The importance of forests &

the effects of deforestation

by Ria (age 10)

The causes and the effects of deforestation

The causes

    People have been cutting down rainforests and forests for over a century now! It is estimated that at this speed, in 100 years there will be no more forests in the world! In one year humans cut down 80,000 acres! One reason forests are being destroyed is so pasture land can be created for beef cows used by fast-food restaurants in the United States.


The effects (short term)

    Some short-term effects of deforestation are flooding and erosion. Flooding is caused because the trees and vegetation can not soak up all of the rainwater. Forests would need very thick vegetation to prevent flooding. Erosion happens when too many trees are cut down and the rain will erode the soil. When there is not enough vegetation the sun will heat up the soil and when the soil reaches the temperature of 25 degrees celsius some of the nutrients will evaporate. These leads to loss of more vegetation and increased erosion.


The effects (long term)

    Some long-term effects are climate change and less biodiversity. Climate change happens because of greenhouse gases. When trees die they release CO2. When many trees die there is no controlling how much CO2 is released into the atmosphere. CO2 will make the Earth's temperature rise and that will alter the weather.

    Biodiversity is the combination of different species of life. Forests are home to plants, animals, fungus, and microorganisms. When people cut down trees, deforestation is destroying the habitats of these life forms. If we continue to cut down trees, the ecological web is destroyed. Destroying plants will mean destroying medicines and cures to many diseases that our world faces. 

We need forests a lot, and also need to stop deforestation from making our world a terrible place to live.


Why do we need forests?

    More than 300 million people live in forests and depend on them. They provide us with timber, paper, furniture, medicine, and wood for houses.

    Forests can make it rain regularly and when it rains into the soil, the rain can travel to aquifers and fill them up for the people who need it.

   Forests are very important because they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and pump out oxygen. One tree by itself can create one day’s supply of oxygen for ten people! Forests fight Global Warming by absorbing CO2 that fuels Global Warming.

    Trees clean up the air in large amounts. Forests take CO2, Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide out of the air that we breathe.

    By doing this, forests save 850 lives per year and $6.8 billion of Health Care cost. Forests and trees heal us by providing us with natural medicines.