The Rate of Deforestation




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The Rate of Deforestation

Deforestation can be defined as the process of clearing forests for other land uses such as framing and human settlement. There are many ways of defining what deforestation is but regardless of the manner one may choose to put it one is clear and obvious, there must be loss of tree cover for permanent non-forested land use for deforestation to be said to have taken place (Van Kooten and Bulte, 2000).

Deforestation is mainly considered a developing countries problem due to population pressure leading to a reduction or loss of biodiversity and global warming. Deforestation is a problem that is also facing the developing the developed countries such as the United States.

As of the year 2010 the USA had a forest cover of about of 304,022,000 hectares which translates to about a third of the country but the situation has not always been like this. The United States went through a tough period of deforestation between the 1600 and 1900 due to the European settlers who harvested trees for farming, housing and industrial needs. By 1907 the tree cover had been reduced to around 33% but this rapid has been offset by reforestation.

Some of the effects of deforestation include climate change: loss of forest cover leads to concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that can lead to rapid change in the climate such increase in water levels and erratic weather patterns that cause crop failures. Deforestation also leads to loss of rich biodiversity of flora and fauna that is found in the forests especially tropical ones that is home to most of these species including endangered ones(Anon,2010)

Some of the strategies that can be used to cut back on the deforestation rate is to increase area under forest cover. This can be done by planting trees on unused land


Anonymous, 2010. Global Forest Resources Assessment, 2010-Main Report. FAO Forestry Paper 163. Rome, Italy. 340p.

Van Kooten, G. C. and Bulte, E. H. 2000. The economics of nature: managing biological assets

. Blackwells.