DEFORESTATION My name is Muna and I will be discussing what deforestation is, the means by which we advantage from it compared to the irreversible impacts it has on our planet and what could be done to protect the woodlands. Over 31% of the land on our planet is made up of forests. However, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 18 million acres of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year. Subsequently, as a result of deforestation, the ruthless removal of Earths woodlands, burning or countlessly chopping down a nation of trees to satisfy our relentless need for timber and to make room for human settlement, infrastructure expansion and agricultural farming. Deforestation can also occur as a result of illegal logging and potentially unexpected natural factors such as wild fires, droughts and climate change. Although it is immensely beneficial as it provides us with increasing residential land as our population continues to rapidly grow, a number of job opportunities within the manufacture, transport and construction industry whilst boosting our economy. So why is it essential to be aware of the severity involved in the slaughtering of trees? Imagine having your home brutally torn down before your very eyes, petrified, vulnerable and threatened by the lingering dangers of remorseless hunters, hunting the animals for fur, ivory and tusks. Imagine a life/existence without enough sustenance to survive. Imagine being the only one that remains of your kind soon to be forgotten. Sadly, this is the harsh reality for the biodiversity who face the threat of extinction due to the interminable destruction of their forest home, depriving them of their right to live. Over 80% of Earths animals live in woods and many are unable to subsist in the shattered lands left behind. For instance, the Bornean orangutans once roamed thousands of miles across the rainforests of south east Asia. Today, they survive just on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Their home is in wonderful, exotic rainforest and shared by several other jeopardized species. For example, tigers, rhinos and elephants. Now their once cherished habitats within the two islands are threatened due to deforestation. The loss of habitat is the catastrophic result of deforestation. Not only does deforestation eliminate the wonderful creatures thriving in the forests, but additionally, there is disruption to the livelihood, culture and customs of the indigenous individuals as they are forcefully driven out of their forest home of centuries. While they begin to disappear, their substantial knowledge on the geology of their sacred areas, historical heritage and human rights are demolished alongside the trees, incinerated and destroyed. But that’s not the only cruel impacts of deforestation. Everyday innumerable number of trees are felled and burnt. Everyday harmful toxic gases are being emitted into our atmosphere, causing an expansion/increase in global climate change, resulting in air pollution, increment of sea levels and higher wildlife extinction rates. The loss of woods contributes between 12 to 17 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The price we pay for our timber is the detrimental impact on our biodiversity and is the loss that should weigh heavy on our conscience. But there is something that can be done. For instance, the government in the US (united states.) have passed many acts such as the lacey act, wilderness act and endangered species act which helps decrease illegal logging and its expensive effects and help grantee that organizations know where their wood is coming from. However, globally this is not enough and the governments of developing nations should be pressurised immensely in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted due to deforestation, tackling illegal logging and to promote sustainable management on tropical rainforests. Setting up national parks and reserves.