Deforestation Facts and Statistics

Our Blue and Green Planet

loading...

Hectares of forests cut down or burned

Globally, this year

See more

TheWorldCounts, 15 April, 2014

Our Blue and Green Planet

What makes our planet so different from the rest?

It’s the only one tinged in green… thanks to our forests. Our rainforests were here long before we humans ever existed on our planet. It is home to thousands of species of plants, animals and home to indigenous forest people. 

Now because of us, our forests are almost gone.

This "disappearing" is also known as deforestation. And it is hurting the planet.

Why Deforestation Hurts

Deforestation is when trees are chopped down to clear a forest so the land can be used for other purposes. The trees can eventually grow back, but at the rate we’re cutting them down, they can’t grow fast enough. Tropical deforestation is the 2nd biggest contributor to climate change.

We will share with you some deforestation facts and statistics, to show you how it affects our environment and how we can help stop it.

Fast Forest Facts

  • 13 million hectares of forest have been converted for other uses or destroyed by natural causes. While I’m writing this, almost 3 hectares have been cleared.
  • Up to 28,000 species can go extinct in the next quarter century due to deforestation.
  • By the year 2030, we might only have 10% of Rainforests left and it can all disappear in a hundred years.
  • 10% of the world’s forests are now protected areas. This is roughly the size of India.
  • Tropical Rainforests store more than 210 gigatons of carbon and deforestation is the cause of 15% of carbon emissions.
  • Cures for diseases have been found in plants and the raw materials come from our tropical rainforests.

Our Reasons for Cutting Down Trees

Agriculture

Farmers need more land to plant their crops and for livestock to graze on. They often clear acres of trees in what is called “slash and burn technique”.  They chop down the trees and burn them.

Logging

Trees are cut down to provide the wood and paper requirements of our ever growing population. In the process of harvesting the wood, trees have to be cleared to give access to logging equipments, as well. Illegal logging is now being strictly implemented and most business are moving into a paper free environment.

Bio Fuels

The rising popularity of Palm Oil and its increased value is the main cause of deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil is used in food and beauty products. Many countries are debating whether Palm Oil Should be banned as a bio-fuel. Soy, Ethanol and other biofuel plantations play a major part in the loss of our forests.

For Fuel

Most developing countries use firewood and charcoal for heating their homes and cooking their food.

Roads and Highways

Our progress required that we travelled from one place to another the fastest possible way. This means roads and highways. 

Mining 

A lot of forested areas are rich in minerals and are vulnerable to mining operations. What are trees, compared to gold or diamonds?

A World without Trees

Unimaginable, isn’t it? But the barrenness of a world without trees is not the only reason for concern.

Global Warming

is caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide being released into our atmosphere in great amounts. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while at the same time producing oxygen and releasing water vapor into the atmosphere. We’ve destroyed only half of our forests and we’re already feeling the effects of global warming. What if there isn’t a single tree left?

Loss of Habitat

70% of our world’s plant and animal species live in forests. Whenever we clear acres of them, they lose their habitat and die. Indigenous forest people who’ve lived there for the longest time are being deprived of their home.

Flooding and Erosion

Areas that have been deforested are prone to flooding because of the absence of tree roots to hold the soil down. Since the soil is more exposed to the sun, it eventually dries out and cannot be used for farming. Erosion also causes contaminants in the soil to make their way into our water supply – contaminating streams and lakes and other water sources. This decreases the quality of our drinking water.

We cannot afford to lose more of our forests. We need to do our share to help stop it now before we suffer the devastating consequences.

Save Our Trees

Governments, non-profit organizations like The World Wildlife Fund and Amazon Watch, are working hard to fight deforestation. Due to their efforts, deforestation has decreased but we still have a long way to go. 

Can your efforts really help save our forests? Yes, they can!

Plant more Trees

Encourage your friends in your community to plant a tree and help keep your local forest safe (If you have one in your area). Every patch of green is worth saving.

Exercise your Power as a Consumer

Put pressure on companies that are destroying forests to manufacture their products by not buying from them. Support brands with zero deforestation policies and environment friendly products and encourage people to do the same. Be aware and ask how the products you buy are being made. Go green.

Practice the 3 Rs

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to lower the need for more raw materials from Trees. 

Take a Stand on Political Issues

Write to your local government officials on the topic of deforestation and tree cutting in your area. Ask them to create more parks.

Support Non-Profit Organizations

Donate a small amount to non-profit organizations to enable them to continue their fight against deforestation. They need all the help they can get.

There’s a poem that goes... 

I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a Tree.” 

There really is nothing lovelier in nature. Let’s help save our trees.

References

  1. World Preservation Foundation: Deforestation Statistics
  2. Wikipedia: Deforestation
  3. Live Science: Deforestation: Facts, Causes and Effects
  4. Paper Life Cycle: Deforestation Facts, Figures and Causes
  5. The Rainforest Foundation
  6. Live Science: Amazon Deforestation: Earth’s Heart and Lungs Dismembered
  7. Greenpeace: Solutions to Deforestation

Discover your world

The world is full of challenges. And the first step to change is to become aware!

Get more facts here

loading...

Hectares of replanted forests

Globally, this year

See more

loading...

Certified forest-friendly products' share

Of globals sales

See more

Be the change

The world is full of challenges. But each one of us has the potential to make a difference ... and inspire others!

Get motivated here

More crazy facts

Discover more crazy facts about our planet and its environment More facts

Facts about you

You may not know it, but you have great potentials within you reach.

This matters! Because it is easier to create a healthier planet if we all live happy and fulfilled lives.

Learn more