0047 IGCSE Global Perspectives Individual Research Assignments Session Summer 2018 Centre name Yew Chung International School – Secondary Centre number HK017 Candidate name WAN Ziqian Candidate number 0094 List of files in this submission 1 0457_01_HK017_xxxx_01 Individual Research Project 3 Individual Research Project GP Topic area Research question What are the effects of deforestation on society? IntroductionForest contains 70% of Earth’s animals and plants.
It is essential formany species as it act as the habitat of these species. However, the forestsare now facing the danger of deforestation. Deforestation means cutting downtrees in a large scale. Deforestation destroys these animals’ habitat, causingnumerous extinctions. Deforestation occurs due to high demands of wood forfurniture, musical instruments and many other wooden products (Effects of Deforestation | The Pachamama Alliance, no date). One of theforest that is disappearing is the Amazon rainforest, by now more than 20% ofthe forests have been destroyed. In addition, the amount of Amazonian living inthe forest have decreased from 10 million five centuries ago to 200,000 now. Inparticular the Europeans have destroyed 90 tribes in the Brazil forests in the1900s (Taylor, 2012).
It was estimated that we lost about 150 acres of forests every minute,and 78 million is lost every year (Taylor, 2012). It was also calculated that morethan 80% of Earth’s natural forests have been destroyed, and up to 90% of WestAfrica’s Costal forests have been disappeared since the start of the 20thcentury (Deforestation and Its Effect on the Planet, nodate).In this research project, we are going to investigate and evaluateseveral effects deforestation has on the society. In the end of the project Iwill conclude with a personal statement including my personal opinion of what Iwould do if I am one of the loggers and what I would like to do to reduce theloss of forests.
The place where I live does not have a large area of forestsand deforestation on the news, therefore I would like to focus more on placeslike Indonesia or Brazil. Effects ofDeforestation on societyOne major effect of deforestation is climate change and pollution. It isalso the major concern among environmentalists.
Trees are used to maintain theoxygen production in the atmosphere. Deforestation would reduce the amount ofoxygen produced. The tropical forests in South America is mostly responsiblefor Earth’s oxygen production (Alice, 2015). In addition, the production ofPalm oil in South-East Asia is also causing air pollution. The plantations wereburnt which causes carbon dioxide to form in the atmosphere.
The fire isuncontrollable for the most of the time that people would leave it to burn bothunderground and on the ground for months (Palm oil & air pollution, no date).The deforestation of these plantations has expanded across the South-East Asia.The pollution has been spread around to countries like Malaysia (Victor, 2017).
These contributes to the climate change.The water vapor produced by the trees would affect the overall climateof Earth, since lacking of water vapor in the atmosphere would causetemperature rises and global warming (Logging | GlobalForest Atlas, no date). The increase of greenhouse gases emission such asthe release of carbon dioxide would cause global warming. The diminish of treeswould reduce the oxygen production. It was estimated that 15% of the greenhousegases were produced from deforestation (Deforestation | Threats | WWF, no date). Even though oxygen is awaste product of photosynthesis, we still need it to survive. When a person islacking sufficient amount of oxygen he or she would infect lung diseases suchas emphysema (Raitni, 2016).
As a result, people would exhale more carbon dioxide alongside thepollution caused by automobile and the burning of fossil fuels in factories.These factors are causing the Earth to become a greenhouse (Alice, 2015).Production of wooden goods would also be affected.
The Amazon foresthave always been the primary sources of wood. These logs are sold to differentcountries such as the USA, Japan, Canada etc (Blahnik, no date).Many musical instrument corporations were affected by deforestation. Dueto the reduction of rosewood in a mass scale, customer departments from somecountries have arranged restrictions for this type of wood. Many guitarmanufacturers have found 2017 a hard year because of the restriction.
Somecompanies have selected other hardwood to replace rosewood (Barber, 2017).Furniture companies were affected in the meantime. Vietnamese luxury furnituremanufacturers exports 70% of their wooden furniture to China, but it was statedthat logging in Vietnam is illegal. These companies have to cut down trees asthey have to distribute incomes to their fellow employees.
It was reported thatthe government have promised to pass the legislation but there was no sign ofany progress. One company have realized the issue and their employers wish tomove toward clean timber in the near future (Tatarski, 2017).As a result, some people’s lives are depended on deforestation. Ifdeforestation is banned throughout the globe, millions of people whom have jobsclosely related to the trees such as loggers would lose their jobs. Therefore,whether to ban deforestation would still be a debate among the people.Furthermore, the loss of species is another effect deforestation has onthe society.
Forests are habitat of many animals. Deforestation means the lossof habitat of animals. These animals would either die or move to somewhereelse. Local tribes and people would also be affected because most of themrelies on the animals and plants in forests (Bradford, 2015). Experts have estimated that we lose around 137 species of plants,animals and insects every day. Rainforests once covered over 16% of Earth, butthere is only 6% left in the 21th century. Experts have also stated that halfof the overall species would be threatened in the next 25 years (Taylor, 2012).
The loss of species would affect the ecosystem. We have used more than 25% ofEarth’s natural resources, which is already causing direct threats to theenvironment (How DoesBiodiversity Loss Affect Me and Everyone Else?, no date). 6 millionspecies were discovered in the rainforests, losing these species would affectthe people as it would change their life-style and eating habits (Why Rainforest?,no date). The resources of the data are relatively reliable.
A large proportion ofdata were taken from organization websites such as pacwa and education websitessuch as Yale. This make the links reliable as these websites aremostly written by environmentalist and experts. These websites are somewhatbiased because the information is mostly related to the negative effects ofdeforestation. Some data were also taken from newspaper websites. Thesewebsites are quite bias because it only focuses on the negatives effects.
Thus,the resources are somewhat reliable in terms of its contents and aspects. GlobalPerspectivesDeforestation happens in everywhere. Forests such as the Amazonrainforests or the Congo Basin are threatened from deforestation. These forestsare rich in resources, and they were targeted by many companies. Deforestationare caused by illegal logging, mining, agriculture etc (Schwartz, 2015). Currently,there are over 300 million hectares of forests lands in USA. However, thecountry had lost over 300,000 hectares of forests between 1990 and 2010. Betweenthese periods USA had reforested 7 million hectares of trees (Becker, no date).
China, has over 14% covered with forests, but itself have suffered fromdeforestation in the mountains in Southwest China (Hays, no date). According to(Zhou, 2018), People claimed that deforestation was the major cause of the airpollution in Beijing. They have also claimed that the sandstorms from the GobiDesert always approach as the winter ends. The perspectives provided from thesewebsites are quite convincing, since some were written by experts and otherswere written on popular newspaper websites. Some of these websites are verysimilar in terms of information to each other. However, according to (Cotthem, 2010) they argued that deforestationcould have positive effects such as building a community. The wood can be usedto build infrastructures. Government could build roads to enhance trade andmarketing.
As a result, they stated that deforestation could change people’s lives.But then again, the amount of negative effects outweighs the positive effects. Courses ofActionsWhether to prohibit deforestation is still a worldwide debate. Divisionshave been taken place between people as some said that ending deforestationwould cause a lost in jobs. Others said that deforestation is causing seriouseffect to the environment. Many organizations have tried to halt thedestruction of forests in many ways.
One course of action was taken by the government. Some government havetried to make sure the air quality is qualified for breathing (Alice, 2015).Some companies have tried to fix the problem of deforestation by making surethey would replace dead trees with new trees, or reforestation. This could bevery helpful since more oxygen could be formed (Reforestation, no date). Chinahas passed laws such as the ‘Myanmar’s Forest Law’ to prevent further loggingsince deforestation is caused by illegal logging (NatureWorldNews, 2015).
Chinaalso planned to spend 1 billion dollars a year over the next 30 years onprotected areas. Another course of action would be setting up organizations to forbid theissue. Organizations in the United States such as the Greenpeace have tried tocampaign ‘abandon deforestation’ for a clean future by convincing the market,promoting sustainable commodities and asking to modify the policies etc (Solutionsto deforestation, no date).
Organizations such as the Cool Earth have alreadybegun to fight with the issue. On their website they have stated that over900,000 acres of tropical rainforests were saved from deforestation. Theorganization have also stated that 1.6 billion people relied on these forests,therefore deforestation would have a tremendous impact on their lives (WhyRainforest?, no date). PersonalResponsePrior to research, I did not know that deforestation could have so manyimportant positive effects. I’ve only thought about what I receive from thedeforestation, so I’ve never tried to ponder any effects of deforestation.After the research, I’ve realized that my knowledge on deforestation wasvery vague. According to (10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Deforestation,2016), I learnt that there are some essential positive effects I’ve neverthought of.
One of foremost is it helps to remove diseased trees so that thedisease wouldn’t be able to affect the trees around the area. Another positiveeffect is that it helps to build communities. Hence, deforestation havecertainly got some positive effects on the society and elsewhere. Some of theeffects are essential to both the trees’ survival and mankind’s survival.
Prior to research, I’ve always supported to prohibit deforestation.However, I did not know that deforestation is essential to the growth ofeconomy and the only thing I know was that it was damaging the environment.After the research, my will of supporting deforestation has decreased.According to (Trade-Offs between Economic Growth and Deforestation, 2017), Itshows that deforestation is essential to the economic growth because it would increaseconsumers on wooden products. The growth of economy alongside the increase ofdeforestation often happens in poor countries, since theireconomies are weak. Factors such as good governance, monitoring system can beable to control the rate of deforestation, but tropical forests in Africa arelacking of these. Therefore, it would be very hard to control the economicgrowth in Africa through deforestation.
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