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Deforestation is a global phenomenon caused by a variety of factors. These factors range from large-scale slash and burn practices to unsustainable agriculture to daily community forest destruction.
The regions most impacted by deforestation are highly poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas. With few options to support their families, often members of impoverished communities are forced to destroy their local environment to survive, such as cutting down trees for construction, fuel, heat, and agricultural purposes. While this solves a short-term problem, long-term consequences arise when forests are cut down and not restored. The impact of deforestation is dramatic because it causes severe flooding, erosion, and desertification. The long-term effects of deforestation lead to even worse environmental devastation.
There are two key elements to successful reforestation. The first element is that reforestation must present a benefit to the local population. Due to the unsustainable relationship between the land and people, communities suffering from deforestation are often the same as those living in extreme poverty. It is essential to be committed to and work alongside local villages and communities to achieve a successful and longstanding reforestation effort. Eden Reforestation Projects utilizes its Employ to Plant methodology to benefit members in the local communities where we plant. Through steady employment, people living in extreme poverty can begin to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.
The second critical element rests in funding. Without donors, business partners, and grants, there is little hope for successful and impactful reforestation.