Difference between revisions of "En-en adult card 6 deforestation"

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== Definition ==
== Definition ==
Deforestation, clearance, clearcutting or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use.[3] Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use.<ref> [[wikipedia:Deforestation|Wikipedia definition]] </ref>
Deforestation, clearance, clearcutting or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use.<ref> [[wikipedia:Deforestation|Wikipedia definition]] </ref>


== Explanation ==
== Explanation ==


Deforestation can be seen as a human activity or as a consequence of agriculture, or both. However, the main issue with deforestation is not that it destroys carbon sinks: it's that it emits CO2 hat took decades or centuries to capture. It's a difference between flow and stock.
Deforestation can be seen as a human activity, as a consequence of agriculture, or both. However, the main issue with deforestation is not so much that it destroys carbon sinks, but that it emits CO<sub>2</sub> that took decades or centuries to capture. It's a question of flow vs. stock.


== Facilitation tips ==
== Facilitation advice ==
The consequences of this card and of [[En-en adult card 9 other ghgs|Other GHGs]] card are very forgotten, because participants often focus only on the consequences of [[En-en adult card 5 fossil fuels|Fossil Fuels]]. It is important to make sure that participants also consider the consequences of this card.
The consequences of this card and of the [[En-en adult card 9 other ghgs|Other GHGs]] card are often forgotten, because participants often focus on the consequences of [[En-en adult card 5 fossil fuels|Fossil Fuels]]. It is important to make sure that participants also consider the consequences of this card.


== Other possible links ==
== Other possible links ==
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* [[En-en adult card 2 industry|Industry]] This link is possible for wood-consuming industries. However, wood used by a factory from a sustainably managed forest is not considered deforestation.
* [[En-en adult card 2 industry|Industry]] This link is possible for wood-consuming industries. However, wood used by a factory from a sustainably managed forest is not considered deforestation.


* [[En-en adult card 4 transportation|Transportation]] Road construction sometimes requires deforestation, but the one-dimensional aspect of the road makes it almost negligible compared to agriculture-related wide scale deforestation.
* [[En-en adult card 4 transportation|Transportation]] Road construction sometimes requires deforestation, but the one-dimensional aspect of the road makes it almost negligible compared to wide-scale agriculture-related deforestation.


=== Consequences ===
=== Consequences ===
* [[En-en adult card 12 carbon sinks|Carbon Sinks]] Participants often think that deforestation reduces carbon sinks. In reality, the impact is minimal because deforested areas represent a very small part of the total forest area. Moreover, a mature forest is in equilibrium and no longer absorbs carbon. Therefore, as mainly mature forests are deforested, this does not impact carbon sinks. On the other hand, the CO2 released is very important, equivalent .
* [[En-en adult card 12 carbon sinks|Carbon Sinks]] Participants often think that deforestation reduces carbon sinks. In reality, the impact is minimal because deforested areas represent a very small part of the total forest area. Moreover, a mature forest has reached its equilibrium and no longer absorbs carbon. Therefore, as mainly mature forests are deforested, this does not impact carbon sinks. On the other hand, the amount CO<sub>2</sub> released is very high.
* [[En-en adult card 15 radiative forcing|Radiative forcing]] When forests are cut down, a dark green surface is replaced by a light green one, which has a higher [https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo albedo] and therefore absorbs less energy.
* [[En-en adult card 15 radiative forcing|Radiative forcing]] When forests are cut down, a dark green surface is replaced by a light green one, which has a higher [[wikipedia:Albedo|albedo]] and therefore absorbs less energy.
* [[En-en adult card 20 disruption water cycle|Disruption of the Water Cycle]] or [[En-en adult card 26 river flooding|River Flooding]] Vegetation retains water. If cut down, it makes flooding easier.
* [[En-en adult card 20 disruption water cycle|Disruption of the Water Cycle]] or [[En-en adult card 26 river flooding|River Flooding]] Vegetation retains water. Cutting it down can lead to flooding.
* [[En-en adult card 35 forest fires|Forest Fires]] Part of the deforestation is done by burning down forests: that can run out of control. This is what happened in summer of 2019 in the Amazon forest and [[wikipedia:2019–20_Australian_bushfire_season|in Australia]]
* [[En-en adult card 35 forest fires|Forest Fires]] One way of clearing forests is to burn them down, with the risk of losing control of the fire. This is what happened in the summer of 2019 in the Amazon forest and [[wikipedia:2019–20_Australian_bushfire_season|in Australia]].
* [[En-en adult card 25 terrestrial biodiversity|Terrestrial Biodiversity]] Deforestation causes huge losses of biodiversity :
* [[En-en adult card 25 terrestrial biodiversity|Terrestrial Biodiversity]] Deforestation causes huge losses of biodiversity:
** Animal biodiversity because the forest is host to many species. The forest biodiversity index fell by 53% between 1970 and 2014 <ref name="FAO 2020">[http://www.fao.org/3/ca8642en/CA8642EN.pdf#page=18 ''The State of the World’s Forests 2020, Executive Summary'', FAO]</ref>.
** Animal biodiversity because the forest is host to many species. The forest biodiversity index fell by 53% between 1970 and 2014 <ref name="FAO 2020">[http://www.fao.org/3/ca8642en/CA8642EN.pdf#page=18 ''The State of the World’s Forests 2020, Executive Summary'', FAO]</ref>.
** Plant biodiversity, as 8,000 of the 60,000 known tree species are considered endangered.<ref name="FAO 2020"/>.
** Plant biodiversity, as 8,000 of the 60,000 known tree species are considered endangered.<ref name="FAO 2020"/>.
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== Additional content ==
== Additional content ==
=== Wood usage ===
=== Wood usage ===
93% of the wood from deforestation is burned (paper, agriculture, disposable furniture ......) and only 7% is used in a sustainable way (lasting furniture, construction ...).
93% of the wood from deforestation is burned (paper, agriculture, disposable furniture, etc.) and only 7% is used in a sustainable way (long-lasting furniture, construction, etc.).


=== Distribution of causes of deforestation ===
=== Distribution of causes of deforestation ===
The factors of deforestation<ref>[http://www.fao.org/3/ca8642en/CA8642EN.pdf#page=106 ''The State of the World’s Forests 2020, Drivers of change'', FAO]</ref> are:
The drivers of deforestation<ref>[http://www.fao.org/3/ca8642en/CA8642EN.pdf#page=106 ''The State of the World’s Forests 2020, Drivers of change'', FAO]</ref> are:
* 40% for commercial agriculture: livestock breeding, soya or oil palm cultivation
* 40% for commercial agriculture, to breed livestock or to grow soy or oil palm  
* 33% for local subsistence farming
* 33% for local subsistence farming
* 10% for urban expansion
* 10% for urban expansion
* 10% for infrastructure expansion
* 10% for infrastructure expansion
* 7% for mining.
* 7% for mining.
These numbers are global averages, and vary greatly from country to country..
These numbers are global averages, and vary greatly from country to country.


=== Speed of forest loss ===
=== Speed of forest loss ===

Revision as of 09:10, 13 February 2021

Card #6: Deforestation

Causes Consequences
Front of the card "Deforestation"


Deforestation consists in cutting or burning trees beyond the ability to restore the forest.
80% of the deforestation is related to agriculture.

Definition

Deforestation, clearance, clearcutting or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use.[1]

Explanation

Deforestation can be seen as a human activity, as a consequence of agriculture, or both. However, the main issue with deforestation is not so much that it destroys carbon sinks, but that it emits CO2 that took decades or centuries to capture. It's a question of flow vs. stock.

Facilitation advice

The consequences of this card and of the Other GHGs card are often forgotten, because participants often focus on the consequences of Fossil Fuels. It is important to make sure that participants also consider the consequences of this card.

Other possible links

Causes

  • Industry This link is possible for wood-consuming industries. However, wood used by a factory from a sustainably managed forest is not considered deforestation.
  • Transportation Road construction sometimes requires deforestation, but the one-dimensional aspect of the road makes it almost negligible compared to wide-scale agriculture-related deforestation.

Consequences

  • Carbon Sinks Participants often think that deforestation reduces carbon sinks. In reality, the impact is minimal because deforested areas represent a very small part of the total forest area. Moreover, a mature forest has reached its equilibrium and no longer absorbs carbon. Therefore, as mainly mature forests are deforested, this does not impact carbon sinks. On the other hand, the amount CO2 released is very high.
  • Radiative forcing When forests are cut down, a dark green surface is replaced by a light green one, which has a higher albedo and therefore absorbs less energy.
  • Disruption of the Water Cycle or River Flooding Vegetation retains water. Cutting it down can lead to flooding.
  • Forest Fires One way of clearing forests is to burn them down, with the risk of losing control of the fire. This is what happened in the summer of 2019 in the Amazon forest and in Australia.
  • Terrestrial Biodiversity Deforestation causes huge losses of biodiversity:
    • Animal biodiversity because the forest is host to many species. The forest biodiversity index fell by 53% between 1970 and 2014 [2].
    • Plant biodiversity, as 8,000 of the 60,000 known tree species are considered endangered.[2].

Additional content

Wood usage

93% of the wood from deforestation is burned (paper, agriculture, disposable furniture, etc.) and only 7% is used in a sustainable way (long-lasting furniture, construction, etc.).

Distribution of causes of deforestation

The drivers of deforestation[3] are:

  • 40% for commercial agriculture, to breed livestock or to grow soy or oil palm
  • 33% for local subsistence farming
  • 10% for urban expansion
  • 10% for infrastructure expansion
  • 7% for mining.

These numbers are global averages, and vary greatly from country to country.

Speed of forest loss

The area of forest lost each year is gradually shrinking. It has decreased from 7.8 million hectares lost per year in the 1990s to 4.7 million hectares in 2010. This is mainly due to the fact that forests are growing elsewhere, either naturally or artificially.[2].

References