By Lydia Bjornlund
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Extra info for Deforestation
Where people rely products in one region less directly on the land for of the world can fuel defood, forests are less threatforestation in another. ened. Most of the forests in the eastern United States, for instance, were gone by 1920, but they have experienced regrowth as people have moved from isolated farms to urban centers. Still, in many places, as cities grow larger to accommodate more people, trees are cut down to make more room for houses and roads. National policies also make a difference.
We have nowhere to run, nothing else to do. So we have to cut the trees to feed our families. ” —Injes Juma, quoted in Michael Wines, “Malawi Is Burning, and Deforestation Erodes Economy,” New York Times, November 1, 2005. Juma is among the many of the world’s impoverished people who illegally cut and sell firewood and charcoal at roadside stands to support their families. 43 Deforestation “ Logging is a key, if indirect, driver of Amazonian forest destruction. ” —William Laurance, “Amazon Rain Forest Not Helped by ‘Light’ Logging,” National Geographic News, April 1, 2006.
Thirty-six of the countries reporting a decrease in forest area had a rate of higher than 1 percent per year. How Serious Is Deforestation? Forests Past and Present Over 6 billion hectares of forests blanketed the Earth 8,000 years ago; less than 4 billion hectares of forest remains today. Much of what remains is degraded and fragmented. Environmentalists are particularly concerned about preserving tropical forests, which are home to rich biodiversity. Forest Distribution 8,000 Years Ago Closed Nontropical Forest Closed Tropical Forest Open Nontropical Forest Open Tropical Forest Non-forest Forest Distribution in 1990 Closed Nontropical Forest Closed Tropical Forest Open Nontropical Forest Open Tropical Forest Non-forest Note: A closed forest is a forest with tree canopy coverage of 60 to 100 percent.
Deforestation by Lydia Bjornlund