Deforestation is the act of cutting down and clearing forests to meet the wants and needs of people and clearing can be done by accident or deliberate action for housing, agricultural, and industrial use according to, Conserve Energy Future,(CEF) in its article “Deforestation: Compromises of a Growing World”(CEF). One of the many reasons for deforestation is agriculture with the need for food for growing populations and space for cattle grazing(CEF). For industrial use forests are cleared for logging to produce paper products and mining (CEF). The use of land for housing is not just for as the name implies homes, but also roads for transport and settlements(CEF). Forests are also in danger because of the random chance of forest fires or desertification of land that might have human involvement as a part of it(CEF).
Deforestation for its many causes is not a victimless crime and is in fact one that threatens everything on earth and not just the people who live near forests and people who make a living off forests. The obvious group affected would be animals and plants inhabiting forests worldwide and people who make a living off them because in Livescience the article “Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects” by Alina Bradford tells the loss of habitats some animals are pushed towards extinction and this has repercussions for hunters and researcher alike(Bradford). And with four-fifths of most land organisms having homes in forests, deforestation endangers many species according to National Geographic and shows how deforestation is a threat to the biodiversity of forests (Nunez). One unforeseen consequence of deforestation is the contributing factor it has towards climate change explains the World Wildlife Fund, (WWF), in its article about deforestation. The article elaborates that carbon is released in wood when cut or burned so deforestation comes out being 15% of greenhouse gas emissions(WWF). The article “Solutions for Deforestation-Free Wood Products” by the Union of Concerned Scientists, UCS, explains how trees take in and store carbon with their presence and growth, and when felled the stored carbon will eventually escape back out to the world showing a reason bringing down forests is contributing to climate change (UCSUSA). Deforestation also has other effects on the environment with its effect on the water cycle and soil erosion. The article by LiveScience it tells how trees regulate water pollution and water vapor in the atmosphere this illustrates how without trees water would be more likely to be unsafe and hint at the effects it could have on the locations near former forests (Bradford). An article by the Pachamama Alliance titled “Effects of Deforestation,” informs us about the added feature of trees to keep topsoil and water in the ground telling how without tree roots to keep the soil together it would wash away and make flooding worse and also indicating that landslides being more likely with soil being looser and less water being retained by soil (Pachamama). Deforestation does not limit itself to indirectly hurting people in LiveScience it tells how deforestation destroys homes and lifestyles of tribes inhabiting rainforests around the world and tells of an example from a film that documented how reverence tribal communities have toward the rainforest and reinforces how much deforestation would destroy the lives of people (Bradford). Tribes are not the only group of people to be abused and in this case shown by the WWF, it includes actual abuse. In the article, it is told that in Brazil the poor would be attracted to plantations and be forced and abused at gunpoint to work no matter the conditions showing the further impact of deforestation for agricultural needs resulting in ruined lives (WWF). So with the obviousness of deforestation being horrible and costing more than it is worth, the question here would be “What is the best solution to address deforestation and its effects?”
To counteract deforestation the methods used would entail fixed and renewed ecosystems, less carbon in the environment, and rebuilding of natural habitats as listed by LiveScience with rebuilt habitats the industries, culture, and livelihoods that depended on it could be rebuilt too (Bradford). The first solution for the evaluation would be government involvement in the protection, proliferation, and restoration of forests of all types. With the powers that governments hold they would be able to make rules, regulations, and laws on banning clearing forests when cutting them or make it a requirement that after cutting down mature trees young trees must be planted to replace them as CEF suggests (CEF). This is one way that government intervention would seem to be a good way to curb deforestation and would seem easy enough for governments to implement and be the advantage the governments have in getting involved with powers to make actual legitimate and enforced laws. And this can be seen in an article by Zee News titled “Indonesia Now Country with World`s Highest Deforestation Rate” It tells how the Indonesian government placed a ban, although temporary, on the removal of native intact forests showing that government involvement can get laws passed and he is a real viable option for solving deforestation (Zee News). And government involvement could also limit deforestation in other countries around the world even if they have no real power over countries. This is possible because countries could have laws that restrict the entrance of illegal wood products into their territory and protect forests and the Greenpeace article titled “Solutions to Deforestation” it gives a list of laws the United States has that shows this with the Wilderness Act and the Roadless Rule that accomplish the goals told and these laws would help against deforestation from other countries as it shuts out a market for selling illegal wood products to be sold to and so disincentives continual clearing of trees (Greenpeace). But government involvement has its own limits and flaws in the protection of forests. One major flaw is that laws created and implemented might overlook and not cover as much as they should. An example of this is pointed out by the Zee News article tells “the moratorium was responsible for 98 percent of the loss of primary forests in the unprotected category” and tells that it caused major destruction of habitats and displacement of endangered species and caused massive amounts of carbon to return to the atmosphere and caused the title of the article to be “Country with World`s Highest Deforestation Rate” (Zee News). This example shows that governments can sometimes not go far enough in protection and miss a detail that can result in massive problems for themselves and the world. Another worry would be governments abolishing protections with new administrations or other pressures making the choice of governments leading the protection of forests seem not as attractive.
The second solution up for review is for corporations to come to the cause for support and solve the problem of deforestation. And the practicality of corporations helping can be seen in the Yale Environment 360 article by Rhett Butler titled “As Rain Forests Disappear, A Market Solution Emerges” where it tells how they list how donors and major firms invest in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, REDD, programs to deal with deforestation and its effects (Butler). In the article it tells how Merrill Lynch in Sumatra in collaboration with the local government and conservation groups was able to make a $432 million dollar investment fund to work towards the preservation of rainforests in the Aceh province (Butler). These examples paint a picture of how working with firms can help with saving the Earth’s forests by giving and investing money into fuel government programs and conservation efforts. But the involvement of firms can have flaws and concerns connected to them. One major one is told in the Yale article that tells about the concern of REDD programs causing leakage a problem that is explained as when work in protecting forests and stopping deforestation in one place to another, be it from one area to another or one country to another, showing a major flaw in solving deforestation(Butler). But this problem of leakage however can be argued to be a risk for every option for addressing the problem of deforestation with nothing stopping it from happening for other solutions as well. Another problem is revealed in Science Direct by Lee Hannah in “Climate Change Biology” where he addresses the concern of REDD programs negatively affecting locals that have to endure the efforts to reduce deforestation (Hannah). This could mean that jobs they do for a living like harvesting wood or other natural resources and expanding farms for more crops would be gone and have to work to replant trees instead or other actions for deforestation. But it can be argued that to deal with this flaw deals could be made directed at national governments and local ones so that actions on the national and local layers are recognized as suggested by Science Direct (Hannah).
The Third way to fight deforestation is to use the power of communities and the common people to help efforts and cause change. This path would include people in local communities coming together and working towards an activity that would help solve problems that affect the communities. And one example of this in the American Museum of Natural History, AMNH, in “Mangrove Threats and Solutions” which provides an example of the power of local communities to make changes in where in Florida in the Everglades projects are being made and put into actions with efforts such “small-scale mangrove replanting” and “replumbing the Everglades”(AMNH). An action the common person can do is suggested by Greenpeace which it explains that as consumers we can “less stuff, eat sustainable food, and choose recycled or certified sustainable wood products” showing that it would not be so hard to make a difference in the world because it would just be more awareness towards the world and a small change in daily habits (Greenpeace). But this also has its flaw, that people would not be aware of the problem of deforestation or be motivated enough to even care. This problem could be solved by better informing the public and educating people about deforestation which would require money or the powers of government.
Before doing research about this topic I believed that the best way to address deforestation, or any environmental problem, would be for the government to lead and direct the efforts to solve the problem, but after learning more about ways to fix deforestation I have come to see the more practical extent of power various groups wield. And so I realized that deforestation was not as easy to deal with as I thought. And through my research about my topic, my view on the matter has changed. As with the knowledge of how each group would deal with the same problem with each having different weaknesses and strengths. And so I would argue that using communities and the common people would be the best way to solve deforestation. This is because the people would have the power to choose leaders who would help deal with their issues and be able to control companies with the object they care most about, their wallets by choosing to support their business. And with the common people already having made non-profit organizations to fight deforestation and this path would be a way to further their work.
Whether or not the power of communities and the common people are the way to solve deforestation, with the efforts and results of the fight on all sides coming in as time passes arguments for all solutions will continue to pile up. With that, some will argue this group’s actions are ineffective or this group is better at this. This topic will continue to be argued and added upon as all solutions are tested until one or all of them succeeds.