All about deforestation. - by Laura Aberle.

Essay by forever174 February 2004

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The worldwide depend greatly on paper, wood and land has resulted in what is known as deforestation. Trees are felled so quickly that nature cannot replace them fast enough. We already lost half of our tropical forests. Every minute, around 6-football field size of rainforests is being destroyed. At this rate, the world's forests could be totally destroyed in another few decades.

Without trees, the soil will be eroded easily and there will be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Besides these harmful effects, destroying the rainforests destroy homes to a wide variety of wildlife.

Let's take for example a case study of deforestation in Nepal.

The climate here varies according from rainy and sub-tropical to cold in the high mountains. These environments allow the cultivation of rice, sugar cane, tobacco, jute and cereals. Since 1953 it has been estimated that half of the forests have been cut down to provide fuel wood and land for the grazing of livestock and arable agriculture so that farm terraces could be extended.

The cuttings down of trees have resulted in severe deforestation, soil erosion, poor catchments management and severe land degradation on steeply sloping land ensued.

In the Middle Hill region, Australian field staff discovered barren hill slopes, deeply incised with gullies and excessive rates of runoff. After heavy rainfalls, streamlines were choked with sediment and losses of topsoil affected the fertility of agricultural land.

Drastic problems called for drastic responses. The Australian project team set about helping the Government of Nepal with its massive program of reforestation. Within five years, thousands of hectares of trees had been planted nurseries established.

The project team, known as Forest User Groups, has been helping the villagers manage and protect their forest resources.

The villagers have devised rotational systems so that some parts of the...