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Knowledge Base | Glossary | What is Deforestation?


Deforestation is the large-scale removal of trees in forests. Trees are usually removed to make way for agriculture, roads, and urban development. Not all deforestation intentional as some cases can be caused by a combination of natural and human factors like wildfires.

Deforestation has had serious environmental effects. While forests still make up 30 percent of the Earth, each year an estimated 18 million acres (or 7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost to deforestation practices. This has caused land and soil damage while also displacing plants and animals that rely on the ecosystem created by forests. At the same time, the removal of trees means more greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere as trees play an important part in the carbon cycle as absorbers of carbon dioxide.


Other Sources

Bradford, Alina. “Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects.” Live Science. Accessed July 28, 2016.

National Geographic Society. “Deforestation.” National Geographic. Accessed July 28, 2016.