Question & Answer

What are the causes of deforestation in India


The term ‘deforestation’ labels the broad long-term removal of a tree cover. The loss of forest cover influences the climate and contributes to a loss of biodiversity. Adverse effects are siltation, flooding, soil degradation and reduced timber supplies, which then hampers economic situation. The basic reasons for deforestation are the followings:

• Cultivations and livestock farming

Cultivations and livestock farms are in fact, substitute forest areas. The influence is much higher as after the extraction of the most precious trees. They are destined for timber commercialization. Jungles are set on fire. It causes great impact on forest animals and plants. The most disastrous year for the Amazon forest has been in 1991 when over 50,000 fires were registered by aerial views or satellite images.

• Timber extraction 

We all know that growing industries are cutting centuries-old trees to make timber or cellulose for the furniture or paper industry. It causes serious damage to the ecosystem, not necessary any system employed for wood cutting is used. These damages are amplified by the construction of roads required for vehicles and to transport chopped timber to its destination. Many other economically unattractive trees which have an important biological and ecological value are cut down, as they need more timber day by day.

• Firewood collection 

The particular commotion is commenced especially by native populations. They mainly do it because of population growth. They need energy sources for their survival. This phenomenon adds to large-scale industrial timber exploitation.

• Road Construction 

Besides the road construction thing for supplying timber, industrial exploitation and construction of dam contribute to massive deforestation.

• Other causes are natural causes of parasites and floods, hurricanes, fires, human activities as cattle breeding, agricultural expansion, timber extraction, oil extraction, mining, infrastructure development, dam construction.

• Political and socio-economic causes as military conflicts, population growth and climate changes

• Governance failure and insufficient political actions and inadequate land tenure system, corruption, wrong public administration investments.

Current scenario of India is not very good but not bad at all. Due to deforestation, the forest cover of India has fallen below the minimum recommended level. Forests should cover about one-third of the total area of the country as per expert comments. But in India forests covers around 24% of the total area. India has gained a forest area of 5,871 square kilometres during the period between 2010 and 2012 as per satellite images. However, the increase in forest area is not even throughout the country. We all know that in various places, forests land are getting used for various development projects like dams, industries, roads and agriculture.