The effects of forest depletion include climate changes, flooding, famine, loss of habitat, disease outbreaks and soil erosion. Forests provide a home to millions of species and provide food, shelter and medicinal plants to humans.
The National Geographic calls deforestation a modern-day plague. The world’s rain forests could disappear in 100 years if deforestation continues at the current rate. More than 30 million acres of forests and woodlands are lost every year due to deforestation. Trees are critical to the planet, as they help purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and serve a vital role in counteracting the greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. Forests promote biodiversity and are home to over half the species on the planet. Their canopies shelter wildlife while protecting the soil from the sun’s rays, torrential rains and erosion. Planting trees to replace those lost through agriculture, lumber mills and burning does not replace the biodiversity of forests. A forest is a living family comprised of animate and inanimate members that function together in biologic diversity.
Deforestation is a concern that has prompted many nonprofit groups, including the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund, to work to save the forests and proactively reforest where possible.