Deforestation or felling trees has become a favorite activity of man to extract assorted needs- be it medicines or precious paper to waste. For obvious reasons, it is shameful to read the statistics on how discriminating man has been, especially when it comes to deforestation… but at the end there is always hope. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost each year. In the last two decades, Afghanistan has lost over 70% of its forests throughout the country. Read more facts about global warming, climate change and pollution here. Just check few of the facts on deforestation below.
What is Deforestation?
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.
Below are 51 facts on deforestation
Facts 1: Forests cover 30% of the earth’s land.
Facts 2: It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests.
Facts 3: Agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation
Facts 4: One and a half acres of forest is cut down every second.
Facts 5: Loss of forests contributes between 12 percent and 17 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. (World Resources Institute)
Facts 6: If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.
Facts 7: The rate of deforestation equals to loss of 20 football fields every minute.
Facts 8: There are more than 121 natural remedies in the rain forest which can be used as medicines.
Facts 9: 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.
Facts 10: The over exploitation of forests is making it extremely difficult to replant a new ecology.
Facts 11: 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon forest.
Facts 12: Up to 28,000 species are expected to become extinct by the next quarter of the century due to deforestation.
Facts 13: 25% of cancers fighting organisms are found in the amazon.
Facts 14: 13 million hectare per year in South America and Africa and south East Asia is converted from a forest to an agriculture land.
Facts 15: Deforestation has considerably stopped in places like Europe, Pacific, North America and some parts of Asia due to lack of agricultural land.
Facts 16: Half of the world’s tropical forests has already been cleared.
Facts 17: 4500 acres of forests are cleared every hour by forest fires, bull dozers, machetes etc.
Facts 18: Poverty, over-population and unequal land access are the main causes of man- made deforestation.
Facts 19: The total world forest loss till date is 7.3 million hectares per year.
Facts 20: 1.6 billion people across the globe depend on forest products for their livelihoods there by adding more to deforestation.
Facts 21: Almost half of world’s timber and up to 70% of paper is consumed by Europe, United States and Japan alone.
Facts 22: Industrialized countries consume 12 times more wood and its products per person than the non-industrialized countries.
Facts 23: The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.
Facts 24: Fuel wood in sub Saharan African countries is consumed up to 200% times more than the annual growth rates of the trees. This is causing deforestation, lack of timber resources and loss of habitat for the species living in it.
Facts 25: Trees are important constituents of the ecosystem by absorbing carbon.
Facts 26: Soil erosion, floods, wildlife extinction, increase in global warming, and climate imbalance are few of the effects of deforestation.
Facts 27: Worldwide more than 1.6 billion people rely on forests products for all or part of their livelihoods.
Facts 28: Tropical forests, where deforestation is most prevalent, hold more than 210 gigatonnes of carbon.
Facts 29: 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 30: Tropical rainforests which cover 6-7% of the earth’s surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world!
Facts 31: Deforestation affects water cycle. Trees absorb groundwater and release the same into the atmosphere during transpiration. When deforestation happens, the climate automatically changes to a drier one and also affects the water table.
Facts 32: The world’s forests store 283 billion tons of carbon present in the biomass.
The online business
Fact 33: Money to save trees is majorly collected online.
Fact 34: One can save up to 20 square feet of forest with online contributions thereby conveniently prevent deforestation.
Fact 35: Over 4 million tons of junk is created online by spamming.
Fact 36: 41 pounds of these junk mails are sent to almost every adult in the United States.
Fact 37: 44% of the junk mail goes unopened.
Fact 38: People in America spend more than 275 million dollars to dispose junk mails.
Fact 39: The paper industry is fourth largest in producing greenhouse gas thereby majorly contributing to deforestation.
Fact 40: On an average, a person in the United States uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year.
Take the right action
Fact 41: A lot of paper and cardboard is used unnecessarily for packing. This means more tree felling.
Fact 42: Re- use paper and plastic bags to discourage deforestation.
Fact 43: Use canvas or paper bags as another alternative.
Fact 44: Pick products which require less packaging.
Fact 45: Be creative and mail manufacturers telling them to use eco-friendly products. Show them your deforestation knowledge by highlighting certain important facts using statistics.
Fact 46: Sign effective petitions that work and help reduce deforestation.
Fact 47: Support eco-friendly companies buy buying their products that promise more durability in an inexpensive way.
Fact 48: Be active and plant trees- it can be at your homes, backyards or you can join any organization keen on stopping deforestation.
Fact 49: Reduce the consumption of beef to tone down the pressure to clear more forests for the cattle.
Fact 50: Boycott companies by supporting organizations that care about the environment at the cost of fighting back for the evergreen trees.
Fact 51: Seek knowledge on deforestation and how can you prevent it from happening by reading newspapers, magazines, internet, TV shows. Spread the word and make it go viral.
To fell or not to fell is not up to the woodcutter, but surely depends on you. Be the change and eliminate the disturbing statistics on deforestation. It takes not guts, but love and compassion for nature to save trees from being felled.