Summary: Deforestation and Precious Ecosystems

Summary——————–Overview——————–Solutions

Keeping our forests, peatlands, grasslands, parks, and other green areas intact is vital if we want future generations to have at least the same quality of life we have now. They capture carbon dioxide and toxic emissions, while providing food and habitats for animal species worldwide.

Every day, deforestation weakens food security and causes biodiversity loss in ecosystems around the world – but that’s an understatement. Our unsustainable habits are modifying the Earth’s living conditions so quickly that we’re making the planet unlivable for the vast majority of species. We’re not talking about simple biodiversity loss here, we’re referring to the Earth’s 6th mass extinction that is already well under way.

Deforestation also releases billions of tonnes of GHGs every year, thanks to our unsustainable farming practices. Not only does land use conversion release the carbon previously stored in biomass and soil, it also inhibits further carbon sequestration. Additionally, deforestation is destroying multiple ecosystems at once through climate change, by disrupting climate cycles. Lastly, habitat loss due to deforestation is responsible for increasing human-wildlife contact, which can prove harmful for both humans and wildlife.

Urban green spaces can also help filter pollutants and improve air quality, all the while reducing the likeliness of floods in densely populated areas. These advantages can help large cities save hundreds of millions of USD every year.

While terrestrial ecosystems are extremely important, there are other MVPs out there. Numerous marine ecosystems provide similar advantages that forests do, if not better ones. Oceans, like vegetation, also help sequestrate around 25% of CO2 emissions. Alas, their ecosystems are being destroyed at alarming rates as well.

Mangroves and coral reefs are 2 fantastic ecosystems that many people depend on for survival. They will only become more important as time goes on, since they mitigate climate change effectively – and for free. In addition, we’ll need to be more algae-friendly in the future, since they’re fantastic creatures that provide O2 to the marine world – but can become agents of destruction in polluted habitats.