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Understanding deforestation

Deforestation refers to the process of clearing or removing forests or woodlands, typically done for more agricultural land, or urban expansion. It involves the permanent destruction of trees and the conversion of forested areas into non-forested land.  A key distinction to note is that deforestation occurs when a forested area of land is cleared and the land use changes. The impacts of deforestation are far-reaching.


There are serious environmental repercussions from deforestation. Trees are essential for preserving ecological balance and controlling climatic patterns. They release oxygen, which is necessary for both human and animal life, and absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Permanent forest clearing interrupts this natural process, raising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and decreasing oxygen production.


Here’s how deforestation affects climate change and the role of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in addressing this issue:

Artist impression of deforestation

Impact of Deforestation on Climate Change

Trees and forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and storing it in their biomass and soil. When forests are cut d