Central Africa is home to the second largest rainforest in the world, and for that reason, it attracts great interest when it comes to matters regarding environmental issues at a time when global leaders are concerned with the conservation of rainforests around the world (Duveiller et al. 197). There is no doubt that deforestation is the biggest threat facing forests today as a result of numerous human activities.
However, even though the rate of deforestation is relatively low in this part of Africa compared to other major forest regions in the planet, the trend poses serious threats to the well being of the people in those regions. Some environmentalists in the region have expressed concern that the entire Central African region is experiencing increased deforestation as land is cleared for oil and sugar production, among other products that are becoming common in the region.
This would have the meaning that Central Africa might soon be on the verge of serious environmental consequences that can be associated with deforestation. This paper talks about deforestation in Central Africa whereby the causes, problems, and possible solutions to this environmental issue are well presented and analyzed.
The issue of deforestation in Central Africa and other regions of the world has become a key point of discussion in the ongoing debates on environment conservation across the world. There is a need to protect the rain forests from further depletion, considering the significant role these natural resources play in promoting human health and the wellbeing of their habitats.
Generally, deforestation refers to the act of getting rid of forest cover so as to turn the land into a non-forest use such as for industrial purpose and farming, among other things. Some of the common drivers of deforestation in Central Africa over the last two decades would include mining, small-scale farming, urbanization, and felling trees for energy resources (Conway 24).
Apart from the above drivers, economic and social reasons have been the major causes of deforestation in the region, with industrial logging production and conversion of forests into farming plantations being among the main factors here.
Timber industry has become a major employer in Central Africa Republic and the surrounding regions following the significant increase in logging over the last few decades. In this regard, many people in those regions tend to rely on logging industries as a source of livelihood. Local subsistence activities have also contributed to deforestation in Central Africa as poor communities who rely on farming continue to clear forest for agriculture.
Other critical threats of forest cover in the Central African region are things such as climate change, hunting of game meat, and population growth. Climate change as a result of deforestation and other factors has also contributed significantly to deforestation in Central Africa over the years (Cleaver 75).
As it would be observed, global warming is a major factor of concern in the contemporary society, considering the vast environmental problems this international issue has brought to people and ecosystems across the world. Climate change is one of the major impacts of global warming that have continued to raise serious implications on forest cover across the world (Scholze et al. 134)
Deforestation has brought many negative impacts in Central Africa and other parts of the world. These impacts include, but are not limited to, climate change, desertification, loss of biodiversity, changes to ecosystems, and increased loss of wood for industrial use. In regard with climate change, the carbons of the forest biomass in the Central African region, particularly the Congo River Basin area, have significantly gone up as a result of heavy logging and other activities of deforestation (Zhang, Christopher and Paul 208).
As a result of this outcome, higher levels of carbon are released into the atmosphere nowadays than at any other time in the past, thus contributing to changes in climatic conditions. More importantly, degradation of the Central African rain forests over the years has had a direct impact on precipitation, and this has generated a cascade of problems as far as climate change is concerned. Another problem associated with deforestation in Central Africa due to logging and overpopulation is that it has placed regional economies under great risk.
For instance, wildlife is likely to vanish as forest cover disappears, and this would mean that economies in the region will be seriously affected. Moreover, as degradation of forest continues to occur, the lives of the people of forest are threatened and endemic species that are found in the heart of the forests are endangered (Laurance et al. 128).
One of the highest deforestation rates in Central Africa was observed between 1990 and 2000, where the region lost approximately 91,000 km2 to this infamous trend (Zhang et al. 77). Given this alarming extend and rate of natural forest degradation for human activities, it is very clear that only a few large segments of undisturbed vegetation cover will be present in the next five decades.
In this regard, there is need for immediate actions to help minimize depletion of the Congo basin rainforest which is a major source of livelihood for millions of people around the Central African region. The idea of taking full control of deforestation in Central Africa is not an easy approach though, considering the presence of various factors whose long-term threat to biodiversity is of significant impact. For instance, apart from the growing populations in Central Africa, the current global demand for timber resources makes conservation efforts in the region impossible.
In order to effectively address the problem of deforestation in Central Africa, people must first of all come into terms with the current situation and be able to identify some of the key factors that have played a role in facilitating degradation of forests in the region (Laurance. et al 455). The debate on environmental issues has become a common subject matter in the contemporary society.
This, however, has raised much concern on the type of mitigation measures that should be taken in ensuring that further depletion of rain forests across the world is avoided. As a matter of fact, there is no other possible way by which deforestation can be controlled other than through improved living standards (Rudel et al. 139).
This would include things such as improved public services, more employment opportunities, better education, better infrastructure, and more business opportunities, among other priorities that would be of great significance to the society. As it has been shown in numerous empirical studies, plans about the control of deforestation in Central Africa and other regions of the world should be well integrated in the above areas if they are to be successful.
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