DEFORESTATION is the act of forest clearing for agricultural, logging or urban development. Deforestation alters climate, vegetation and animal ecology.
In Malaysia, trees are logged for their high economic value.
Non-sustainable forest opening or development has led to environmental problems, namely soil erosion, landslides and flooding.
In such situations, biodiversity vanishes if no initiative is taken to preserve or nurture it.
When trees are removed without management or monitoring practices, more carbon dioxide is released into the air.
Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, ranging from six per cent to 17 per cent.
A large portion of this caused by illegal logging.
Keeren S. Rajoo, a PhD candidate from the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, said deforestation that focused on high-value species could cause the selective clearing of important tree species.
These are often large, long-living, seed-producing trees. This loss of structural, habitat and seed sources will leave forests less stable and productive.
Also, canals and trails are often made to cut deep into forests. This results in lowered water levels and increased human access into forests, which can expedite illegal hunting and other destructive activities.
The most widely accepted cause of illegal logging is profit. Illegally-harvested timber is more profitable as there is no expenditure on obtaining certification or taxation.
Reports have shown that half of the trees illegally removed from forest are used as fuel.
This is true for forests that