Deforestation in Pakistan

Deforestation is defined as the cutting or clearing of forests and trees permanently to make areas for living habitats of humans and other purposes besides forests. These purposes may include conversion of forests into farms or ranches, land for urban use, agriculture, for grazing, timber to make fuel or construction of roads by cutting the forests. According to the experts, forests must cover almost 25% area of a region but unfortunately, forests cover only 5.2% area of Pakistan.

The world’s highest deforestation rate was recorded in Pakistan.

According to an estimation in 1947 forests covered 30% area of Pakistan but now it has been decreased to only 5% because with time locals started cutting down the trees for various purposes like agriculture, for roads and towns, building hydroelectric dams, by mining for achieving coal and gas, for furniture households and more purposes like these. 

Causes:

Human Activities

Industrialization

Industrialization is the main cause of deforestation. Industries need to fulfill the huge demands of consumers which further require high levels of fuel and wood.

Logging

Most of the land used for constructing barrages and dams also obtained by cutting down the forests. This is used to overcome the scarcity of water

 Urbanization:

Urbanization is related directly to the human population. As the population increases more houses, towns, and roads are needed. This was achieved gradually by cutting down the trees.

Agricultural Expansion

Pakistan is basically an agricultural country. After 1947 people of Pakistan started cultivating crops for the earning purposes hence causing deforestation

Deforestation For Breeding

Locals cut down the trees for cattle to graze. And also making habitats for pets and cattle to live.

Timber Extraction 

Many 100 years old trees have been cut down to extract timber or cellulose for the furniture or paper industry. This causes serious damage to the ecosystem.

Natural Causes

 Forest Fires

It is also the main cause of deforestation. As a region loses its million of trees in forest fires. It happens due to extreme summer or winter.In June 2019,  about 1.22 million of trees burnt down in different forest divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There were no natural reasons as climatic reasons observed. But professional jealousies and sabotage activities are also the main reasons for causing the fire. Forest fires are also becoming common in Margalla hills due to climatic conditions.

Floods

In 2010, floods began in Pakistan due to heavy monsoons. Climatic changes also occur due to deforestation. Cutting of trees brings sudden changes in temperature.

Over-Population of Animals

Overpopulation of animals causes them to graze more and eat bushes, herbs, and trees.

Climatic Changes

Climatic changes may also cause deforestation. Extreme temperature conditions may harm the growth of forests; either tree can burn out or no growth.

Effects of Deforestation

The above explained are the few causes of deforestation in Pakistan. Deforestation adds more carbon dioxide to the environment than the total sum of vehicles adds. It also raises the temperature of the land. By raising the temperature glaciers will melt and thus cause flooding eventually.
Quality of soil degraded by deforestation which causes soil erosion. And soil erosion causes the silts to enter the lakes, streams and other water resources. Thus reducing the water quality which directly affects the health of people.

Everything in the environment is interconnected and depends on each other. Any disruption in the chain disrupts the whole ecosystem. Pakistan needs to be sustainable environmentally in order to progress in the world. The government should not let our environment and forests be destroyed for short term profits.

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