The Environmental Issues Of South Africa

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For many years, Africa as a continent has struggled to gain the momentum required to keep up and compete with its neighboring continents. However, things have changed in the last few decades for many African countries in terms of positively making great strides towards achieving better standards of living. Unfortunately, these improvements require incredible amounts of input in order to yield higher output and evidently, much of the input required can be extracted from forests. However, the environmental issues lie in the fact that much of the forests are being cleared for commercial and industrial purposes to accommodate the desired improvements. Consequently, along with the attempt to improve standards of living, various environmental…show more content…
What is deforestation and why is it such a problem in the Southern African region? In the simplest words, deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses. Given this definition, it can be understandable that deforestation causes harm to the environment by the defining detail that it is not a small scale temporary action but rather, the permanent destruction of forests. Nevertheless, it is fair to inquire on why the South African region continues to indulge in such high levels of deforestation even after taking the severe calamities into account. Therefore, what causes the worrying levels of deforestation in the Southern African region? The common reasons include: making more land available for housing and urbanization to accommodate for the high fertility rates, to harvest timber for the creation of commercial products (paper, furniture and homes), to create ingredients that are highly prized consumer items (oil from palm trees) and to create room for cattle ranching. With the primary methods of deforestation being the burning and cutting of trees specific to the region, the land is too often left completely barren and in worrying conditions despite the nourishment available to the land provided by the ash of the trees. In addition, the result of burning the trees/shrubs
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