Deforestation in the Amazon rain forest. credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources:World Deforestation

  • Deforestation is the cutting down of trees without replacing them.
  • The most important role forests play in sustaining people’s lives is being threatened by the rapid disappearance of the world’s forests.
  • In 2009, most of the world forests were in 10 top countries: 1) Russia, 2) Brazil, 3) Canada, 4) United States, 5) China, 6) Australia, 7) Congo, 8) Indonesia, 9) Peru and 10) India.
  • World annual deforestation is estimated as 13.7 million hectares a year, equal to the area of Greece.
  • The Amazon on of the world’s largest rainforest is also being destroyed.
  • Some of the reasons why the world’s forests are fast disappearing, particularly in the poor communities of the developing countries are:
    1. Increased demand for wood fuel as population growth rates accelerate.
    2. Increased demand of wood-related raw materials in industries, both at home and abroad.
    3. Increased demand for urban expansion as more people in developing countries leave the poverty stricken rural areas for the cities.
    4. In developing countries urban population increased.
    5. Increased demand for farmland, industrial activities and large-scale agriculture as population growth increases.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page