Deforestation and land, the Mayas cut down more

Deforestation is
the action or process of cutting down the trees in a large area or the
destruction of forests. There are many causes of the deforestation such as both
illegal and legal logging, farming activities as well as poor land management.

Deforestation has brought negative impacts too, which includes the damage to
land, the extinction of plants and soil erosion. This essay will discuss the
causes and effects of deforestation.

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First of all,
legal and illegal logging including farming activities are the causes of
deforestation (McLeish,
2007). As the population increase, humans cut down many trees and clear
forests to provide more fields for crops such as tea, rubber and oil palm (Pakenham, 2005; Golden and
Miller, 1994). It is suggested that “to satisfy the need of the growing
population for food, fuel and land, the Mayas cut down more and more of the
tropical forests on hillsides” (Pakenham, 2005, p. 7). Stenstrup (2009) states that slash and burn is one
of the techniques that have been used to clear the forest and convert it to the
agricultural land. In addition, illegal logging activities occur in order to supply
mahogany for luxurious furniture production (Golden and Miller, 1994). Since there are many
demands of mahogany and the price is high, mahogany logging keeps increasing
since the furniture company want to gain high profit. Trees are not replanted
after the logging activities. Furthermore, Pakenham (2005) suggests that forests are cleared
to provide lands for grazing livestock. The animals walk around to find food
and eat too many of the plants which led to overgrazing (Klissinger, 2002).  As a result, it is clear that these
activities are the causes of deforestation that can lead to many negative
impacts even though there are many short-term benefits that can be obtained.


Secondly, poor
land management is one of the causes of deforestation too (Klissinger, 2002). Most
farmers use poor farming methods in order to meet the demands of food from the
consumers. For instance, they will use too much fertilizer and reduce the
fallow period, as they want to increase the production of food to fulfill the
needs of consumers. (Klissinger,
2002 ; McLeish, 2007).  They also
use the irrigation system, which is the application of controlled amounts of
water to plants at needed intervals, to ensure the growth of their plants (Irrigation, 2018). The
inefficiency of farming techniques and productivity happen since some of the
farmers only use old and outdated farm equipment due to the lack of funds.

Hence, it is obvious that poor land management is the cause of deforestation
even though the methods can meet the demands of the consumers.


The previous
paragraphs have discussed the causes of deforestation. Therefore, the next
paragraphs will discuss the effects of deforestation.


Firstly, poor
land management results in the damage of the quality of land (National Geography, 2009, para.

1). The infertility of soil occurs since the acids levels in the soil have
decreased due to the excess amount of fertiliser. The overuse of fertilisers
will lead to the contamination of water due to the release of nitrous oxide
during the denitrification process (Sustainable Baby Steps, 2018, para. 2). The contamination of
groundwater can affect humans’ health that is linked to gastric cancer and hypertension.

The fertilisers also consist
of chemical substances such as carbon dioxide, ammonia and nitrogen, can
increase the percentage of greenhouse gases present in the environment
(Sustainable Baby Steps, 2018). These situations will raise the
temperature of earth above what it should be and lead to the increase in global
warming. Furthermore, infertility happens because farmers are not letting the
land rests for a sufficient time causing the soil to wear-out. Additionally,
the soil can no longer be used for farming since there is too much salt build
up in the soil because of the irrigation system (Klissinger, 2002). Irrigation systems decrease
the production of food as the quality of soil decreases and it becomes less
productive. As a result, it is clear that poor land management decreases the
quality of land and has many negative impacts in different aspects.


Next, the
extinction of plants including soil erosion will occur resulting from the legal
and illegal logging activities as well as farming activities. According to Golden and Miller (1994),
as the forests are cleared, the numbers of medicinal plants that have
potentials to cure countless diseases have decreased.  Moreover, as the trees are not replanted,
there are no trees to hold the good soil, which can lead to soil erosion. Soil
erosion removes the most productive part of the soil for agricultural purposes,
which is the topsoil (Queensland
Government, 2016, para. 2). The loss of the topsoil makes it very
difficult or nearly impossible to grow the new plants. The soil will quickly
dry-out too since there are no trees that can protect them from the sun. In
addition, as a result of overgrazing, the rainwater could not be absorbed by
the soil because it is compacted due to the impact of animals’ hooves.

Furthermore, overgrazing also led the regrowth of plants to become more
difficult and slow since the root system of native plants is damaged. The soil
will keep drying because of the insufficient amount of water and only fewer
plants can grow. The land will become less productive and less useful due to
the overgrazing by farm animals. As a result, it is clear that these long-term
effects happen because of both illegal and legal logging including farming


Finally, millions
of species lose their habitats because of the deforestation. The logging of
forests means there are only a few trees left to block sunrays during the day
and hold in the heat at night (National Geographic, 2009, para. 2). This damaging disruption
leads to extreme temperature changes that are harmful to animals. Orangutans,
giant pandas and rhinoceros are the examples of animals that lost their
habitats as the forests have cleared (Emily Holland, 2017, para. 3). The lost of the habitats can
lead to the extinction of the animals since many of them cannot survive the
deforestation that destroys their homes. Deforestation has destroyed many
forests, and as a consequence, many valuable species lose their natural


To sum up, these
are the causes and effects of deforestation. It is obvious that logging and
farming activities as well as poor land management will lead to negative
effects. The negative effects are the damage of soil, the extinction of plants
and soil erosion including the lose of habitat. It is important to ensure the
sustainability of the forests as it will be beneficial for future generations.ReferencesMcLeish,
E. (2007). What if we do nothing?
Rainforest destruction. London: Franklin Watts.  Pakenham,
K. 2005. Making Connections: a strategic
approach to academic reading (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. Stenstrup,
A. (2009). Diminishing resources:
Forests. Greenboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds Publishing.       Golden,
A. and Miller, M. (1994). Rainforest destruction has reached crisis
proportions, in Leone, B (Executive editor) Global
resource:  opposing viewpoints. San
Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press Klissinger,
E. 2002. “Which way will it go?” In Contemporary
Topics: 2. New York: Longman National Geography. (2009). Deforestation and Its Effect on the
Planet.                         Retrieved from                warming/deforestation/  Sustainable Baby Steps. (2018). Effects of
Chemical Fertilizers.           
Retrieved from            
fertilizers.html  Queensland Government. (2018). Impacts of erosion. Retrieved from  
   Emily Holland. (2017). Deforestation—Causes, Effects, and
Solutions.                     Retrieved from            effects-and-solutions