By Harleen Kaur
Forests covers about 31 percent of our land on Earth, but with humans destroying animal habitats, that number will only decrease. Before human impact, the Earth had 6 billion hectares of forest, but as of now only 1.8 billion hectares remain according to rainforestinfo.
Many might wonder why deforestation is happening so rapidly, however the main cause of deforestation is humans. As stated by livescience, forests are being torn down to make space for housing, urban development and land for cattle ranching.
Also, the human need for natural resources contributes to the rapid deforestation that is taking place today. Trees are also being cut down to make timber, wood, paper and oil from palm trees.
The Amazon region is the world’s largest rainforest and home to 10 percent of the known species on Earth, as stated by wwf.panda. The rainforest has already seen 20 percent of its habitat near roads or upcoming developments depleted.
If this deforestation continues at this rapid rate, then between 2010 and 2030, 48 million additional hectares could be destroyed.
Natural resources might run out but before we deal with that problem. The world will have to deal with the displacement of many animals or even extinction of certain species. According to aquaexpeditions, the Pygmy Sloth and the Red-Faced Uakari are already endangered species, and many more animals such as South American Tapir and the Giant Otter will join the list soon.
In order to save the planet and these animals, humans have to start making small changes to their lives to decrease the rate of deforestation. One thing that we can do to decrease rapid deforestation is by making more sustainable choices, like using less paper products by switching them out for reusable products.
Also, another way is to speak out to government officials and voice concern about deforestation. When enough people speak out, the government will have to listen. Speaking out to government officials lets our representatives know that we have a problem and we want to fix it. One federal agency that you can contact is the regional EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) workers who specialize in environmental issues in the area you live in.
Lastly, cutting down on red meat consumption will be able to help decrease the rapid rate of deforestation since land for cattle ranching also contributes to deforestation.
If deforestation continues at this rate, humans will not only have to deal with climate change but also figure out how to get more resources once the forests are depleted.