A Relationship Between Poverty & Deforestation in Africa


Africa, well known for its vast lands rich with sunlight, vegetation and the wild. Like other jungles, it is a home to millions of amazing species. It has also become one of the greatest advertised tourist hot spots; and people came from all over the world for the mere purpose of Safari adventure.

Forests in Africa cover about 23 percent of the land. It has been reported that 75 million hectares of forest land was converted to other uses between 1990 and 2010.

Similar to Latin America, deforestation in Africa is driven by the demand for land for agriculture and animal grazing. An added pressure on forest resources in Africa is that wood is the main source of fuel; about 80 percent of all wood used in the region is for fuel. An acute fuelwood shortage affects large areas of eastern Africa.

Why does deforestation in Africa continue to rise and why hasn’t it stopped for the past ten years considering the green movement’s focus on the matter?

Like many rich forests scattered all over the Earth, the population in Africa is among the poorest of all groups. Almost all diseases hover in their lands, and food is scarcely provided for the people. If it is still not known to you, millions of communities perish every year due to malnutrition; and about half of the statistics reveal that the critically distressed and affected nation is Africa.

Poverty And Deforestation

According to the the United Nations Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, “the global community agreed that the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation are interrelated and are often socio-economic in nature. Both the causes and the approaches to dealing with them are often country-specific and therefore vary among countries.” One of the leading primary causes listed was poverty.

Millions of people in all parts of Africa suffer from poverty, and the problem hasn’t been addressed to for many years now. About 239 million of the African population is now experiencing hunger, and these people divert to activities which can provide them with food.

Despite economic growth in developing countries, they continue to be challenged by poverty and hunger. One in seven people in the world lacks sufficient food to fulfill basic daily requirements, despite increasing food supplies worldwide. There are many reasons for this hunger, including the increasing cost of food against falling real wages and the limited access to food reserves. To meet projected food demand, the FAO estimated in 2005 that another 222 million acres (90 million hectares) of new land must be brought into agriculture in developing countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

When the African people cannot find means of getting food, they seek ways to obtain money to buy their basic needs for survival. Some of the population began to be laborers of huge logging companies while the others went to find their own fortune by cultivating plant and animal life. Thus, deforestation became a widespread solution for most of the African people; and since they are uneducated about its effects, they are not aware of their global impact.

When you see it in the bigger picture, you’ll be able to think that the problems of poverty are far from the issues of deforestation. However, when you try to see things on a smaller scale, you’ll be able to see how poverty affects the bigger world. If this would go on in years, and African nations still do not have means of responding to poverty, then deforestation would never come to an end.

How To Cut The Poverty Line

How can the African people make a real and lasting world when in fact they’re presently living in a very disturbed place? The actual question is where and how to start the changes in order to make the people survive and at the same time save the forests. Truly, big things can only be acted upon with strong movements. If the walls built are weak, then the support given will easily fall apart. Within the monetary system, people must be educated to understand how to create income and protect their lands rather than exploit them. Aid from supporting countries and proper governance is an important stepping stone.

How things can begin is a question that can only be answered by their government. If honest and true people work for the survival of Africa, then saving the nation would be greatly possible.

If proper guidance/education and aid will come, the deforestation in Africa will begin to slow down and reverse; and the chance of survival for both Africa and Earth is a promising thing to happen. Remember, the world needs better people, and one of them could be you. Change starts with you. You set an example, others will follow.

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