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On a human scale, deforestation has resulted in decline of biodiversity while, on a global scale, it has resulted to extinction of various species of plants. The destruction or removal of areas of forest covers has caused a degraded environment hence a reduced biodiversity. Forests are said to support biodiversity through fostering medicinal conservation and providing habitat for the wildlife among others. Forest biotopes are irreplaceable sources of new drugs hence deforestation can wipe out genetic variations irretrievably. Paper business is growing each day hence the demand for trees is increasing. Tropical rainforests are extremely diverse ecosystem in the world. From statistics, it has been estimate that we are losing more than 137 plants each day as a result of rainforest deforestation. This is an equivalent of 50, 000 species every year. The demand for paper products has continued to rise. Trees are being destroyed in order to meet the paper demand. There are a number of predictions that have been completed that 40 % of plant species and animals in Southeast Asia can be wiped out in the 21st century. Such predictions are based on the global trends of the paper industry (United Nations 1-102). Damages to forests could lead to reduced living standards from a report compiled by convection on biological diversity. Forest products industry occupies a significant part of the economy in both developing and developed countries. This paper will discuss today's rate of forest deforestation and the demand of paper products for businesses. Other parts of natural resource management and conservation will also be highlighted. Conclusion on the part of forest deforestation and the demand for paper products for businesses will be stated.
Paper industry in various countries has a vital social role to play. The use of papers is seen as an index or measure of cultural growth. This industry also contributes to the fulfillment of several requirements of the whole industry such as information dissemination and publicity among others. This stimulates a country’s economic growth. The paper industry has a catalytic part to play not only in the growth of a country but also in the improvement of living standards of the people. The main products from the paper industry include pulps made from wood, paper and paper boards, paper bags, envelopes, sanitary tissues, paper boxes, industrial-type papers, printing and writing papers, boxboards and containerboards among others (United Nations 22-123).
Presently, no one knows the amount of industrial timber consumption that is actually sustainable. Researches have shown that over extraction and illegal logging is occurring in more than 70 countries. This accounts for more than half of all traded timber production in the tropical forest countries. The demand for paper and other wood related products is expected to increase in coming years. This demand is driven by the increasing and growing population around the world. The demand for paper and paper related products will be met in part through industrial efficiency and sustainable sources. Pressure on natural forests will also rise as the demand increases.
Supply of timber and Fibre in the global market
In the global wood harvest, it is estimated that more than 42 % of the wood is used to make papers. Most of the fibre comes from wood that is specially harvested for this purpose. The wood is obtained from managed semi-natural forests or industrial plantations. The existing industrial forests in Europe and North America are targeted to meet this demand. Paper production and global pulp before the financial crisis was expanding rapidly in the developing countries. They were meant to meet the increasing global and regional demand and, taking advantage of low production cost. There was also the availability of industrial and natural resources. Paper mills and new pulp are planned for Indonesia, Brazil, China, Uruguay and South Africa among other countries. When a new processing capacity in put in place, it must be accompanied by new plantations, which are created at the expense of natural forests such as the tropical rain forest. Controversy has been emerging in the Chinese and Indonesian paper industry. The controversy has been triggered by the development of APRIL in Riau Indonesia and Asia paper and pulp in china and Indonesia. They have been accused of invading the protected areas and, being involved in illegal logging at Yunnan (United Nations 22-119).
Illegal logging in developing countries is estimated to cost more than $15 Billion yearly in the form of lost revenues and assets. This figure is eight times more that the actual amount used on sustainable management of the world’s forests. The availability of illegal timber in the global market has affected the prices of timber negatively. The prices of timber by reduced by 7 -16 % depending on the product. In a recent report, US companies loses more than $ 1 billion each year through the combination of lost export opportunities and price distortions.
The demand for wood and paper
The industrialized nations consume the majority of industrial wood products bearing in mind that the industrialized nations have 20 % of the world’s population. Papers are used widely in many industrialized societies for packaging and printing among other uses. The current global demand for wood is projected to rise by 77 percent from the 1995 levels by the year 2020. United States is the largest importer of paper products and wood. This accounted for about 20 % of the global wood trade in 2006 of which $ 20 billion was spent on pulp and paper products and $ 15 billion for wooden furniture. According to the reports by WWF, about 28 % of the Europeans union timbers come from illegal sources. Most of the timbers come from Russia while others come from tropical forests in South-East Asia. Recently, china has become a global intermediary for the wood products and, mostly papers. Half of her timber requirements are met through imports although the proportion is great in export-oriented sectors. However, about 40 % of china’s imports are said to come from illegal sources. The timber is then exported to various countries including United States (Vajpeyi 1-69).
The impacts of deforestation and their management
A global consensus on the response to the rising global demand for papers and paper products in the developing countries is required. This is a complex challenge to the natural resource management and conservation. The burning question is if governments and businesses should encourage the managing down of demand for paper and pulp in the developed nations. Heavy investment in sustainable forestry should be increased dramatically. Paper is a commodity which has little commitment to traceability. This is one of the main reasons that have made investments in sustainable sources difficult. The paper industry is also subject to price and investment cycles which discourage long-term investment.
There is a stakeholders concern about the sustainability challenges of forestry monoculture using while using non-native species. The extensive paper plantations in the developing world have increased the concerns for the loss of agriculturally productive lands and water resources. The logging for valued species in many remote areas has a lot of impact on biodiversity. There are threatened species of trees arising from the growth in the paper business. Illegal logging encourages corruption and undermines the rule of law.
Current situation of forests
The current situation of forest resource and other natural resource is much critical. Deforestation continues to be experienced in almost every part if the world. In Asia, for example, it is made up of a quarter of the total earth’s land while it holds about 60 % of the world’s population. The tremendous population in Asia has contributed a lot to substantial forest loss in that region. In addition, many Asian countries have joined a period of spectacular economic growth for the past few years. This, in turn, has led to an augment in the consumption of forest resources. In South America, deforestation has turn to be a serious problem in the region even though that region maintains a large part of the earth’s ecosystem. That growing degradation is quite alarming. Major forests including Amazon rain forest and the tropical rain forest are deforested. This poses a substantial danger to the wildlife. The North American deforestation is also increasing from the past century. The main causes for the deforestation are social, economical and political causes. In Australia, deforestation is happening in every second. The cause of deforestation in Australia is the people’s needs from the forests. In order to fulfill their needs, they destroy, cut and burn trees and forests. Their needs include urbanization and the need for papers among others. The Australian circumstances or causes of deforestation are ecological, economic, political and historical. Europe has a large area of deforested part. Countries such as Poland, Finland, Russia, Scotland and Austria are all deforested. The United Kingdom is one of the least forested nations in Europe. Several researches show that every European country has about 24 % of land area occupied by forests. The deforestation, in most part of the world, has led to an increase in global warming. The present situation should be controlled. Scientific steps should be carried out in order to protect our natural resources 9ncluding forests (Palo and Vanhanen 1-59).
Consequences of deforestation
Deforestation, however, we may try to justify it is a serious matter which can yield a lot of problems. The impacts of deforestation can be felt by the whole world. It has turn to be a main problem in the world. If not controlled in proper time, the effects will be much adverse. The roots of trees tend to bind the soil particles so that soil erosion will not be experienced. Things like landslides and floods are likely to occur if there is forest soil erosion. The fertility of land is decreased as a result of soil erosion. Deforestation impoverishes fertility of soils. The ecological balance is in turn affected and gets imbalanced. The forest production is also decreased as a result of deforestation. To the wildlife, deforestation is not beneficial. This is because forests are their homes. Deforestation results in the destruction of grazing lands and fodders. It is hence true that diminishment of forests could be a signal of natural disaster. Dirty spells are invited by deforestation. The reason is that deforestation grounds for a diminution in rainfall and water supply in springs, wells and streams among others. Forest based industries such as the paper industry will have to be closed if deforestation continues at a high rate. These are some of the scores of negative effects as a result of deforestation. The effects are worthless and aggressive in our life.
Other causes of deforestation apart from the paper business
There are other causes of deforestation apart from the paper business in the world. Since we regard trees as one of the sources of basic requirements, there are a number of causes of deforestation. However, the main cause of deforestation is peoples’ hesitation to take steps regarding deforestation. This can be termed as ignorance. These causes can be explained from many perspectives. One of the causes is the increase in population worldwide. When the population increases, the needs of the population will also increase. The exploitation of forests increases as the demands of population increases. People will need much space for cultivation, wood for cooking, papers to write on among others. People migrate from one place to another especially to places with more facilities. They hence need to cut down forests so that they can settle. Secondly, forests are sources of fuel. They provide hydropower and firewood used for various purposes. Those people without job opportunities tend to cut down trees and hunt so as to earn a living. Illiteracy contributes a lot to cutting down of trees. The illiterate individuals are not aware of the effects of deforestation. They unknowingly go ahead to cause deforestation. The demand for raw materials in various factories and industries is also a leading cause for deforestation. Industries and factories that deal with timber or wood products have increased in the past few years. There are defective policies put in place by governments regarding declination of forests. Lack of regulations and rules regarding forests can also one of the causes of declination of forests. Other reasons may include insufficient preservation programs and ineffective performance of forest development programs among others (Vajpeyi 1-78).
Remedial measures to deforestation
Many lives have been affected by deforestation in a haphazard manner. This calls for a solution to solve this problem by everyone. The problems needs to be discussed among individuals and solutions obtained in every place. Forests degradation and deforestation have caused a reduction in the availability of sources of the basic requirements. It has contributed to fertility loss, damaged ecosystems, degraded water sheds and soil erosion among other adverse environmental effects. One of the remedial measures to reduce these effects is the formulation of natural energy policies which will emphasize efficiency in the increased energy use. The policies can help to reduce the alarming rate of deforestation. The adoption of a global level use plan, based on appropriate resource use at various agro-economical zones can help to curb deforestation in many parts of the world. Integration of various related sectors and participation of local communities together with private sectors can increase to fight against deforestation. Forest programs both at local and government levels could be launched on a wide scale. Also, community forest programs can be implemented under the supervision and management of loocal communities so as to ensure fulfillment of both local needs and local endeavors. Some industries such as the paper business can be beneficial to society but, their environmental effects could be worse that the benefits.
The private sector should be provided with the necessary facilities to carry out tree planting in their land holding. Improved impute and technical assistance should be made available to help in reduction of deforestation. There should be the adoption of modern techniques of pest control management. This can help to save the forests without having to change the equilibrium of nature. Another remedial measure to reduce deforestation should be agro-forestry on sub-marginal and marginal farmland together with strip plantation on the roadside and canal side. Countries should get used to alternative sources of energy in order to save our forests. Herbal farming could be extended so as to increase the production of herbs. Launching of public awareness programs should be done as a remedial measure to deforestation. If these recommended actions can be put into place effectively, the basic need of individuals can be easily met. Ecological security like protection of erosion, pollution of air and water can lead to a desired habitat to the wildlife. Education awareness campaigns should be done from time to time especially in areas where illiteracy is high. Deforestation regulations and laws should be implemented.
Steps that are being taken
The deforestation rate between 1978 and 1988 was high. The situation improved in the early 1990s and the land deforested was 11, 200 km square. However, the area shot up by mid 1990s to about 29, 052 km square. The area decreased by about 40 % in 1996 and 1997 to about 13, 037 km square. Causes of these deforestation problems are connected to economic and social growth of a region. As the need for food increases, the demand for arable land is also increasing. This results to clearing of forests for agriculture. This has been made easier by the availability of technology, reduction in land value and the demanding market. Today, it is estimated that for every one tree planted, ten are cut down. In various parts of the world, awareness on deforestation has been done.
There are several actions and activities carried out to reduce the destruction of forests. Various countries are conducting campaigns and various programs meant to prevent the destruction of forests. Forestry advocates and environmentalists have been encouraging governments and individuals to act on the problem of desertification around the world. Significant contributions that we can make are to curtail the demand for goods or products that are reliant to deforestation. Various industries are focusing their attention on recycling papers. Used and old papers can be processed and turned to a new paper product. This practice should be wide-scaled. By doing this, the number of trees cut down so as to produce papers and paper products would be much reduced. Actions are being addressed by the concerned authorities to prevent deforestation and promote afforestation. Deforestation can be slowed down. To assure this, trees can be cut at a slow rate. Trees should be planted to replace the cut ones. By doing this, logging would be entirely scrapped and forests renewed (Palo and Vanhanen 1-105).
There are various disadvantages of deforestation that have been cited by several individuals. Deforestation is widely carried out in least developed nations where there is the lack of knowledge. These people are not aware of the negative consequences of deforestation hence their nations are widely affected by deforestation. The most common indirect effects of deforestation experienced in these countries are natural calamities such as landslides and floods. Since trees helps to prevent heavy flows of water, they help to stop floods. In the absence of trees, people are bound to face such disastrous effects. Lives, properties are habitats are destroyed as a result. Nature is strong since it can provide shelter to animals including man but, nature can also destroy the same shelter. It is then advisable for everyone to prevent or decrease activities like deforestation. In the absence of trees, greenhouse will be destroyed and, there would be a lack of fresh air. This, in turn, affects the ozone layer found in the atmosphere leading to ultra violet rays hitting the earth. As mentioned earlier, affecting the ozone layer leads to automatic global warming. The ecological balance in the environment gets disturbed when global warming occurs. The existence of wildlife in the world is a strong indication of availability of forests. The world is destroyed by deforestation in one way or another. The lack of enough oxygen as a result of deforestation could give rise to various diseases. Deforestation is a threat to survival of humanity. We should control deforestation so as to save our survival.
From the findings in this paper, paper products are essential in any economy. However, there should be controls in the world to avoid overexploitation of forest resource. When paper products are demanded more, it means more trees have to be cut down to meet this demand. Cutting down trees in turn leads to deforestation. There should be a balance between the number of trees cut by the paper industries and trees planted afterwards. If the demand for papers will continues to increase, forests will be endangered in the future. People should be encouraged to seek for other alternatives apart from paper products in an attempt to save the forest resource. The fight against deforestation can be won easily if all countries in the world agree to join the efforts against deforestation. Another recommendation to further minimize deforestation is by establishing international laws regarding forests. These laws should be adopted by all countries especially countries with large parts of forests. There should be a strong international agency to ensure that these laws are followed. Although there are several international agencies that deal with forests, they should be strengthened to ensure that their activities are recognized.
The other solution to save our forests will be to improve the campaigns against deforestation. The current rate of forest deforestation needs to be minimized to avoid the effects of deforestation that have been highlighted in this paper. Massive campaigns on conservation of forests should be directed to areas where illiteracy is high. As seen in this paper, illiteracy and ignorance contributes a lot to destruction of forest resources. Corporate social responsibility by businesses helps to conserve the environment. As technology continues to grow, the use of paper products is generally reducing. Computers have replaced paper work in many organizations. This could be utilized as a chance to save the forests. Every person has a role to play in fighting deforestation. The role could be direct or indirect. Direct roles include planting trees especially in bare land and avoiding unnecessary tree cutting. Indirect role may include rejecting the use of paper products or using recycled papers.
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