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On Forest Day: This is how threatened our rainforests are.

With an area of ​​four billion hectares, forests cover around 30 percent of the earth's land surface. 10,000 years earlier, the area mentioned was twice as large.
Spring cleaning with a difference - with WingGuard Home Reading On Forest Day: This is how threatened our rainforests are. 5 minutes Next Beauty meets sustainability

With an area of ​​four billion hectares, forests cover around 30 percent of the earth's land surface. 10,000 years earlier, the area mentioned was twice as large. Tropical rainforests can be found in the climate zone of the ever-wet tropics. This includes parts of South and Central America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania. Deforestation removes around 13 million hectares of forest every year, with devastating effects on the climate and our environment. In this article we would like to explain the causes and consequences of the dramatic deforestation.

bird in the rainforest

causes of deforestation

What is the rainforest cut down for? Forests are primarily cut down for agriculture. With the help of fire clearing, the previous farmland can be used as cattle pasture. In addition, forests are converted into oil palm, soybean, banana or coffee plantations. Mineral resources such as iron ore, gold, oil and gas are stored in the soil of tropical rainforests and are essential for our lifestyle today. Through the promotion or exploitation of these, further forest areas are cut down. The construction of large dams for energy production and
logging for tropical wood furniture or paper and pulp production are further aspects. Due to the scarcity of fossil fuels, more and more agrofuels such as palm oil or ethanol from sugar cane are being used as alternatives. Forests are therefore also cleared for agro energy. Other reasons can be infrastructure and development projects or a lack of governance.


consequences of destruction

If forest is destroyed or even its composition is changed, then this is a more or less devastating intervention in a natural system with effects on numerous aspects. We would like to give you a selection of them.

#1 Biodiversity

Deforestation is a serious threat to our biodiversity. Although tropical rainforests cover only 6 percent of the earth's surface, half of all known species live there. The strongly networked ecosystem of the forest is
severely devastated by deforestation. But not only animal and nature lovers are affected by the damage to biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for our diet and the manufacture of numerous products.

#2 Water Cycle
A full 16 percent of the fresh water on earth comes from the reservoir of the Amazon rainforest. Accordingly, forests are not only of great relevance for local but also for global water cycles. On the one hand, the destruction of the forests endangers the water supply and, on the other hand, the areas that are developing into desert-like areas are so damaged that they become infertile.

#3 climate
Forests are important for the carbon cycle and are therefore also relevant for the climate. Unused primeval forests have the greatest storage capacity for carbon due to their integration into plant biomass and soil humus. Commercial forests or plantations do not come anywhere close to the carbon storage capacity that primeval forests offer. The large-scale destruction of forests contributes significantly to climate change. A large part of the human-caused CO2 pollution (20-30 percent) of the atmosphere is due to forest destruction, especially slash and burn.

#4 Protection
Forests offer natural protective functions, which are unfortunately only considered important when they have to be artificially and expensively replaced after destruction. On the one hand, a destroyed forest is no longer able to filter water. As a result, drinking water has to be treated at great expense. Floods are also increasing because the rain can run off faster. In places with mountains, there is no protection against snow avalanches without forests, or the artificial structures do not offer the same protection. Erosion can also occur if the protective canopy of a forest is no longer available. The humus layer is subsequently removed by rainfall and the nutrients contained in the soil are thus washed out. In a very short time, a fertile soil is transformed into an infertile one. Reforestation is either not possible at all or only possible with a great deal of effort.

#5 Food Sovereignty
The destruction of the forests has immense effects on the food sovereignty of the affected populations. The animals and plants from the forests, which were considered the basis of nutrition for many people, are being lost. Areas are being created for the Western population to meet their feed and “bio” fuel requirements, although the local population is left with nothing. The number of people going hungry is now estimated at 925 million. This is on-
Given the circumstances, this is not surprising, since huge areas are being sold for the markets in the industrialized countries, which not only leads to a shortage but also to rising food prices.

The aspects we have mentioned represent only a selection of the significant damage caused by the loss of the forests. The forest is also being destroyed in its function as a cultural and economic area and the change in the climate is causing more and more migration movements of people who are due to infertile soils or desertification are forced to leave their homes.