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Deforestation and Afforestation

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Deforestation and its causes - definition

Deforestation means clearing the forest or stands of trees, and using that land for other purposes. Following are the main causes of deforestation:

  • Procuring land for cultivation
  • Building houses and factories
  • Making furniture or using wood as fuel.
  • Some natural causes of deforestation are forest fires and severe droughts.

Consequences of deforestation - definition

  • Deforestation increases the temperature and pollution level on the earth. It increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • Ground water level also gets lowered.
  • Deforestation disturbs the balance in nature. If cutting of trees continues, rainfall and the fertility of the soil will decrease.
  •  Apart from this there will be increased chances of natural calamities such as floods and droughts. Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Fewer trees would mean that less carbon dioxide will be used up resulting in its increased amount in the atmosphere.
  • This will lead to global warming as carbon dioxide traps the heat rays reflected by the earth. The increase in temperature on the earth disturbs the water cycle and may reduce rainfall.
  • This could cause droughts.
  • Deforestation also leads to a decrease in the water holding capacity of the soil.


  • Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was no previous tree cover. 
  • Reforestation is the restocking of destroyed forests by planting new trees. We should plant more and more trees, we should plant at least as many trees as we cut. We have already caused a lot of damage to our forests. If we have to regain our green wealth, reforestation is the only option.
  • Methods for forest conservation are as follows:
  1. Silviculture
  2. Afforestation
  3. Judicious cutting of trees 
  4. Protection from fire