. Removal or depletion of trees results in climatic changes, the disappearance of wildlife, soil erosion and greenhouse gases emissions, etc. 

Loss of trees adversely affects every biological life in all possible ways. With time, these become more prominent to humankind, as well as other species inhabiting this planet.

If you want to learn about the causes and effects of deforestation, the below pointers will give you a clear insight. 


Causes of Deforestation

Since the advent of humankind, there have been a lot of chances to sustain human needs. Deforestation in India, along with other countries, results due to the satisfaction of these primary needs of livelihood. 

However, the causes of deforestation can be both direct and indirect. These include:

  • Direct causes comprise of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, cyclones, parasite attacks, or floods, etc. There is mostly no human intervention in this process of deforestation.

  • Indirect causes consist of steady human interference resulting in the depletion of green components (plants and trees) from the Earth. For example – Extraction of timber, industrial development purposes, agriculture, etc. 

Other reasons for deforestation in India and other areas are as follows: 

  • Extraction of woods for cooking meals and heating the houses results in deforestation. Most of the native population depend on firewood to prepare their meals or warm up their ambience. As a result, depletion of greenery results in a massive rate. 

  • Due to livestock farming and cultivation, a large number of forests get cleared every year. Agriculture is the primary cause for the depletion of trees from the environment as a large chunk of the population depends on it. Commercial agriculture accounts for 40% loss of forests to generate foods, biofuel and fibres, etc.

  • Urbanisation is another cause why deforestation occurs at an alarming rate. As people started moving from rural places to urban areas, they start clearing down forests for their benefit.

  • Another major reason for deforestation is the construction of various projects, dams, roads, and other industrial excavations. 

If you have any questions regarding how does deforestation affect the environment? Read the points below.


Effects of Deforestation 

Reduction in greenery does not just increase pollution levels but also hinders the ecological balance on Earth. Read below about some of the effects of deforestation.

  • Loss of trees results in the extinction of wildlife. It also results in the loss of their habitat. Around 70 per cent of the Earth’s wildlife resides in the forests, and loss of their surrounds result in their disappearance. 

  • Also, it results in the temperature imbalances in nature, as these trees act as a canopy regulating temperature, and a shelter for animals and birds. Therefore, deforestation in India and other portions of the Earth results in drastic temperature change.

  • Trees help to maintain water cycle balance in nature through evaporation, precipitation and condensation of water particles. In areas lacking greenery, there is less rainfall and an increase in soil erosion. It is because less water returns to the soil, causing dryness, and retarded plant growth.

  • As you know, trees play a vital role in the generation of oxygen in the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is a greenhouse gas which increases if trees are cut down at a massive rate. It hampers the balance of the environment resulting in global warming.

  • Among the other effects of deforestation, soil erosion is the most common one. The plant’s roots actively engage in maintaining the topsoil and retaining moisture in it. Without forest life, the erosion of soil becomes evident, and it further hampers the water cycle causing unexpected climatic imbalances.

  • You may know forests are home to many dwellers along with plants and animals. The indigenous people residing in such forest lands, depend on these resources to run their livelihood. Destruction of trees causes a threat to the people residing over there.

Due to industrialisation and construction projects, a large section of forests gets cleared every year. Due to such activities, not only animal life loses their habitat, but there is also a potential threat to the indigenous people who depend on these forests. 

Deforestation has put the entire ecosystem in a risk. However, governments have taken multiple measures to stop the removal of plant life. Similarly, you should also spread awareness to discourage deforestation.


Ways to Control Deforestation

You should learn about the ways to curb the removal of trees, as soon as you are aware of the consequences of deforestation. Reduction in the removal rate of trees can promote the balance on Earth. Moreover, if we control deforestation, there will be a reduction in pollution and control of the toxic greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the following ways in which one can curb the depletion of greenery from our environment. These include: 

  • The first little step that one can take towards controlling deforestation is through planting a tree. Promoting greenery helps Mother Nature to regain the balance of the ecological cycle. Plants are an essential constituent of the ecosystem as they absorb carbon, reduce soil erosion, increase oxygen levels of the planet, etc. Besides, they absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide (a potent greenhouse gas) and maintain steady life-cycle.

  • Another way to curb deforestation in India and the other parts of the Earth is through controlling the use of timber. Most of the world’s population depend on wood for cooking and heating their houses. It leads to excessive cutting down of greenery resulting in depletion of trees. 

Globally, forests are already suffering from damage due to massive consumption of firewood.

  • Stop wastage of paper and reduce the manufacture of plastic bags to control deforestation. Instead of using plastics, using of jute bags is a viable eco-friendly option. Try re-using paper as much as you can to discourage the massive removal of trees. 

Around two million trees are cut down in a day to manufacture papers. Recycling of paper reduces the rate of removal of trees and promotes greenery on Earth. 

  • Promote awareness regarding the harmful effects of deforestation can help in reducing it. Deforestation occurs primarily because of lack of awareness. Start educating your dear ones about the cons of removal of trees so that the deforestation rate decreases. Looking for deforestation solutions enables you to restore life on a planet.

  • One can also help in curbing the deforestation by helping others to restore a degraded forest. Taking care of the depleted greenery around will help you to restore the ecological balance.


Vital Facts to Know Regarding Deforestation

  • Mostly, it gets assumed that agriculture is the root cause of deforestation.

  • Forests cover around 30% of the planet.

  • Approximately, one and a half acres of greenery (forests) are cut within each passing second.

  • According to the World Resources Institute, deforestation results for 15-17% of greenhouse gases emission annually.

  • According to experts, there will be zero rainforests in the upcoming 100 years with the current deforestation rate.

  • Numerous natural remedies lie in the rainforests that have medicinal properties, which are cut down every year.

  • The Amazon forests contribute to around 20% of the world’s oxygen.

  • Nearly, half of the world’s greenery lying in the tropical forests has already got removed.

  • According to what the Rainforest Action Network says, although the United States contributes to 5% of the world population, yet their paper consumption is around 30%.

  • The industrially-developed countries have the consumption pattern of timber 12 times more than non-industrial nations.

  • More than around 1.6 billion population of the world relies on the products from forests to run their livelihood.

  • The Tropical forest comprises of various species of plants and animals. It covers around 6% to 7% of the planet.

We hope that the above points will be helpful for you to understand how deforestation affects the environment. Further, if you have any queries, download our Vedantu app to easily access detailed study materials and online sessions.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why do Humans Indulge in Deforestation Activities?

Ans. Deforestation is the removal of large portions of trees and plants from an area. Deforestation in India and other parts of the world occurs for various reasons, such as logging, agriculture, urbanisation and industrial developmental purposes, etc.

2. Who are Mostly Affected by Deforestation?

Ans. Through removal of larger sections of greenery on the plant, we humans along with other biotic species get affected even worse. It is because deforestation hampers the ecological balance of Mother Nature. As a result, pollution and extinction of animals become a common phenomenon since they rely on plants for survival.

3. What is the Primary Difference Between Afforestation and Deforestation?

Ans. In simple words, afforestation means planting of trees for a universal benefit, whereas deforestation refers to the process of removal of greenery from the environment. It is what the difference between afforestation and deforestation primarily implies.

4. Which Countries are Most Impacted due to Deforestation?

Ans. Due to continuous depletion of trees or plants, major portions of the world have got affected. Countries like The United States, Australia, Nigeria, India, The Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, etc. have wide impacts from deforestation.