How does agriculture cause deforestation


Anthropogenic Causes of Deforestation

  1. Agricultural Development. It is estimated that agriculture accounts for up to 80 percent of deforestation on Earth ( Meek 2019 ).
  2. Urbanisation. There are two main ways in which urbanisation leads to deforestation. …
  3. Mineral Exploration. …
  4. Infrastructural Development. …
  5. Logging and Timber Production. …
  6. Overpopulation. …
  7. Energy Development. …
  8. Climate Change. …


How do you explain farming can cause deforestation?

 · How Does Animal Agriculture Cause Deforestation? As the global demand for meat rises, so does the number of cattle needed to produce beef. These animals require space and nourishment, so millions of acres of uncultivated land are cleared every year to make room for feed crops and grazing pastures.

How does pest and disease affect agriculture?

 · Does agriculture cause deforestation? Agriculture is the largest single cause of deforestation and severe forest degradation. Except in Africa, large-scale livestock ranching and plantation agriculture are generally overtaking small-scale farming as primary causes of conversion. This wood often comes from plantations that replace native forests.

How many trees are lost a year due to deforestation?

 · How does agriculture cause deforestation? Meat production is a leading cause of deforestation. It destroys animal habitats, cripples biodiversity, and increases GHG emissions in our atmosphere. Consumers often unknowingly support deforestation by purchasing foods, animal byproducts, and wood products sourced from unsustainable operations.

How does agriculture impact our ecosystems?

 · In fact, according to recent satellite data in 2019, clearing land for agriculture causes rainforest deforestation at the rate of forty football pitches a minute. Meanwhile the farmers working to meet the ever-increasing global demand for products like coffee, tea, and cocoa, struggleto feed their own families.


What are the causes of deforestation?

The most common pressures causing deforestation and severe forest degradation are agriculture, unsustainable forest management, mining, infrastructure projects and increased fire incidence and intensity.

What are the factors that affect deforestation?

Agricultural Activities. As earlier mentioned in the overview, agricultural activities are one of the significant factors affecting deforestation.

Which region has the strongest deforestation?

Cattle ranching and deforestation are strongest in Latin America.

What are the effects of the loss of trees?

The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere , and a host of problems for indigenous people.

What were the factors that contributed to the expansion of agriculture?

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the abundance of land, available labour and the mobility of peasants were three factors that were responsible for the constant expansion of agriculture.

What is the biggest driver of deforestation?

Agriculture is the direct driver of roughly 80 percent of tropical deforestation, while logging is the biggest single driver of forest degradation, says a new report funded by the British and Norwegian governments.

What is agricultural extension?

Agricultural extension (also known as agricultural advisory services) plays a crucial role in boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth.

Why is deforestation a problem?

Deforestation has long been fueled by poor governance. This manifests as illegal activity, corruption, unclear or inequitable land tenure, and conflicting authority over forest resources particularly evident now in the Amazon crisis where indigenous land custodians are having their land rights eroded.

What are the main components of deforestation?

Recognizing the role that commodity production—palm oil, soy, timber, and beef, but also cocoa and coffee – plays in deforestation, companies and producers must identify and eliminate deforestation from supply chains. That means working with companies and farmers to adopt better practices and increase productivity, thus preventing further deforestation.

How do shade trees help farmers?

Shade trees can increase the water and nutrient holding-potential of the soil, and their fallen leaves create organic matter in the soil. When fruit or timber trees are used, these can provide additional income to farmers that can complement the income from the cash crop.

What are the benefits of a forest?

With clear rights, communities are better able to manage standing forests as economic assets and realize multiple benefits from activities such as sustainable logging, sale of non-timber forest products (like honey, spices, and nuts), and payment for ecosystem services, such as watershed protection.

What are the key commitments of global food producers, corporates and multinationals?

Global food producers, corporates and multinationals purchasing key commodities must commit to stop deforestation with fixed and accountable targets. Companies that have made no-deforestation commitments must be pressured to adhere to global standards and penalized if they do not comply.

What products do farmers need to meet the ever increasing global demand?

Meanwhile the farmers working to meet the ever-increasing global demand for products like coffee, tea, and cocoa, struggleto feed their own families.

How did the fires in the Amazon affect the world?

These fires, set to clear land for crops, sent vast swaths of the Amazon up in smoke – not only harming local people and wildlife, but destroying critical carbon sinks that the world needs to help slow climate change.

What causes the most deforestation in the world?

Agriculture causes 80% of tropical deforestation. Deforestation for oil palm plantations in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. Agriculture is the direct driver of roughly 80 percent of tropical deforestation, while logging is the biggest single driver of forest degradation, says a new report funded by the British and Norwegian governments.

What are the drivers of deforestation?

Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation notes that industrial activities are the principal driver of deforestation and degradation worldwide, but subsistence agriculture and fuelwood consumption remains an important direct driver of deforestation, especially in Africa. Drivers vary on a regional scale.

Will the pressure on forests continue?

While pressure on forests will continue as the world globalizes and consumption and human population grow, the report does see signs of hope for the planet’s forests. “There are promising strategies to decouple economic growth from deforestation,” the report states.

What is deforestation linked to?

Deforestation Linked to Agriculture. This indicator aims to monitor the role of specific commodities—namely, cattle, oil palm, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee, and wood fiber—in deforestation. Glossary The change from forest to another land cover or land use, such as forest to plantation or forest to urban area. linked to agriculture.

How does soy contribute to deforestation?

Although the rate at which forests were replaced by soy has declined substantially since the turn of the century, research suggests that soy contributes indirectly to large areas of deforestation in the Amazon. 20 Several studies have documented an increase in soy planting on former pasture areas in Mato Grosso and the Amazon, potentially leading to a displacement of pasture that may, in turn, result in further deforestation. The analysis presented here provides a snapshot of both direct and indirect conversion of forests to soy since 2000. The analysis can also be constrained to direct conversion by looking only at those areas that were deforested within three years of the establishment of soy. Around half, or 3.9 Mha, of forest area replaced by soy represents direct conversion of forests. Focusing on direct conversion for soy also reveals different dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon and the Cerrado. In the Brazilian Cerrado, 58 percent of forest replacement by soy is direct, whereas in the Brazilian Amazon only 39 percent is direct.

How much of the world’s soy is deforested?

Globally, soy farms occupy 8.2 Mha of land deforested between 2001 and 2015. 17 Almost all (97 percent) of this deforestation occurred in South America, with 61 percent in Brazil, 21 percent in Argentina, 9 percent in Bolivia, and 5 percent in Paraguay. The Brazilian state of Mato Grosso had by far the most forest replacement for soy, accounting for over one-third of the total. Within Brazil, 48 percent of forest area replaced by soy occurred in the Amazon, with an additional 45 percent in the Cerrado.

How long did deforestation occur before oil palms were planted?

To better assess forest areas that were cleared and more immediately planted with oil palm, the analysis can be constrained to identify areas in which deforestation occurred during the four years prior to the establishment of the oil palm plantation.

Why is the three year moving average more accurate?

The three-year moving average may represent a more accurate picture of the data trends due to uncertainty in year-to-year comparisons . All figures calculated with a 3 percent minimum tree cover canopy density.

When did deforestation occur in Indonesia?

The amount of deforestation that occurred previously on land now used for oil palm plantations increased markedly between 2001 and 2012 —with peaks in 2009 and 2012–then declined to a record low in 2015 as part of a more than sixfold decline in overall deforestation rates in Indonesia and Malaysia. Studies have cited lower prices for crude palm oil (with reductions in deforestation rates generally lagging price drops by one year), Indonesia’s moratorium on new licenses to convert primary forests and peatlands (implemented in 2011), and corporate zero-deforestation commitments as possible explanations for the decline. 14

How many acres are in a hectare?

Glossary One hectare equals 100 square meters, 2.47 acres, or 0.01 square kilometers and is about the size of a rugby field. A football pitch is slightly smaller than a hectare (pitches are between 0.62 and 0.82 hectares). of land deforested between 2001 and 2015 in each of these jurisdictions.

What are the main causes of forest loss?

In South America and Southeast Asia, commodity crops (tan on the map) have become the dominant driver of forest loss. Common commodity crops include beef, soybeans, palm oil, corn, and cotton. They are typically grown on an industrial scale and traded internationally. Unlike the temporary forest clearings associated with small-scale agriculture, commodity-scale production often involves clear-cutting and results in significant impacts on forests (like the Indonesian palm oil plantation below).

What are the drivers of forest loss?

The map above, based on an analysis of Landsat data by The Sustainability Consortium and WRI, highlights several key drivers of forest loss. Shifting agriculture (yellow) typically involves the clearing of small plots within forests in Africa, Central America, and parts of South America. The clearing is done by subsistence farmers, often families, who raise a mixture of vegetables, fruits, grains, and small livestock herds for a few years and then let fields go fallow and move on as soil loses its fertility. The practice is especially common in Africa, and has become more so since 2000 due to increasing human populations.

Where are forests cleared for cattle?

The map above shows forests being cleared for cattle all over the world, but particularly in Brazil, where deforestation has been on the rise. Large tracts of forest have also been cleared in Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru according to WRI data.

Do forests grow back over time?

In contrast, forests cleared for forestry management or by wildfires generally grow back over time. In the U.S. Southeast, for instance, managers maintain certain ecosystems and animal habitats by periodically burning and planting forests to mimic natural cycles of burning and regrowth. Likewise, forests in the Pacific Northwest and Europe are often managed for timber in ways that cycle between periods of forest clearing and periods of regrowth.

How much forest is lost in 2020?

In 2020, for instance, Earth lost about 4.2 million hectares (16,000 square miles) of humid tropical primary forest —an area about the size of the Netherlands. Nearly half of that, their analysis shows, was due to food production, and half of that was due to commodity crops. In recent years, commodity crop production has pushed rates of forest loss to record levels.

How much tree cover did the Earth lose in 2020?

As has often been the case in recent years, the update for 2020 painted a bleak picture. In that one year, Earth lost nearly 26 million hectares of tree cover—an area larger than the United Kingdom.

Is deforestation going up or down?

While new tools are making it easier to understand where food production is intersecting with new deforestation, huge challenges remain. “Deforestation rates are going up instead of down,” said Elizabeth Goldman of WRI. “There’s a lot of work left to do.”

Why does deforestation happen?

It can also happen gradually as a result of ongoing forest degradation as temperatures rise due to climate change caused by human activity.

How does infrastructure affect deforestation?

Some infrastructure activities, such as road building, have a large indirect effect through opening up forests to settlers and agriculture. Poor forest management and unsustainable fuelwood collection degrade forests and often instigate a “death by a thousand cuts” form of deforestation.

Where does illegal logging occur?

Illegal and unsustainable logging : Illegal logging occurs in all types of forests across all continents – from Brazil to Indonesia – destroying nature and wildlife, taking away community livelihoods and distorting trade. Illegally harvested wood finds its way into major consumption markets, such as the U.S., and European Union, which further fuels the cycle.

What are some land uses that forests can be converted to?

Conversion of forests for other land uses, including pulp, palm, and soy plantations, pastures, settlements, roads and infrastructure.

Is a forest fire a part of nature?

Fires are a part of nature but degraded forests are particularly vulnerable. These include heavily logged rainforests, forests on peat soils, or where forest fires have been suppressed for years allowing unnatural accumulation of vegetation that makes the fire burn more intensely.

How long will the rainforests disappear?

National Geographic says that at the current rate of deforestation, the world’s rainforests could diminish and virtually vanish within the next 100 years at our current rate of depletion. This not only causes loss of habitat for millions of species, but a steep negative impact on climate change as well.

Why is our little green planet growing less green?

Our little green planet is growing less green by the minute, not due to any natural biological terror, but our own devices . And it’s no mystery what habits of ours are leading global deforestation, nor how such acts will affect the well-being of Earth.


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