How to Reduce and Prevent Deforestation


Where is deforestation happening?

To certain extent, deforestation happens everywhere in the world and has been happening even throughout our history. Within the limits of sustainability, forests have incredible capacity to recover and can be logged for centuries without getting damaged.

The problem comes when our consumption exceeds the natural ability of forests to regenerate, and when we start to overexploit this resource on a large-scale. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is currently happening in many tropical countries that are homes to unique rainforests.

According to a 2017 study of the world’s deforestation hot spots, Brazil, Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Congo are countries with the highest absolute forest loss in the world.

In Brazil, forests are cleared to make space for agriculture. In Indonesia it is for the palm oil and paper industry. And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the main reason is extensive tree felling for fuel and farm land around rapidly growing cities.

But we do not have to go deep into the lush rainforest to witness sad effects of deforestation. Greentumble has written even about the spread of illegal deforestation in Romania due to the corrupt government, or total destruction of forests in Ukraine for the amber mining, and reported on the scale of deforestation in the United States as well.

How to Reduce and Prevent Deforestation

Forests are one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. 80 percent of all terrestrial plants, insects, and animals call forests home. Nearly one third of people in the world depend directly on forests for their livelihoods.

Trees help regulate the climate, filter water through their root system, capture dust particles and pollutants from the air and stabilize soils against erosion. They perform these vital services equally for everyone without taking into account country boundaries or the size of your income.

Every day, we use resources that forests provide to us, such as timber, firewood, medicinal and edible plants. Yet if we continue to lose our forests at the current rate, in 80 years from now there will be no forest left on our “green” planet.

Deforestation is happening everywhere on the planet for many different reasons that vary from region to region. Vast areas of rainforests in a number of tropical countries, including Indonesia, Brazil, and Malaysia, have been destroyed to make way for palm oil, soy plantations and cattle ranches. The increasing global demand for wood products threatens many ancient forests around the world, whether it is for paper products, furniture or fuel.

Ending deforestation is the best chance we have to stabilize our climate, save wildlife species and protect our well-being. Protecting the forest is our mutual responsibility, no matter how far away we live from the nearest one. Adopt some of these strategies to help prevent the loss of more trees.

The death of the forest is the end of our life.

Dorothy Stang

What can we do about deforestation?

1. Plant a tree

The most straightforward personal strategy to fight against deforestation is to plant a tree. Planting a tree could be considered a lifelong investment into the environment and your good mental health.

The cutting down of trees causes billions of tons of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) to be released into the air. By planting trees, you are helping to combat global warming because trees absorb carbon dioxide. You are also helping to reduce run off water from the hills. Tree roots prevent landslides and rock slides that sometimes can harm animals, people or damage buildings. Planting and caring for trees is essential for the overall health and quality of life of the community.

Trees are known for their mind soothing and healing properties. Just walking through a forest and looking at the trees calms our mind, alleviates worries and helps tired eyes recover from strain.

You can start by planting one tree, or two, or you can even plant a whole forest.

2. Use less paper

Two million trees are cut every day just to supply the paper demand of the United States.

Globally, 40 percent of all timber is used to make paper products, and the demand for paper increases by two to three percent every year. This means that the paper industry is still consuming more and more trees.

Since the industry has such a high need for wood, it should come as no surprise that some part of the timber originates from illegal logging.

By printing out every email and wasting paper, you are unwittingly spinning the wheel of illegal forest destruction. Reduce your paper use when you can. This way, you will decrease your contribution to the loss of forests.

3. Recycle paper and cardboard

Did you know that one ton (2,000 pounds) of paper put to recycle prevents the cutting of 17 trees? These 17 trees then sequester around 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air every single year.

If just 10 percent of all the paper used by the average American in one year were recycled, 25 million trees would be saved. That makes 367 million pounds of carbon dioxide absorbed by these trees in one year.

Imagine how many trees you can save and how much good they perform for the quality of our lives by recycling all your paper.

4. Use recycled products

You may have noticed a little label “made from recycled paper” on your new notebook. The same label can be found on many other daily use items like books, paper bags, egg packaging and even toilet paper.

By choosing items made from recycled paper, you make a conscious effort to lower the demand for more timber.

Besides decreasing the need to cut more trees, your purchase is also supporting paper recycling facilities and reducing the amount of waste entering landfills. Therefore, try to purchase your next notebook made from recycled paper and the environment will be very thankful.

The same rule goes for furniture shopping. When buying a new piece of furniture, try to look first for already used pieces. You can often find real treasures for almost no cost. All they need is just a little bit of refurbishing. But this way you can obtain truly unique and personalized pieces for your interior.

5. Do not burn firewood excessively

More than two billion people around the world rely only on firewood to cook and heat their homes. Unfortunately, this often happens in poor areas where already vulnerable forests near villages and towns are cut for fuel well before they can regenerate. Such mismanagement slowly leads to their total disappearance.

Global forests suffer already a great deal of damage from our excessive consumption, when you want to make a fire in your fireplace, make sure you burn wood from sustainably managed forests that have enough time to naturally regenerate.

6. Raise awareness

Major environmental problems such as deforestation often continue to occur because of a lack of awareness and knowledge about the problem.

By educating people about the effects of their actions, such as palm oil consumption, the amount of deforestation can be reduced. Tell your friends and family about steps they can take to reduce global deforestation or show them this article.

Better awareness and education is important even in the case of farmers. Education of local farmers about optimizing their land management will ensure that less forested areas need to be cleared for farming. After all, farmers are the stewards of our lands.

7. Help restore degraded forests

Restoration of degraded forests is a challenging task that takes decades, and requires careful planning and monitoring. It is not easy, but it is necessary if we do not want to lose all our forests. What is wonderful about forest restoration is the ecosystem’s capacity to perfectly recover and give us a new chance to start once again.

8. Fight governmental corruption

Corrupt governments are often payed off by illegal logging companies to ignore their activities. Do not support corrupt politicians and systems. Reduction of corruption will go a long way towards reducing deforestation overall.

In many poorer countries, the lack of police presence and law enforcement means that illegal deforestation often goes unpunished and unnoticed for many years, even though it is destroying the country’s economy and resource wealth.


  1. Whenever we talk about deforestation, I still remember what my biology teacher told us. She encouraged us to plant a tree on our birthday.

  2. Whenever we talk about deforestation, I still remember what my biology teacher told us. She encouraged us to plant a tree on our every birthday.

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