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Lesson 04 – Deforestation

Read About Deforestation


Can you find where all the definitions are in the text?


Deforestation is when people cut down all the trees in a large area of a forest and do not plant new trees.


Deforestation happens when people cut down all the trees in a large area of a forest and do not plant new trees. Large parts of our planet were once covered with forests. In the last 200 years, about half of these forests have been cut down.

Reasons for Deforestation

  • People need trees to make lumber for construction projects and various kinds of paper products. In parts of the world where people do not have electricity, wood is used for heating homes and cooking.
  • Farmers need more land for planting crops and raising animals.
  • As cities grow larger, more space is needed for building homes, stores, and factories.
  • The land under a forest may contain valuable natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, or minerals. People deforest the land so they can mine these underground natural resources.
Deforestation is when all the trees in a large area of a forest are cut and not replaced.

What Happens When Forests Are Destroyed

  • Forest trees protect the soil from the heat of the sun. The roots of trees help to hold the soil in place. When forests are destroyed, the soil dries out and there are no roots to hold the soil in place. Then rain can erode, wash away, the soil.
  • Forests provide a habitat for many different types of plants and animals. When forests are destroyed, some plants and animals can become endangered or extinct.
  • Carbon dioxide is a gas in the air that leads to climate change. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. When forests are destroyed, more carbon dioxide remains in the air and makes climate change worse.
An image showing aspects of deforestation

By 2030, it is estimated that 90% of the Earth’s rainforests will be gone.

To learn more about deforestation, watch the video by National Geographic on Youtube.


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