- Deforestation affects the water cycle. Trees absorb groundwater and release the same into the atmosphere during transpiration. With the loss of medium for this release, the climate automatically changes to a drier one and reduction in not only the atmospheric moisture, but also the water table.
- Deforestation reduces soil quality and results in soil erosion and flooding. The land's capacity to hold ground water shrinks with the depleting forest cover. Deforested areas witness surface runoff and increased sub-surface flow.
- The absence of trees leads to increase salinity in the soil cover and thus, affects the agricultural activity that is carried on in such regions. Tree roots not only bind fertile soil, but also the underlying bedrock. Deforestation results in an increased risk of landslides that not only claims the alluvial soil, but also threatens the lives of people inhabiting the cleared region.
- Forests support biodiversity and foster conservation of medicinal products like honey, resin and herbs Deforestation destroys genetic variations and results in a permanent loss of various rare plant, animal and insect species.
- Over-utilization of forest products and logging has resulted in creased dependency and in turn is exposing us to environmental issues associated with the large scale deforestation in the absence of an afforestation program in place.
By Gaynor Borade