The thing to note about deforestation is that in real life, it doesn’t always look like a bad thing. In movies or documentaries, you tend to see the immediate, gruesome aftermath: trees reduced to stumps and a mess of roots and branches left everywhere.
But deforestation is actually taking place right under our noses. Where there was empty land filled with green forests, before you know it, the land has been flattened. Even worse, deforestation actually ends up looking like a positive thing.
Paano ‘yan nangyari? Well, one of the main reasons forests are cleared is to use the land to build farms, houses, and other land developments on. After all, a thriving civilization demands more food, shelter, and infrastructure. Trees also provide many useful materials, such as timber, bark, and resin, which makes it much easier to justify clearing them. So as the country’s population grew – and along with it, the demand for land and resources – our forests ended up paying the price.
This is what makes deforestation all the more devastating. Forests actually do a great deal for our ecosystem. They shape climate cycles, contribute to biodiversity related processes, and undoubtedly help us survive. Moreover, studies have found that these services that forests provide – like carbon storage and hydrological protection – are actually more valuable than the materials we get from trees.
Unfortunately, the short-term “benefits” we got from deforestation placed it on a higher priority compared with conservation. Through the years, this gap in prioritization has only increased, and with it, so has deforestation.