Rainforests are being cut down for agricultural purposes, and so that companies can use timber as fuel and during manufacturing processes. Deforestation of rainforests occurs on a small and large scale level, with both local farmers and large companies taking part. Additionally, it sometimes occurs naturally.
On a small and local level, farmers may cut down rainforests to meet their agricultural needs. For example, they may need somewhere to grow their crops or let their cattle graze. This usually involves removing a few acres of trees their trunks to make way for arable land. Many farmers who do this have no other means of making money, which means their activities support their basic needs.
In contrast, commercial deforestation occurs on a much larger scale, with miles of trees disappearing at once. Sometimes this is done to produce cheap timber and pulp, or to create large cattle pastures for global beef production.
In some cases, deforestation occurs accidentally or naturally through fires. Regardless of the cause, cutting down rain forests reduces the number of trees available to take carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Additionally, large scale deforestation by companies limits the local population's ability to farm, which in turn harms their economy. Around 1.6 billion people rely on rainforests for medicine, clothes and fresh drinking water.