What is it?

“The action of clearing a wide area of trees.”

Why is it important?

Forests cover 31% of our total land area on Earth, and is home to 80% of the world’s biodiversity. Both figures are ever decreasing each year, with 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year, a rate of 48 football fields a minute!


There are many causes of deforestation, here are a few;

  1. Land Conversion– which involves converting the land used by forests for other human activities, such as buildings/ mining operations.

2. Illegal Logging Operations- In which timber is cut and sold illegally

3. Slash & Burn Farming- A technique used by farmers to clear patches of forests to plant crops, as the ashes provide important nutrients the growing crops need.

4. Natural Causes– Such as wild fires which can happen without any human factors


A single act of deforestation has a multitude of effects as shown below;

  1. Loss of Habitat for the 80% of the biodiversity that resides inside such forests.

2. Climate Change as it disrupts the natural water cycle. The canopy of the forest also help block the sun’s rays in the day and trap heat between the Earth and the canopy during the night.

3. Carbon Emissions as tropical forests hold more than 210 gigatons of carbon, and deforestation represents around 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is further aggravated due to the fact that there will be fewer forests to control the carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere.

4. Haze a topic that we will discuss in depth in the following sections of our blog.