Deforestation, its causes and consequences

In this article, I will explain what are deforestation, their causes and the effects of deforestation. Deforestation has caused intensified soil erosion, accentuated floods and drought and loss of precious wildlife and has led to deterioration of economy and quality of life of the weaker sections of the local community.

Deforestation : their causes and consequences

It is removal, decrease or deterioration of forest cover of an area. To deprive the environment of forests is deforestation and hence, causing shrinkage of forest area. Deforestation is a formidable threat to the economy, quality of life and future of the environment. According to an estimate, forests in India have dwindled from about 7,000 million ha in 1900 to 2890 million ha in 1975 and likely 2370 million ha in 2000 and to continue to decrease the forest ranges up to 2011.

Tropical rain forests, which form the most important and productive forest types in the world, have been reduced from 1600 million ha to 938 million ha. One of the dangerous consequences of the deforestation might be an extinction of 10% of the estimated 10 minion species of plants and animals by the year 2020. As a result, we will be deprived of important seeds, specimens of drugs derived from plants and animals.

Causes of Deforestation:

The main causes of deforestation in India are:-

Explosion of human and livestock population causing cultivation, settlement and encroachment in forest area by the rapidly growing human population, which leads to increased requirement of timber and fuel wood. The Expansion of crop land (conversion of forest into agricultural field), enhanced grazing, construction of roads along the mountains which cover nearly 30000 km in ecologically fragile areas. Increased demand for fuel, wood, wooden crates, paper, board and newsprint have led to large scale tree felling. In India, availability of fuel wood is 58 million tonnes/year against requirement of 157 million tonnes.

Consequences of Deforestation:

(a) Change in Climate: Deforestation results in reduced rainfall, increased drought, hotter summer and colder winter. The air quality too has been adversely affected arising pollution by deforestation. Hence, the consequences of deforestation are scantly rainfall, erratic rainfall and draught. All these have serious consequences on agricultural output. This may lead to malnutrition, starvation, diseases and death. An example of the undesirable effects caused due to deforestation, we can take the area of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya. This area used to have a large and dense forest cover and used to record the highest rainfall in the country. But in recent years, there has been such a relentless deforestation of this area that only a few trees have been left standing. This has resulted in the adverse changes in the climate. The rainfall in this area has become erratic.

(b) Soil Erosion: Soil is exposed to isolation, dries up and gets eroded by wind and water. Due to deforestation, water holding capacity of the soil is decreased. Ground water level has gone down.

(c) Flash Flood: They occur during rainy season due to accumulation of eroded soil in river etc.

(d) Siltation: Rainy season rivulets bring eroded soil and deposit the same on beds of reservoirs (reduces storage of water and power generation) and rivers.

(e) Drought: There is very little water in rivers during dry season causing drought.


Author: sasikanth21 Jun 2011 Member Level: Silver   Points : 1

Hi ashish,

Yes You have told about the deforestration and due to it that they will be many changes in the climate the seasons wont come in time and the disasters may happen all of this is due to deforestration only


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