Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland.[] Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity. In many countries, massive deforestation is ongoing and is shaping climate and geography
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Djouce Mountain, along with most of the island of Ireland, was systematically clearfelled during the 17th and 18th centuries, in order to obtain wood mainly for shipbuilding[1].
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Jungle burned for agriculture in southern Mexico.
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Deforestation in the United States.
Source of 1620, 1850, and 1920 maps: William B. Greeley, The Relation of Geography to Timber Supply, Economic Geography, 1925, vol. 1, p. 1-11.Source of TODAY map: compiled by George Draffan from roadless of an area map in The Big Outside: A Descriptive Inventory of the Big Wilderness Areas of the United States, by Dave Foreman and Howie Wolke (Harmony Books, 1992)
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Orbital photograph of human deforestation in progress in the Tierras Bajas project in eastern Bolivia. Photograph courtesy NASA.
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Deforestation for agriculture in Benambra, Australia
Deforestation results from removal of trees without sufficient reforestation, and results in declines in habitat and biodiversity, wood for fuel and industrial use, and quality of life. [2]

Since about the mid-1800s the Earth has experienced an unprecedented rate of change of destruction of forests worldwide.[3] Forests in Europe are adversely affected by acid rain and very large areas of Siberia have been harvested since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the last two decades, Afghanistan has lost over 70% of its forests throughout the country.[4] However it is in the world's great tropical rainforests where the destruction is most pronounced at the current time and where wholesale felling is having an adverse effect on biodiversity and contributing to the ongoing Holocene mass extinction.[5]

About half of the mature tropical forests, between 750 to 800 million hectares of the original 1.5 to 1.6 billion hectares that once covered the planet have been felled.[6] The forest loss is already acute in Southeast Asia, the second of the world's great biodiversity hot spots. Much of what remains is in the Amazon basin, where the Amazon Rainforest covered more than 600 million hectares. The forests are being destroyed at an accelerating pace tracking the rapid pace of human population growth. Unless significant measures are taken on a world-wide basis to preserve them, by 2030 there will only be ten percent remaining with another ten percent in a degraded condition. 80 percent will have been lost and with them the irreversible loss of hundreds of thousands of species.

Many tropical countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Laos, Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, Ghana and the Cote d'lvoire have lost large areas of their rainforest. 90% of the forests of the Philippine archipelago have been cut. In 1960 Central America still had 4/5 of its original forest; now it is left with only 2/5 of it. Madagascar has lost 95% of its rainforests. Atlantic coast of Brazil has lost 90-95% of its Mata Atlântica rainforest. Half of the Brazilian state of Rondonia's 24.3 million hectares have been destroyed or severely degraded in recent years. As of 2007, less than 1% of Haiti's forests remain, causing many to call Haiti a Caribbean desert.[7] Between 1990 and 2005, the Nigeria lost a staggering 79% of its old-growth forests.[8] Several countries, notably the Philippines, Thailand and India have declared their deforestation a national emergency.[9][10]


There are many causes, ranging from slow forest degradation to sudden and catastrophic clearcutting, slash-and-burn, urban development, acid rain, and wildfires. Deforestation can be the result of the deliberate removal of forest cover for agriculture or urban development, or it can be a consequence of grazing animals, primarily for agriculture. In addition to the direct effects brought about by forest removal, indirect effects caused by edge effects and habitat fragmentation can greatly magnify the effects of deforestation.

While tropical rainforest deforestation has attracted most attention, tropical dry forests are being lost at a substantially higher rate, primarily as an outcome of slash-and-burn techniques used by shifting cultivators. Generally loss of biodiversity is highly correlated with deforestation.

Impact on the environment

Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity. In many countries, massive deforestation is ongoing and is shaping climate and geography.

Deforestation affects the amount of water in the soil and groundwater and the moisture in the atmosphere. Forests support considerable biodiversity, providing valuable habitat for wildlife; moreover, forests foster medicinal conservation and the recharge of aquifers. With forest biotopes being a major, irreplaceable source of new drugs (like taxol), deforestation can destroy genetic variations (such as crop resistance) irretrievably.

Shrinking forest cover lessens the landscape's capacity to intercept, retain and transport precipitation. Instead of trapping precipitation, which then percolates to groundwater systems, deforested areas become sources of surface water runoff, which moves much faster than subsurface flows. That quicker transport of surface water can translate into flash flooding and more localized floods than would occur with the forest cover. Deforestation also contributes to decreased evapotranspiration, which lessens atmospheric moisture which in some cases affects precipitation levels downwind from the deforested area, as water is not recycled to downwind forests, but is lost in runoff and returns directly to the oceans. According to one preliminary study, in deforested north and northwest China, the average annual precipitation decreased by one third between the 1950s and the 1980s.

Long-term gains can be obtained by managing forest lands sustainable to maintain both forest cover and provide a biodegradable renewable resource. Forests are also important stores of organic carbon, and forests can extract carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, thus contributing to biosphere stability and probably relevant to the greenhouse effect. Forests are also valued for their aesthetic beauty and as a cultural resource and tourist attraction.

Economic impact

Historically utilization of forest products, including timber and fuel wood, have played a key role in human societies, comparable to the roles of water and cultivable land. Today, developed countries continue to utilize timber for building houses, and wood pulp for paper. In developing countries almost 3 billion people rely on wood for heating and cooking.[11] The forest products industry is a large part of the economy in both developed and developing countries. Short-term economic gains made by conversion of forest to agriculture, or over-exploitation of wood products, often leads to loss of long-term income. Both West Africa and Southeast Asia have experienced lower revenue because of declining timber harvests. Illegal logging causes billions of dollars of losses to national economies annually. [12]


Throughout most of history, humans have considered forest clearing as necessary for most activities besides forestry. In most countries, only after serious shortages of wood and other forest products are polices implemented to ensure forest resources are used in a sustainable manner. Typically in developed countries, as urbanization and economic development increases, land previously used for farming is abandoned and reverted to forests. [13]Today in the developed world, most countries are experiencing forest restoration and most losses in forest land is primary giver to

Lichotas trillions

driven by expanding urban areas. [14]

In developing countries, human-caused deforestation and the degradation of forest habitat is primarily due to expansion of agriculture, slash and burn practices, urban sprawl, illegal logging, over harvest of fuel wood, mining, and petroleum exploration.

It has been argued that deforestation trends follow the Kuznets curve [15] however even if true this is problematic in so-called hot-spots because of the risk of irreversible loss of non-economic forest values for example valuable habitat or species loss.

The effects of human related deforestation can be mitigated through environmentally sustainable practices that reduce permanent destruction of forests or even act to preserve and rehabilitate disrupted forestland (see Reforestation and Treeplanting).

Definitions of deforestation

Deforestation defined broadly can include not only conversion to non-forest, but also degradation that reduces forest quality - the density and structure of the trees, the ecological services supplied, the biomass of plants and animals, the species diversity and the genetic diversity. BY Narrow definition of deforestation is: the removal of forest cover to an extent that allows for alternative land use. The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) uses a broad definition of deforestation, while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) uses a narrow definition.

Definitions can also be grouped as those which refer to changes in land cover and those which refer to changes in land use. Land cover measurements often use a percent of cover to determine deforestation. This type of definition has the advantage in that large areas can be easily measured, for example from satellite photos. A forest cover removal of 90% may still be considered forest in some cases. Under this definition areas that may have few values of a natural forest such as plantations and even urban or suburban areas may be considered forest.

Land use definitions measure deforestation by a change in land use. This definition may consider areas to be forest that are not commonly considered as such. An area can be lacking trees but still considered a forest. It may be a land designated for afforestation or an area designated administratively as forest.

Use of the term deforestation

It has been argued that the lack of specificity in use of the term deforestation distorts forestry issues.[1] The term deforestation is used to refer to activities that use the forest, for example, fuel wood cutting, commercial logging, as well as activities that cause temporary removal of forest cover such as the slash and burn technique, a component of some shifting cultivation agricultural systems or clearcutting. It is also used to describe forest clearing for annual crops and forest loss from over-grazing. Some definitions of deforestation include activities such as establishment of industrial forest plantations are considered afforestation by others. It has also been argued that the term deforestation is such an emotional term that is used "so ambiguously that it is virtually meaningless" unless it is specified what is meant. [2] More specific terms terms include forest decline, forest fragmentation and forest degradation, loss of forest cover and land use conversion. The term also has a traditional legal sense of the conversion of Royal forest land into purlieu or other non-forest land. And Licota

Levels of causation

The causes of deforestation are complex and often differ in each forest and country. It may be difficult to determine the cause of deforestation in a particular forest. For example, a rise in the price of soybeans may result in soybean farmers displacing cattle ranchers in order to expand their farms. This might cause cattle ranchers to shift to land previously used by slash and burn farmers. The farmers in turn shift further into the forest that has been made accessible by roads built by loggers. In this case it may not be clear who "caused" deforestation. In this case it could be claimed that while the loggers caused forest degradation and that the slash and burn farmers were agents of deforestation, the cause was demand for farm land. The underlaying causes may be poverty or the trade in international commodities.

Theories of deforestation

Three schools of thought exist with regards to the causes of deforestation: the Impoverishment school, which believes that the major cause of deforestation is "the growing number of poor," the Neoclassical school, which believes that the major cause is "open-access property rights," and the Political-ecology school which believes that the major cause of deforestation is that the "capitalist investors crowd out peasants". The Impoverishment school sees smallholders as the principal agents of deforestation, the Neoclassical school sees various agents, and the Political-ecology school sees capitalist entrepreneurs as the major agents of deforestation. Actual data support the first two theories as widespread numerical impacts.

Historical causes

Further information: Timeline of environmental events


Deforestation has been practiced by humans since the beginnings of civilization. Fire was the first tool that allowed humans to modify the landscape. The first evidence of deforestation shows up in the Mesolithic. was probably used to drive game into more accessible areas. With the advent of agriculture, fire became the prime tool to clear land for crops. In Europe there is little solid evidence before 7000 BC. Mesolithic foragers used fire to create openings for red deer and wild boar. In Great Britain shade tolerant species like oak and ash are replaced in the pollen record by hazels, brambles, grasses and nettles. Removal of the forests led to decreased transpiration resulting in the formation of upland peat bogs. Widespread decrease in elm pollen across Europe between 8400-8300 BC and 7200-7000 BC, starting in southern Europe and gradually moving north to Great Britain, may represent land clearing by fire at the onset of Neolithic agriculture.

Pre-industrial history

In ancient Greece, Tjeered van Andel and co-writers[16] summarized three regional studies of historic erosion and alluviation and found that, wherever adequate evidence exists, a major phase of erosion follows, by about 500-1000 years the introduction of farming in the various regions of Greece, ranging from the later Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. The thousand years following the mid-first millennium BCE saw serious, intermittent pulses of soil erosion in numerous places. The historic silting of ports along the southern coasts of Asia Minor (e.g. Clarus, and the examples of Ephesus, Priene and Miletus, where harbors had to be abandoned because of the silt deposited by the Meander) and in coastal Syria during the last centuries BC.

The famous silting up of the harbor for Bruges, which moved port commerce to Antwerp, also follow a period of increased settlement growth (and apparently of deforestation) in the upper river basins. In early medieval Riez in upper Provence, alluvial silt from two small rivers raised the riverbeds and widened the floodplain, which slowly buried the Roman settlement in alluvium and gradually moved new construction to higher ground; concurrently the headwater valleys above Riez were being opened to pasturage.

A typical progress trap is that cities were often built in a forested area providing wood for some industry (e.g. construction, shipbuilding, pottery). When deforestation occurs without proper replanting, local wood supplies become difficult to obtain near enough to remain competitive, leading to the city's abandonment, as happened repeatedly in Ancient Asia Minor. The combination of mining and metallurgy often went along this self-destructive path.

Meanwhile most of the population remaining active in (or indirectly dependent on) the agricultural sector, the main pressure in most areas remained land clearing for crop and cattle farming; fortunately enough wild green was usually left standing (and partially used, e.g. to collect firewood, timber and fruits, or to graze pigs) for wildlife to remain viable, and the hunting privileges of the elite (nobility and higher clergy) often protected significant woodlands.

Major parts in the spread (and thus more durable growth) of the population were played by monastical 'pioneering' (especially by the benedictine and cistercian orders) and some feudal lords actively attracting farmers to settle (and become tax payers) by offering relatively good legal and fiscal conditions – even when they did so to launch or encourage cities, there always was an agricultural belt around and even quite some within the walls. When on the other hand demography took a real blow by such causes as the Black Death or devastating warfare (e.g. Genghis Khan's Mongol hordes in eastern and central Europe, Thirty Years' War in Germany) this could lead to settlements being abandoned, leaving land to be reclaimed by nature, even though the secondary forests usually lacked the original biodiversity.

From 1100 to 1500 AD significant deforestation took place in Western Europe as a result of the expanding human population. The large-scale building of wooden sailing ships by European (coastal) naval owers since the 15th century for exploration, colonization, slave – and other trade on the high seas and (often related) naval warfare (the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1559 and the battle of Lepanto 1577 are early cases of huge waste of prime timber; each of Nelson's Royal navy war ships at Trafalgar had required 6000 mature oaks) and piracy meant that whole woody regions were over-harvested, as in Spain, where this contributed to the paradoxical weakening of the domestic economy since Columbus' discovery of America made the colonial activities (plundering, mining, cattle, plantations, trade ...) predominant.

In Changes in the Land (1983), William Cronon collected 17th century New England Englishmen's reports of increased seasonal flooding during the time that the forests were initially cleared, and it was widely believed that it was linked with widespread forest clearing upstream.

The massive use of charcoal on an industrial scale in Early Modern Europe was a new acceleration of the onslaught on western forests; even in Stuart England, the relatively primitive production of charcoal has already reached an impressive level. For ship timbers, Stuart England was so widely deforested that it depended on the Baltic trade and looked to the untapped forests of New England to supply the need. In France, Colbert planted oak forests to supply the French navy in the future; as it turned out, as the oak plantations matured in the mid-nineteenth century, the masts were no longer required.

Norman F. Cantor's summary of the effects of late medieval deforestation applies equally well to Early Modern Europe:[17]
"Europeans had lived in the midst of vast forests throughout the earlier medieval centuries. After 1250 they became so skilled at deforestation that by 1500 AD they were running short of wood for heating and cooking. They were faced with a nutritional decline because of the elimination of the generous supply of wild game that had inhabited the now-disappearing forests, which throughout medieval times had provided the staple of their carnivorous high-protein diet. By 1500 Europe was on the edge of a fuel and nutritional disaster, [from] which it was saved in the sixteenth century only by the burning of soft coal and the cultivation of potatoes and maize."

Specific parallels are seen in twentieth century deforestation occurring in many developing nations.

Deforestation today

The largest cause as of 2006 is slash-and-burn activity in tropical forests. Slash-and-burn is a method sometimes used by shifting cultivators to create short term yields from marginal soils. When practiced repeatedly, or without intervening fallow periods, the nutrient poor soils may be exhausted or eroded to an unproductive state. Slash-and-burn techniques are used by native populations of over 200 million people worldwide. While short-sighted, market-driven forestry practices are often one of the leading cause of forest degradation, the principal human-related causes of deforestation are agriculture and livestock grazing, urban sprawl, and mining and petroleum extraction. Growing worldwide demand for wood to be used for fire wood or in construction, paper and furniture - as well as clearing land for commercial and industrial development (including road construction) have combined with growing local populations and their demands for agricultural expansion and wood fuel to endanger ever larger forest areas.

Agricultural development schemes in Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia moved large populations into the rainforest zone, further increasing deforestation rates. One fifth of the world's tropical rainforest was destroyed between 1960 and 1990. Estimates of deforestation of tropical forest for the 1990s range from about 55,630 to 120,000 square kilometres each year. At this rate, all tropical forests may be gone by the year 2090.


The main cause of deforestation in Ethiopia is a growing population and subsequent higher demand for agriculture, livestock production and fuel wood.[0] Other reasons include low education and inactivity from the government,[19] although the current government has taken some steps to tackle deforestation.[20] Organizations such as Farm Africa are working with the federal and local governments to create a system of forest management.[20] Ethiopia, the third largest country in Africa by population, has been hit by famine many times because of shortages of rain and a depletion of natural resources. Deforestation has lowered the chance of getting rain, which is already low, and thus causes erosion. Bercele Bayisa, an Ethiopian farmer, offers one example why deforestation occurs. He said that his district was forested and full of wildlife, but overpopulation caused people to come to that land and clear it to plant crops, cutting all trees to sell as fire wood.[21]

Ethiopia has lost 98% of its forested regions in the last 50 years.[20] At the beginning of the 20th century, around 420,000 km² or 35% of Ethiopia's land was covered with forests. Recent reports indicate that forests cover less than 14.2%[20] or even only 11.9% now.<ref name"mongabay">STATISTICS: Ethiopia. Rhett A. Butler, (no date). Retrieved on June 4, 2007. Between 1990 and 2005, the country lost 14% of its forests or 21,000 km².[20]


Massive deforestation with resulting desertification, water resource degradation and soil loss has affected approximately 94% of Madagascar's previously biologically productive lands. Most of this loss has occurred since independence from the France, and is the result of local people trying merely to subsist. The country is currently unable to provide adequate food, fresh water and sanitation for its fast growing population.[22][23]


According to the FAO Nigeria has the world's highest deforestation rate of primary forests. It has lost more than half of its primary forest in the last five years. Causes cited are logging, subsistence agriculture, and the collection of fuelwood.


Main article: Amazon_Rainforest#Deforestation
In Brazil the rate of deforestation is largely driven by commodity prices. Recent development of a new variety of soybean has led to the displacement of beef ranches and farms of other crops, which, in turn, move farther into the forest. Certain areas such as the Atlantic Rainforest have been diminished to less than 10% of their original size and the Amazon Rainforest is awaiting the same fate at 600 fires daily. Although much conservation work has been done, few national parks or reserves are efficiently enforced.


There are significantly large areas of forest in Indonesia that are being lost as native forest is cleared by large multi-national pulp companies and being replaced by plantations. In Sumatra millions of hectares of forest have been cleared often under the command of the central government in Jakarta who comply with multi national companies to remove the forest because of the need to pay off international debt obligations and to develop economically. In Kalimantan the consequences of deforestation have been profound and between 1997 and 1998 large areas of the forest were burned because of uncontrollable fire causing atmospheric pollution across South-East Asia. A major source of deforestation is the logging industry, driven spectacularly by China and Japan.[3]

United States

Prior to the arrival of European-Americans about one half of the United States land area was forest, about 4 million square kilometers (1 billion acres) in 1600. For the next 300 years land was cleared, mostly for agriculture at a rate that matched the rate of population growth. For every person added to the population, one to two hectares of land was cultivated.[24] This trend continued until the 1920s when the amount of crop land stabilized in spite of continued population growth. As abandoned farm land reverted to forest the amount of forest land increased from 1952 reaching a peak in 1963 of 3,080,000 km² (762 million acres). Since 1963 there has been a steady decrease of forest area with the exception of some gains from 1997. Gains in forest land have resulted from conversions from crop land and pastures at a higher rate than loss of forest to development. Because urban development is expected to continue, an estimated 93,000 km² (23 million acres) of forest land is projected be lost by 2050 [4], a 3% reduction from 1997. Other qualitative issues have been identified such as the continued loss of old-growth forest,[25] the increased fragmentation of forest lands, and the increased urbanization of forest land.[26].

Species extinctions in the Eastern Forest

According to a report by Stuart L. Pimm the extent of forest cover in the Eastern United States reached its lowest point in roughly 1872 with about 48 per cent compared to the amount of forest cover in 1620. Of the 28 forest bird species with habitat exclusively in that forest, Pimm claims 4 become extinct either wholly or mostly because of habitat loss, the passenger pigeon, Carolina parakeet, ivory-billed woodpecker, and Bachman’s warbler.[27]


Victoria and NSW's remnant red gum forests, including the Murray River's Barmah-Millewa, are increasingly being clear-felled using mechanical harvesters, destroying already rare habitat. Macnally estimates that approximately 81% of fallen timber has been removed from the southern Murray Darling basin,[28] and the Mid-Murray Forest Management Area (including the Barmah and Gunbower forests) provides about 80% of Victoria's red gum timber.[29]

Environmental effects

Atmospheric pollution

Deforestation is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Trees and other plants remove carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis. Both the decay and burning of wood releases much of this stored carbon back to the atmosphere. A.J. Yeomans asserts in Priority One that overnight, as trees consume the sugars that they produced during the day, a stable forest releases exactly the same quantity of carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Others state that mature forests are net sinks of CO2 (see Carbon dioxide sink and Carbon cycle). Deforestation caused by humans is estimated to contribute to one-third of all carbon dioxide. The water cycle is also affected by deforestation. Trees extract groundwater through their roots and release it into the atmosphere. When part of a forest is removed, the region can not hold as much water and can result in a much drier climate.


Some forests are rich in biological diversity. Deforestation can cause the destruction of the habitats that support this biological diversity, thus causing contributing to the ongoing Holocene extinction event. Numerous countries have developed Biodiversity Action Plans to limit clearcutting and slash and burn agricultural practices as deleterious to wildlife and vegetation, particularly when endangered species are present.

Loss of research potential

The diverse species within rainforests has long been a useful area for research and learning. Apes and other primates in their natural environment are a source of notable research. Numerous significant medications have been developed from genetic materials within forests, many of which pertain to endangered species. Deforestation can subject some of these genetic materials to irreversible loss.

Hydrologic cycle and water resources

Trees, and plants in general, affect the hydrological cycle in a number of significant ways: As a result, the presence or absence of trees can change the quantity of water on the surface, in the soil or groundwater, or in the atmosphere. This in turn changes erosion rates and the availability of water for either ecosystem functions or human services.

The forest may have little impact on flooding in the case of large rainfall events, which overwhelm the storage capacity of forest soil if the soils are at or close to saturation.

Soil erosion

Undisturbed forest has very low rates of soil loss, approximately 0.02 metric tons per hectare. Deforestation generally increases rates of soil erosion, by increasing the amount of runoff and reducing the protection of the soil from tree litter. This can be an advantage in excessively leached tropical rain forest soils. Forestry operations themselves also increase erosion through the development of roads and the use of mechanized equipment.

China's Loess Plateau was cleared of forest millennia ago. Since then it has been eroding, creating dramatic incised valleys, and providing the sediment that gives the Yellow River its yellow color and that causes the flooding of the river in the lower reaches (hence the river's nickname 'China's sorrow').

Removal of trees does not always increase erosion rates. In certain regions of southwest US, shrubs and trees have been encroaching on grassland. The trees themselves enhance the loss of grass between tree canopies. The bare intercanopy areas become highly erodible. The US Forest Service, in Bandelier National Monument for example, is studying how to restore the former ecosystem, and reduce erosion, by removing the trees.


Tree roots bind soil together, and if the soil is sufficiently shallow they act to keep the soil in place by also binding with underlying bedrock. Tree removal on steep slopes with shallow soil thus increases the risk of landslides, which can threaten people living nearby.

Controlling deforestation


New methods are being developed to farm more intensively, such as high-yield hybrid crops, greenhouse, autonomous building gardens, and hydroponics. These methods are often dependent on massive chemical inputs to maintain necessary yields. In cyclic agriculture, cattle are grazed on farm land that is resting and rejuvenating. Cyclic agriculture actually increases the fertility of the soil. Intensive farming can also decrease soil nutrients by consuming at an accelerated rate the trace minerals needed for crop growth.

Forest management

Efforts to stop or slow deforestation have been attempted for many centuries because it has long been known that deforestation can cause environmental damage sufficient in some cases to cause societies to collapse. In Tonga, paramount rulers developed policies designed to prevent conflicts between short-term gains from converting forest to farmland and long-term problems forest loss would cause,[30] while during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Tokugawa Japan[31] the shoguns developed a highly sophisticated system of long-term planning to stop and even reverse deforestation of the preceding centuries through substituting timber by other products and more efficient use of land that had been farmed for many centuries. In sixteenth century Germany landowners also developed silviculture to deal with the problem of deforestation. However, these policies tend to be limited to environments with good rainfall, no dry season and very young soils (through volcanism or glaciation). This is because on older and less fertile soils trees grow too slowly for silviculture to be economic, whilst in areas with a strong dry season there is always a risk of forest fires destroying a tree crop before it matures.


In the People's Republic of China, where large scale destruction of forests has occurred, the government has in the past required that every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 11 and 60 plant three to five trees per year or do the equivalent amount of work in other forest services. The government claims that at least 1 billion trees have been planted in China every year since 1982. This is no longer required today, but March 12 of every year in China is the Planting Holiday. In western countries, increasing consumer demand for wood products that have been produced and harvested in a sustainable manner are causing forest landowners and forest industries to become increasingly accountable for their forest management and timber harvesting practices. The Arbor Day Foundation's Rain Forest Rescue program is a charity that helps to prevent deforestation. The charity uses donated money to buy up and preserve rainforest land before the lumber companies can buy it. The Arbor Day Foundation then protects the land from deforestation. This also locks in the way of life of the primitive tribes living on the forest land. Organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, World Wide Fund for Nature, Conservation International, African Conservation Foundation and Greenpeace also focus on preserving forest habitats.

Forest plantations

To meet the worlds demand for wood it has been suggested by forestry writers Botkins and Sedjo that high-yielding forest plantations are suitable. It has been calculated that plantations yielding 10 cubic meters per hectare annually could supply all the timber required for international trade on 5 percent of the world's existing forestland. By contrast natural forests produce about 1-2 cubic meters per hectare, therefore 5 to 10 times more forest land would be required to meet demand. Forester Chad Oliver has suggested a forest mosaic with high-yield forest lands interpersed with conservation land.[32]

The Jewish National Fund states that the only country to come out of the Twentieth Century with more trees than it had at the start of the period was Israel.[33]


1. ^ [5] reports/abroad04/ireland/ireland 7.lasso
2. ^ [6] Do We Have Enough Forests? By Sten Nilsson
3. ^ * Wilson, E.O., 2002, The Future of Life, Vintage ISBN 0-679-76811-4
4. ^ Afghanistan: Environmental crisis looms as conflict goes on
5. ^ Leakey, Richard and Roger Lewin, 1996, The Sixth Extinction : Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind, Anchor, ISBN 0-385-46809-1
6. ^ Ron Nielsen, The Little Green Handbook: Seven Trends Shaping the Future of Our Planet, Picador, New York (2006) ISBN 978-0312425814
7. ^ International Conference on Reforestation and Environmental Regeneration of Haiti
8. ^ Nigeria: Environmental Profile
9. ^ Rainforest Destruction
10. ^ Rainforest loss shocks Brazil
11. ^ [7] Forest Products
12. ^ Destruction of Renewable Resources
13. ^ [8] Returning forests analyzed with the forest identity
14. ^ Deforestation and forest degradation factors.
15. ^ [9] Deforestation and the environmental Kuznets curve:An institutional perspective
16. ^ Tjeerd H. van Andel, Eberhard Zangger, Anne Demitrack, "Land Use and Soil Erosion in Prehistoric and Historical Greece' Journal of Field Archaeology 17.4 (Winter 1990), pp. 379-396
17. ^ In closing The Civilization of the Middle Ages: The Life and Death of a Civilization (1993) pp 564f.
18. ^ Sucoff, E. (2003). Deforestation. In Environmental Encyclopedia. (P.g.358-359). Detroit: Gale.
19. ^ Mccann, J.C. (1999).Green land, Brown land, Black land: An environmental history of Africa 1800-1990. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
20. ^ Maddox, G.H. (2006). Sub-Saharan Africa: An environmental history. Santabarbara, CA: ABC-CLIO
21. ^ Haileselassie, A. Ethiopia's struggle over land reform. World press Review 51.4 (April 2004):32(2).Expanded Academic ASAP
22. ^ What are rainforests?
23. ^ Deforestation in Madagascar
24. ^ American Forest A History of Resiliency and Recovery United States Forest Service
25. ^ United Nations (2005) "Global Forest Resources Assessment"
26. ^ U.S. Department of Agriculture "Forests on the Edge - Housing Development on America's Private Forests" (2005) [10] Retrieved Nov. 19 2006
28. ^ Macnally, R, Ballinger, A and Horrocks, G. (2002) Habitat change in River Red Gum Floodplains: Depletion of Fallen Timber and Impacts on Biodiversity. Victorian Naturalis, Volume 119(4). Pp. 107-113.
29. ^ NRE 2002 Forest Management Plan for the Mid-Murray Forest Management Area.
30. ^ Diamond, Jared Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Survive; Viking Press 2004, pages 301-302
31. ^ Diamond, Collapse, pages 320-331
32. ^ No Man's Garden Daniel B. Botkin p 246-247
33. ^ The Jewish National Fund: How the Land Was ‘Redeemed’

General references

  • BBC TV series 2005 on the history of geological factors shaping human history
  • A Natural History of Europe - 2005 co-production including BBC and ZDF
  • Whitney, Gordon G. 1996. From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain : A History of Environmental Change in Temperate North America from 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57658-X
  • Williams, Michael. 2003. Deforesting the Earth. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. ISBN 0-226-89926-8
  • Wunder, Sven. 2000. The Economics of Deforestation: The Example of Ecuador. Macmillan Press, London. ISBN 0-333-73146-8
  • FAO / CIFOR report. Forests and Floods: Drowning in Fiction or Thriving on Facts?

Ethiopia deforestation references

  • Parry, J. Appropriate technology: Dec 2003: 30, 4: ABI/INFORM Global p.g.38.
  • Hillstrom, K & Hillstrom, C.(2003).Africa and the Middle east. A continental Overview of Environmental Issues. Santabarbara, CA: ABC CLIO.
  • Williams, M.(2006).Deforesting the earth: From prehistory to global crisis: An Abridgment. Chicago: The university of Chicago press.
  • Mccann. J.C.(1990).A Great Agrarian cycle? Productivity in Highland Ethiopia, 1900 To 1987.journal of Interdisciplinary History, xx: 3,389-416.Retrieved November 18,2006, from JSTOR database.
  • Parry, J (2003). Tree choppers become tree planters. Appropriate Technology, 30(4), 38-39. Retrieved November 22, 2006, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 538367341).

See also

External links

In the media

In the theory of programming languages in computer science, deforestation (also known as fusion) is a program transformation to eliminate tree structures.

The term "deforestation" was originally coined by Philip Wadler in his paper "Deforestation: transforming
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In general, conversion is the transformation of one thing into another. Articles on particular kinds of conversion are:
  • Conversion (construction)
  • Conversion (law), an intentional tort to personal property

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FOREST (an acronym for "Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco") is a United Kingdom political pressure group that campaigns for the right of people to smoke tobacco and opposes attempts to ban or reduce tobacco consumption.
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arable land (from Latin arare, to plough) is an agricultural term, meaning land that can be used for growing crops.

Of the earth's 148,000,000 km² (57 million square miles) of land, approximately 31,000,000 km² (12 million square miles) are arable;
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Pasture is land with herbaceous vegetation cover used for grazing of ungulate livestock as part of a farm or ranch. Prior to the advent of mechanized farming, pasture was the primary source of food for grazing animals such as cattle and horses.
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An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. This term is at one end of the spectrum of suburban and rural areas. An urban area is more frequently called a city or town.
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Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems.
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Climate is the average and variations of weather over long periods of time. Climate zones can be defined using parameters such as temperature and rainfall.
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Geography - (from the Greek words Geo (γη) or Gaea (γαία), both meaning "Earth", and graphein (γράφειν) meaning "to describe" or "to write"
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Reforestation is the restocking of existing forests and woodlands which have been depleted, with native tree stock. The term reforestation can also refer to afforestation, the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodlands or forest that once existed but were deforested or
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Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea,
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Siberia (Russian: Сиби́рь, Sibir); is a vast region on the eastern and North-Eastern part of the Russian Federation constituting almost all of Northern Asia and comprising a large part of the
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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (abbreviated USSR, Russian: ; tr.
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This page has been semi-protected from editing to deal with vandalism.
Semi-protection is not an endorsement of the current version. To see other versions, view the [ page history].
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Tropical rainforests are rainforests generally found near the equator. They are common in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and on many of the Pacific Islands.
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Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems.
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Holocene extinction event is a name customarily given to the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene epoch. The large number of extinctions span numerous families of plants and animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods;
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Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome.

Tropical and subtropical forest regions with lower rainfall are home to tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests and
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Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, and north of Australia.
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Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries.

Geographic studies

The Amazon river basin is located mainly (50%) in Brazil, but also stretches into Peru and several other countries.
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Amazon Rainforest (Brazilian Portuguese: Floresta Amazônica or Amazônia; Spanish: Selva Amazónica or Amazonía) is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon Basin of South America.
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Overpopulation is a condition when an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. In common parlance, the term usually refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth.
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"Bhinneka Tunggal Ika"   (Old Javanese)
"Unity in Diversity"
National ideology: Pancasila[1]
Indonesia Raya
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Phleng Chat
Royal anthem
Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami

(and largest city) Bangkok [1]

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"Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu"
"Unity Is Strength" 1

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Amar Shonar Bangla
My Golden Bengal

(and largest city) Dhaka

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This page contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
China (Traditional Chinese:
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"Sri Lanka Matha"
Music   , Singing  
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ສັນຕິພາບ ເອກະລາດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ເອກະພາບ
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"Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
"Arise O Compatriots, Nigeria's Call Obey"

Capital Abuja

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