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The world was once covered by ancient forests that were also acted as habitats for many wild animals and plants. Similarly, wood has been used for fuel as well as for construction of ships and houses. Paper production also uses about 25% of the wood harvested globally. According to Freer-Smith, Broadmeadow, & Lynch (2007), the issue of deforestation has been around for many decades and has led to massive loss of biodiversity and species of many kinds. Even though most non governmental organizations have worked very hard to try and control it, the problem continues to grow in magnitude and even cause much harm on the environment. For instance the Amazon Rainforest is being deforested at a very fast rate. In 2005, about 13 million hectares of forest were cut down and replaced with agricultural land. The Cameroon forest is also reducing at a rate of 1% every year.
As much as housing, fuel and paper might be important to human beings, one cannot deny the fact that forest are very important in environmental conservation. Trees are important carbon sinks and therefore purifiers of air. As human beings clear the forest, they increase the amount of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere through various agricultural activities. For instance, carbon is emitted through burning and decomposition of trees. Deforestation has brought about a number of global changes. For instance, there has been an increase of 1oC in global temperature, rise in sea levels, drop in amount of ice in snow capped mountains and extreme cases of precipitation in various parts of the world (Freer-Smith, Broadmeadow, & Lynch, 2007).
Even though there has been so much hype about deforestation, no real motivation has ever existed to act on the issue as soon as possible. It therefore stands that deforestation is a moral issue. If human beings were willing to stop deforestation by conserving the forest or planting more trees, then there is nothing that would stop them. People can still use trees for fuel and plant more trees to replace the ones that are cut down. Humphreys (1996) states that there are also alternative sources of energy like hydroelectric power and solar power. This therefore means that deforestation is not an issue of people lacking the means to conserve the forest but is all an issue of moral will. If everyone was committed to deforestation, the issue would have been dealt with very long ago. Unfortunately the same people who claim to preach against deforestation go ahead and do it.
The community should not always view the forest as a source of income or fuel. Some people may think that forests are renewable resources that will exist as long as man lives. It should be understood that if you need to benefit from the forest then you have to conserve them and even plant more trees to ensure there existence (Humphreys, 1996). People should not wait for NGOs or government to plant trees for on their behalves; change begins with you and me. As much as people may rejoice making a lot of money from selling of timber and charcoal, it is also important to also consider what will happen in future when all trees are cut down. As much as a few individual might be cutting the forests, the effects are felt by everyone including those who didn’t cut a single tree. This is the reason why everyone should be an ambassador of environmental conservation and encourage friends and families to conserve forests.
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