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Question: What are the causes and effects of deforestation in Thailand?

Gagana Yaskhi

Deforestation is cutting down trees. In 2010, the total forest area was about 18,972 hectares. In 1961, more than half of Thailand was covered in forests. But by the 1980s it was only one third of the country and it is still decreasing. That means that the people of Thailand have been using these trees a lot more than they need. The trees are being cut down rapidly. Thailand loses about 0.15% of forests per year.

Causes of Deforestation A cause for deforestation is logging of course but there is a law against it. The problem is that there is no strict security around the forests. The guards do not protect the forests well, which allows rich companies to use the trees. The companies moved to the borders of Thailand and cut down trees also in neighboring countries. Some people have illegally built houses in the forest where they use all the resources such as animals and trees. Thailand uses the trees for furniture and houses. Also, the population of Thailand is increasing which then leads to the need of more land, so they cut down the forests for more land and farm land. The King of Thailand has a different opinion. He believes greed is the cause of deforestation. "The problems stem from those who are greedy," His Majesty said. "Hardwood forests that are destroyed are difficult to recover. The blame lies with some civil servants who are greedy and crave money." The government must protect the forests and severely punish those involved in deforestation, the King said.
Effects on People

Effects on the Environment

The rapid deforestation has caused many disasters such as floods, s landsides, and soil collapses. A massive flood caused by deforestation had killed 700 people. This also affected the farming in awful ways. The forest is a main resource for food and water so without it, farming is difficult. All trees grow at different speeds so there are a lot of trees that grow slowly and are very useful. When they cut these trees, they take a long time to grow back. The trees absorb the water so the logging is causing the floods. A few years ago, the floods were especially bad because it came at excessive amounts. So, it was not able to drain into the sea quick enough. We urgently need to reduce the population in mountain areas and closely controlled land use and farming. Trees are essential to retain excess water. Cutting them down for farming has caused severe landslide. Moving people will be a good way to protect the forest, environmental expert Chuchip Kongrathok said.

Deforestation affected Thai people by floods and soil collapses. The farming has been affected a lot, also, since they grew 3 percent less crops, this year. Getting food and water for the people is very hard since the forest is a main resource for them. The floods have killed people and people had to relocate their homes to preserve the forests. When people do not live is forestry areas, they do not cut down trees. So, when they relocate people, the logging decreases. By relocating people they conserve the trees. The landslides also caused people to lose lives. But the better side of the deforestation has decreased the occurrence malaria. Except soon after, a different species of mosquito that causes malaria spread the disease once again.

I learned a lot from researching about deforestation in Thailand. I think it is a huge issue but people are acting upon it. The king and queen have been teaching and taking action by planting trees. Environmental groups have asked the government to create funds, to raise money and awareness of this issue. Thailand is planning to have stricter security and laws on people who are logging. Soon enough Thailand will have their forests restored, if they make these changes in their country.

Sources: "PressTV - Experts Warn of Massive Deforestation in Thailand." PressTV Experts Warn of Massive Deforestation in Thailand. 8 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 May 2012. <>. Thai Press Reports: Thailand: The World Forestry Day. 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 07 May 2012. <>. Thailand: Environment. World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 7 May 2012. Thai Press Reports: Thailand: King Says Greed a Factor in 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 07 May 2012. <> "Thailand Forest Information and Data." Thailand Forest Information and Data. Web. 13 May 2012. <>. Yasuoka, Junko. "IMPACT OF DEFORESTATION AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT ON ANOPHELINE ECOLOGY AND MALARIA EPIDEMIOLOGY." IMPACT OF DEFORESTATION AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT ON ANOPHELINE ECOLOGY AND MALARIA EPIDEMIOLOGY. Mar. 2007. Web. 14 May 2012. <>.