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Helping to Mitigate the Impact of Deforestation in Our World

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The 32nd World Population Day happened on July 11 with the primary objective being to increase public awareness on a variety of issues affecting the global population such as the importance of family planning, poverty, and human rights. The number of trees on Earth also impacts on our world’s inhabitants however, very disappointingly, this category has an inverse association to that of the continuously growing human population of the world.

In 2015, a study released by Nature found that the planet is home to approximately 3.04 trillion trees blowing away the previous estimate of 400 billion. This works out to be roughly 422 trees for every person on Earth. Unfortunately, the 38 scientists and researchers that conducted this study do not consider this good news. Thomas Crowther, lead author and postdoctoral researcher at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, said "that there are less trees than at any point in human civilization;" to be exact, there are 46 percent fewer trees since the start of human evolution.

The removal of forests and the conversion of land to non-forest use (including urbanization, agriculture, timber development, and collecting specific components for consumer goods), is the act of deforestation and is responsible for an estimated 18 million acres of forest lost each year, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  In 2016, global tree cover reached a record low, with 73.4 million acres lost by standard methods of deforestation, including the burning of trees and complete clear cuts which can be described by a Natural Resources Defense Council forestry expert as "an ecological trauma that has no precedent in nature except for a major volcanic eruption."

Deforestation is not only an ecological trauma, but it is also a severe threat to our ever-growing world population. One huge implication of removing forests for other non-forest uses is the drastic effect it has on climate change by disrupting the carbon cycle and adding to the building greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Other threats to our world caused directly by deforestation include the loss of species and diversity, the disturbance of the water cycle, increased soil erosion, and decreased quality of life.

There are actions that can be taken to help mitigate the effects of deforestation and help the world's forests as well as the world population. Individual consumers hold a great deal of influence and can help by making informed decisions and ensuring products that are purchased come from companies committed to forest-friendly policies and are certified through credible forestry certification systems. People can also help mitigate these issues by making educated food choices and eating a plant-based diet or reducing consumption of animal products. Another simple way to mitigate the effects of deforestation is to educate your family, friends and community about how our everyday actions really can impact the forests around the world.

One simple solution to help counter deforestation? Stop the destruction of the world's critical forests and plant more native trees! If you wish to improve our world's tree population and, in return, help your fellow humans by adding more trees to your prospering property contact Donegan's Tree Service today for a free consultation to see how we can make your property the healthiest it can be for many World Population Days to come!

Crys Bauer, B.S. in Environmental Studies + Sustainable Resource Management & Donegan’s Tree Service team writer

 

Jim Donegan