Environmental issues have, in the last two decades, received and great deal of publicity and study. Acid Rain, Global Warming and Pollution have been studied extensively as scientists link types of human activity to the destruction of the planet that support our activities. One particular issue that requires consideration is deforestation and how it effects the natural bio-diversity and balance that has put the planet Earth under stress.
Deforestation refers to the long term loss or conversion of forest cover. It occurs through human interactions when deforested areas are prevented from naturally regenerating. Forests are capable of recovering from any destruction like fire, floods, volcanic eruptions and ice ages. Surprisingly, the recovery of forests that are destroyed through human implication recover faster than forests destroyed through natural causes. .
Deforestation varies according to the region. In tropical forests of the world clearing of the land for agricultural and ranching activities are the primary reasons for deforestation. Overpopulation in cities and unequal distribution of land has accelerated the encroachment of the rainforest. >In Brazil 4.5% of the land owners own 81% of the countries farmland and 70% of the world=s households are landless= (Anderson 1990). Landless peasants are forced to search for land in the untouched forests. The building of new commercial logging roads into the interior rainforests assists the farmers in their search. Often, these settlers do not have the knowledge and experience necessary to cultivate the land correctly and resort to using the method of >Slash and Burn= to clear the land. While this method may be fast and cheap, the cutting of the trees followed by the burning results in a loss of nutrients in the soil, leaving the land infertile. Farmers are then forced to move on and repeat this process of slash and burn in another part of the forest.