Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Deforestation can also be seen as removal of forests leading to several imbalances ecologically and environmentally and results in declines in habitat and biodiversity. Urbanization, Mining, Fires, Logging and Agricultural activities are few of the causes of deforestation. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year.
Below are 20 important facts to consider on deforestation
Fact 1: Forests cover 30% of the earth’s land.
Fact 2: One and a half acres of forest is cut down every second (equivalent to the loss of 20 football fields every minute
Fact 3: If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.
Fact 4: 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon forest.
Fact 5: Agriculture the leading cause of deforestation
Fact 6: Loss of forests contributes between 12 percent and 17 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions (World Resources Institute)
Fact 7: There are over 120 natural remedies in the rain forest which can be used as medicines.
Fact 8: According to Rainforest Action Network, the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population yet consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.
Fact 9: Up to 28,000 species are expected to become extinct by the next quarter of the century due to deforestation
Fact 10: 25% of cancers fighting organisms are found in the amazon.
Fact 11: Half of the world’s tropical forests has already been cleared.
Fact 12: Poverty, over-population and unequal land access are the main causes of man- made deforestation.
Fact 13: Almost half of world’s timber and up to 70% of paper is consumed by Europe, United States and Japan alone.
Facts 14: The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.
Facts 15: Trees are important constituents of the ecosystem by absorbing carbon.
Facts 16: Soil erosion, floods, wildlife extinction, increase in global warming and climate imbalance are few of the effects of deforestation.
Facts 17: According to Forestry Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about half the world’s tropical forests have been cleared or degraded.
Facts 18: Tropical rainforests which cover 6-7% of the earth’s surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world!
Fact 19: The paper industry is fourth largest in producing greenhouse gas thereby majorly contributing to deforestation.
Fact 20: On an average, a person in the United States uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year.
Be the change and do your part to help eliminate the disturbing statistics on deforestation!