Why is agriculture a cause of deforestation


Cattle ranching, animal agriculture, and logging are the leading causes of deforestation in our forests. The forest is cut to provide timber to build houses and create specialty wood products, or burned to make room for cattle grazing and feed crop production.Sep 20, 2019


How do you explain farming can cause deforestation?

Trees, and plants in general, affect the water cycle significantly:

  • their canopies intercept a proportion of precipitation, which is then evaporated back to the atmosphere ( canopy interception );
  • their litter, stems and trunks slow down surface runoff;
  • their roots create macropores – large conduits – in the soil that increase infiltration of water;

More items…

How does pest and disease affect agriculture?

The Impact of Pests on the Agriculture Industry

  • Crop Damage. Insects are a big threat. …
  • Damage to Finished Products. Pest species can also cause much harm to finished products that are getting ready for sale. …
  • Equipment and Machinery Damage. Rodents are the biggest problem. …
  • Safeguard Pest Control. …

How many trees are lost a year due to deforestation?

Over the decade since 2010, the net loss in forests globally was 4.7 million hectares per year. 1 However, deforestation rates were much significantly higher. The UN FAO estimate that 10 million hectares of forest were cut down each year. This interactive map shows deforestation rates across the world.

How does agriculture impact our ecosystems?

Agriculture can have a massive impact on the ecosystems surrounding it. This environmental impact of agriculture is the effect of various farming practices, and it can vary greatly depending on the country we are looking at. Many critical environmental issues are tied to agriculture, such as climate change, dead zones, genetic engineering …


What is the main cause of deforestation?

Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural expansion, wood extraction (e.g., logging or wood harvest for domestic fuel or charcoal), and infrastructure expansion such as road building and urbanization. Rarely is there a single direct cause for deforestation.

Which type of agriculture is responsible for deforestation?

Every year, industrial agriculture is contributing to deforestation in over five million hectares of forest lands, a new analysis has shown. Despite attempts made to reduce deforestation, the amount of forest land taken over by industrially valuable crops, like palm oil trees, has remained steady from 2001 to 2015.

How does agriculture affect the environment?

Agriculture contributes to a number larger of environmental issues that cause environmental degradation including: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, dead zones, genetic engineering, irrigation problems, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste.

How does agriculture affect rainforests?

Agriculture is the second main cause of forest conversion in the Amazon. In addition to deforestation, agricultural practices tend to cause significant soil erosion and river siltation, as well as aquatic contamination with agrochemicals. Agriculture in the Amazon is extremely diverse.

How much is agriculture the cause of deforestation?

The biggest cause of forest loss – accounting for around 70 per cent – is agricultural deforestation, notably for beef, soy, palm oil and commercial timber.

How does agriculture cause deforestation and how can we prevent it?

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 do agricultural wastes harm the environment?

In many parts in developing countries, agricultural solid wastes are indiscriminately dumped or burnt in public places, thereby resulting in the generation of air pollution, soil contamination, a harmful gas, smoke and dust and the residue may be channeled into a water source thereby polluting the water and aquatic …

What are the negative effects of agriculture?

Top 16 Negative Effects of Agriculture on the EnvironmentSoil/Land degradation.Deforestation.Biodiversity.Climate change.Pest problems.Industrial & agricultural waste.Irrigation.Livestock grazing.More items…•

What are the disadvantages of agriculture?

Cons of AgricultureRisks of child labor. The increased demand for agricultural products calls for increased labor to realize huge profits. … Environmental pollution. … Health issues. … Agriculture leads to overgrazing. … Agriculture may disturb the family dynamics. … Spread of diseases. … Unpredictable weather. … Misuse of land.

How does agriculture impact deforestation?

Some 80% of global deforestation is a result of agricultural production, which is also the leading cause of habitat destruction. Animal agriculture — livestock and animal feed is a significant driver of deforestation, and is also responsible for approximately 60% of direct global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

What is deforestation in agriculture?

Deforestation is the conversion of forest to other land uses, such as agriculture and infrastructure. Worldwide, more than half of forest loss is due to conversion of forest into cropland, whereas livestock grazing is responsible for almost 40 percent of forest loss, according to the new study.

How does animal agriculture affect deforestation?

Three-quarters is driven by agriculture. Beef production is responsible for 41% of deforestation; palm oil and soybeans account for another 18%; and logging for paper and wood across the tropics, another 13%.

What are the causes of deforestation?

The leading cause of global deforestation is agriculture . While agriculture practices vary around the world and therefore affect regional environments differently, the main drivers of forest clearing are livestock grazing, commercial crops such as palm oil and soybeans, and small scale farming—also known as shifting agriculture —in which farmers work on small plots of land for short periods and then move to other plots once the soil has been depleted of nutrients. Expanding industrial agriculture —indicative of large-scale farms and livestock operations—disproportionately contributes to soil degradation, unsustainable water use, biodiversity loss, and waste production. Climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector are roughly split between emissions from land clearing and emissions from food production practices. About half of those production emissions come from ruminant livestock, namely cattle, sheep, and goats.

How does farming affect the environment?

Over plowing and overgrazing turn fertile land into wasteland, which in turn increases both food insecurity and climate vulnerability, especially for the over 500 million people already living in areas that have recently experienced desertification. Far more people live in populous and arid regions where land degradation poses a risk to food production.

How can we reduce food demand?

Some of the most effective interventions to reduce future food demand and thus agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions are those that facilitate slower population growth. This is especially true for the regions in which population growth is expected to occur the fastest. Stabilizing population involves increasing educational opportunities for girls, expanding access to high quality reproductive health services, and reducing infant and child mortality rates through improved health services.

How much more land does beef require?

Producing beef, the most common of the ruminant meats, requires more than 20 times more land and creates more than 20 times more greenhouse gases per calorie of edible protein compared to plant proteins like beans or lentils. These animals are major sources of methane pollution, a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

How does photosynthesis affect the climate?

Trees and other plants take in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, making them key actors for ecosystem health and climate regulation. Yet human changes to landscapes, especially deforestation, have released carbon back into the atmosphere for centuries. In fact, forest loss prior to 1850 continues to affect atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and thus the global climate, today.

How does forest restoration help?

Forest restoration aids climate mitigation and adaptation, improves water security, and increases nature’s carbon storage capacity— in turn strengthening biodiversity and enhancing ecological services like air and water purification, soil stabilization, and storm buffering.

What is the future of food security?

The future of food security will depend on the development of new and sustainable food systems that facilitate equitable production and consumption, reduce degradation, prevent biodiversity loss, and build climate resilience.

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.

Why do forests come down?

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.

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 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.

Why did the Amazon fires happen?

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. It’s an all-too-common pattern seen across the tropics: to make room for crops, forests come down.

What is certification in agriculture?

Certification offers just that, a system whereby producers are encouraged to use more sustainable methods.

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.


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