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Deforestation is one of the serious issues that is being faced by our planet earth in the current times. Deforestation refers to the permanent removal of the forests and trees in order to make the land available for other uses, most of the times, commercial uses (Jepma). According to an estimation by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost due to deforestation.
Multiple causes are held responsible for the issue of deforestation. They are broadly divided into natural and man-made causes. Natural causes consist of fires, hurricanes, parasites, and floods. However, the human activities consist of agricultural expansion, cattle breeding, dams construction, oil extraction, mining, timber extraction and infrastructure development. Some of the biggest sites for deforestation are considered to be in the Amazon District of the United States of America and the forests present in the Southeast Asian Region.
Although both these regions are heavily under the curse of deforestation the causes of deforestation at both these sites are completely different. The Amazon forests are depleting due to natural causes more than human cause (Nepstad). These factors mainly include fires that erupt every year. On the other hand, the cause behind the removal of forests in the South Asian Region is the cutting of trees for the extraction of palm oil. The oil industries in Southeast Asia especially Malaysia and Indonesia clear the land area that is captured by the forests to plant palm trees and extract oil from them for commercial purposes.
Jepma, Catrinus J. Tropical deforestation: a socio-economic approach. Routledge, 2014.
Nepstad, Daniel, et al. "Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef and soy supply chains." science 344.6188 (2014): 1118-1123.
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