0047 IGCSE Global
International School – Secondary
List of files in this
GP Topic area
What are the effects
of deforestation on society?
Forest contains 70% of Earth’s animals and plants. It is essential for
many species as it act as the habitat of these species. However, the forests
are now facing the danger of deforestation. Deforestation means cutting down
trees in a large scale. Deforestation destroys these animals’ habitat, causing
numerous extinctions. Deforestation occurs due to high demands of wood for
furniture, musical instruments and many other wooden products (Effects of Deforestation | The Pachamama Alliance, no date). One of the
forest that is disappearing is the Amazon rainforest, by now more than 20% of
the forests have been destroyed. In addition, the amount of Amazonian living in
the forest have decreased from 10 million five centuries ago to 200,000 now. In
particular the Europeans have destroyed 90 tribes in the Brazil forests in the
1900s (Taylor, 2012).
It was estimated that we lost about 150 acres of forests every minute,
and 78 million is lost every year (Taylor, 2012). It was also calculated that more
than 80% of Earth’s natural forests have been destroyed, and up to 90% of West
Africa’s Costal forests have been disappeared since the start of the 20th
century (Deforestation and Its Effect on the Planet, no
In this research project, we are going to investigate and evaluate
several effects deforestation has on the society. In the end of the project I
will conclude with a personal statement including my personal opinion of what I
would do if I am one of the loggers and what I would like to do to reduce the
loss of forests. The place where I live does not have a large area of forests
and deforestation on the news, therefore I would like to focus more on places
like Indonesia or Brazil.
Deforestation on society
One major effect of deforestation is climate change and pollution. It is
also the major concern among environmentalists. Trees are used to maintain the
oxygen production in the atmosphere. Deforestation would reduce the amount of
oxygen produced. The tropical forests in South America is mostly responsible
for Earth’s oxygen production (Alice, 2015). In addition, the production of
Palm oil in South-East Asia is also causing air pollution. The plantations were
burnt which causes carbon dioxide to form in the atmosphere. The fire is
uncontrollable for the most of the time that people would leave it to burn both
underground and on the ground for months (Palm oil & air pollution, no date).
The deforestation of these plantations has expanded across the South-East Asia.
The pollution has been spread around to countries like Malaysia (Victor, 2017).
These contributes to the climate change.
The water vapor produced by the trees would affect the overall climate
of Earth, since lacking of water vapor in the atmosphere would cause
temperature rises and global warming (Logging | Global
Forest Atlas, no date). The increase of greenhouse gases emission such as
the release of carbon dioxide would cause global warming. The diminish of trees
would reduce the oxygen production. It was estimated that 15% of the greenhouse
gases were produced from deforestation (Deforestation | Threats | WWF, no date). Even though oxygen is a
waste product of photosynthesis, we still need it to survive. When a person is
lacking sufficient amount of oxygen he or she would infect lung diseases such
as emphysema (Raitni, 2016).
As a result, people would exhale more carbon dioxide alongside the
pollution caused by automobile and the burning of fossil fuels in factories.
These factors are causing the Earth to become a greenhouse (Alice, 2015).
Production of wooden goods would also be affected. The Amazon forest
have always been the primary sources of wood. These logs are sold to different
countries such as the USA, Japan, Canada etc (Blahnik, no date).
Many musical instrument corporations were affected by deforestation. Due
to the reduction of rosewood in a mass scale, customer departments from some
countries have arranged restrictions for this type of wood. Many guitar
manufacturers have found 2017 a hard year because of the restriction. Some
companies have selected other hardwood to replace rosewood (Barber, 2017).
Furniture companies were affected in the meantime. Vietnamese luxury furniture
manufacturers exports 70% of their wooden furniture to China, but it was stated
that logging in Vietnam is illegal. These companies have to cut down trees as
they have to distribute incomes to their fellow employees. It was reported that
the government have promised to pass the legislation but there was no sign of
any progress. One company have realized the issue and their employers wish to
move toward clean timber in the near future (Tatarski, 2017).
As a result, some people’s lives are depended on deforestation. If
deforestation is banned throughout the globe, millions of people whom have jobs
closely related to the trees such as loggers would lose their jobs. Therefore,
whether to ban deforestation would still be a debate among the people.
Furthermore, the loss of species is another effect deforestation has on
the society. Forests are habitat of many animals. Deforestation means the loss
of habitat of animals. These animals would either die or move to somewhere
else. Local tribes and people would also be affected because most of them
relies on the animals and plants in forests (Bradford, 2015).
Experts have estimated that we lose around 137 species of plants,
animals and insects every day. Rainforests once covered over 16% of Earth, but
there is only 6% left in the 21th century. Experts have also stated that half
of the overall species would be threatened in the next 25 years (Taylor, 2012).
The loss of species would affect the ecosystem. We have used more than 25% of
Earth’s natural resources, which is already causing direct threats to the
environment (How Does
Biodiversity Loss Affect Me and Everyone Else?, no date). 6 million
species were discovered in the rainforests, losing these species would affect
the people as it would change their life-style and eating habits (Why Rainforest?,
The resources of the data are relatively reliable. A large proportion of
data were taken from organization websites such as pacwa and education websites
such as Yale. This make the links reliable as these websites are
mostly written by environmentalist and experts. These websites are somewhat
biased because the information is mostly related to the negative effects of
deforestation. Some data were also taken from newspaper websites. These
websites are quite bias because it only focuses on the negatives effects. Thus,
the resources are somewhat reliable in terms of its contents and aspects.
Deforestation happens in everywhere. Forests such as the Amazon
rainforests or the Congo Basin are threatened from deforestation. These forests
are rich in resources, and they were targeted by many companies. Deforestation
are caused by illegal logging, mining, agriculture etc (Schwartz, 2015). Currently,
there are over 300 million hectares of forests lands in USA. However, the
country had lost over 300,000 hectares of forests between 1990 and 2010. Between
these periods USA had reforested 7 million hectares of trees (Becker, no date).
China, has over 14% covered with forests, but itself have suffered from
deforestation in the mountains in Southwest China (Hays, no date). According to
(Zhou, 2018), People claimed that deforestation was the major cause of the air
pollution in Beijing. They have also claimed that the sandstorms from the Gobi
Desert always approach as the winter ends. The perspectives provided from these
websites are quite convincing, since some were written by experts and others
were written on popular newspaper websites. Some of these websites are very
similar in terms of information to each other.
However, according to (Cotthem, 2010) they argued that deforestation
could have positive effects such as building a community. The wood can be used
to build infrastructures. Government could build roads to enhance trade and
marketing. As a result, they stated that deforestation could change people’s lives.
But then again, the amount of negative effects outweighs the positive effects.
Whether to prohibit deforestation is still a worldwide debate. Divisions
have been taken place between people as some said that ending deforestation
would cause a lost in jobs. Others said that deforestation is causing serious
effect to the environment. Many organizations have tried to halt the
destruction of forests in many ways.
One course of action was taken by the government. Some government have
tried to make sure the air quality is qualified for breathing (Alice, 2015).
Some companies have tried to fix the problem of deforestation by making sure
they would replace dead trees with new trees, or reforestation. This could be
very helpful since more oxygen could be formed (Reforestation, no date). China
has passed laws such as the ‘Myanmar’s Forest Law’ to prevent further logging
since deforestation is caused by illegal logging (NatureWorldNews, 2015). China
also planned to spend 1 billion dollars a year over the next 30 years on
Another course of action would be setting up organizations to forbid the
issue. Organizations in the United States such as the Greenpeace have tried to
campaign ‘abandon deforestation’ for a clean future by convincing the market,
promoting sustainable commodities and asking to modify the policies etc (Solutions
to deforestation, no date). Organizations such as the Cool Earth have already
begun to fight with the issue. On their website they have stated that over
900,000 acres of tropical rainforests were saved from deforestation. The
organization have also stated that 1.6 billion people relied on these forests,
therefore deforestation would have a tremendous impact on their lives (Why
Rainforest?, no date).
Prior to research, I did not know that deforestation could have so many
important positive effects. I’ve only thought about what I receive from the
deforestation, so I’ve never tried to ponder any effects of deforestation.
After the research, I’ve realized that my knowledge on deforestation was
very vague. According to (10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Deforestation,
2016), I learnt that there are some essential positive effects I’ve never
thought of. One of foremost is it helps to remove diseased trees so that the
disease wouldn’t be able to affect the trees around the area. Another positive
effect is that it helps to build communities. Hence, deforestation have
certainly got some positive effects on the society and elsewhere. Some of the
effects are essential to both the trees’ survival and mankind’s survival.
Prior to research, I’ve always supported to prohibit deforestation.
However, I did not know that deforestation is essential to the growth of
economy and the only thing I know was that it was damaging the environment.
After the research, my will of supporting deforestation has decreased.
According to (Trade-Offs between Economic Growth and Deforestation, 2017), It
shows that deforestation is essential to the economic growth because it would increase
consumers on wooden products. The growth of economy alongside the increase of
deforestation often happens in poor countries, since their
economies are weak. Factors such as good governance, monitoring system can be
able to control the rate of deforestation, but tropical forests in Africa are
lacking of these. Therefore, it would be very hard to control the economic
growth in Africa through deforestation. Overall deforestation is still an
essential factor in economic growth in poor countries, but the deforestation
has to be done under strict monitoring to prevent disastrous effects such as
loss of species.
Word Count without in-text citation: 1782 words
Word Count with in- text Citation: 1890 words
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