On the Edge…






Deforestation has become a favourite activity of humankind, helping us extract assorted needs–for example medicines, precious paper to waste, and fuel. Almost half of the world’s timber, and up to 70% of paper, is consumed by Europe, the United States, and Japan alone. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, an estimated 18 million acres of forest is lost each year, farming and agriculture being the leading causes.

Did you know that in 2019, the rate of deforestation equaled a loss of 30 football fields every minute?
Deforestation can be defined as the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use. Often, it is converted to arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or even wasteland. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization defined deforestation as “the conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10 percent threshold.”
Deforestation can also be seen as the removal of forests, which then leads to several imbalances, ecologically and environmentally; this then results in declines in habitat and biodiversity.
As well as damaging our fragile ecosystem, deforestation threatens species including the orangutan, sumatran tiger, and many species of birds.
In terms of increasing the rate of climate change, the process of deforestation itself involves a large emittance of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When trees are cut, the carbon dioxide the tree has absorbed is released into the air. Also, the removal of trees removes with them the ability of absorbing existing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as trees do. The most concentrated deforestation occurs in tropical rainforests, and scientists predict that within 100 years, rainforests could be completely wiped out.

To help these animals suffering through climate change, why don’t you go to the WWF website? There you can make donations, which go towards animal shelters, and other charities which support our environment. You can even adopt an animal, such as lions or dolphins. Anything can make a difference, and it is vital that we help to preserve our natural habitat during these tough times.

Urbanization, mining, fires, logging and agricultural activities such as palm oil plantations, are some of the leading causes of deforestation. Palm oil is an overused ingredient: it can be found in nearly everything from ice cream to peanut butter! Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil in the world. To keep up with the fast rate of supply wanted, Indonesia’s forests have been bulldozed, torn down and replaced with acres upon acres of palm oil plantations.

By Grace Warrior

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