Deforestation provides more land for agriculture, housing and the raising of animals, and it provides pulp for paper. Palm oil and latex are derived from forest trees and may also be harvested through deforestation.
Additionally, deforestation creates grazing land for cattle, room for commercial, residential and industrial development and lumber for furniture and construction. While not sustainable or good for the environment, slash and burn agriculture (the razing of forests with fire for farming) creates land free from weeds, and the ash provides nutrients for crops.
However, the negative effects of deforestation can outweigh these benefits. Deforestation leads to the loss of habitat for animals, climate warming due to higher emissions of greenhouse gases, soil erosion, flooding and the loss of land for indigenous people. Moreover, roughly half of the world's forests since 1950 have disappeared.