Back to: Jss3 Basic Science
Topic: Environmental Hazard II
WEEK: 5 & 6
This is a continuation of what you learned about environmental hazards. You learned about soil erosion and flooding in weeks 3 and 4. In weeks 5 & 6, you will learn about bush burning and deforestation
Bush burning is the act of setting forests, grasses and weeds on fire. Farmers usually burn bushes to clear farmland in preparation for the planting season
Practices That Influence Bush Burning
- Grass and weeds are burned during the clearing process in order to plant crops on the farmland.
- Bushes are burnt to clear the land for the construction of houses, roads and industries.
- Hunters sometimes set fire to bushes to help them get better at hunting..
- In the process of crop rotation, which means growing only one type of crop at a time on a piece of land, farmers often burn their fields after harvesting their crops to get them ready for the next planting season.
Effects of bush burning
- During bush burning, useful plants are destroyed just because they are not needed at that time.
- It causes the soil to lose humus, which can make the soil less fertile.
- Either the animals in the bush are killed or they are forced to leave their natural homes.
- Bush burning makes the land that has been cleared vulnerable to soil erosion.
- In the process, important organisms like earthworms, fungi, and bacteria that help keep the soil healthy are killed.
- Burning bushes can make crops grow less well.
- The smoke from burning bushes can be bad for the environment.
- The fire in the bush could get out of hand and damage or destroy nearby homes.
Control Of Bush Burning
- Environmental laws are meant to stop people from burning bushes without reason. It is against the law to burn bushes, and if you are caught, you will be charged.
- Controlling bushfires can be done in the following ways:
- Setting up agencies to control, stop, and keep an eye on bush burning in Nigeria.
- The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), and the National Forest Conservation Council of Nigeria (NAFCON) are some of these organizations.
- Environmental activities that could lead to a disaster are controlled and regulated by ministries of the environment.
- The government should make it against the law to burn down bushes.
- People who break the law and burn down bushes should get very harsh punishments.
- Mass media should be used to enlighten people on how to control bush burning.
Deforestation is the continuous removal of trees without replacing or replanting them. Deforestation is also the permanent destruction of forests in order to make land available for other uses. It is also the process of cutting down trees in an area called deforestation.
CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION
The following are the reasons why people cut trees:
- Removal of trees to make land available for the construction of roads, building of houses and industries, recreational centres and so on.
- Indiscriminate logging by poachers for industrial purposes like the production of paper, furniture, sculptures etc.
- Felling of trees to make wood available for domestic purposes like cooking.
- Burning of forest for hunting and farming.
- Natural causes like forest fires during thunderstorms or landslides can also lead to the loss of forest trees.
- To get timbers for their furniture, building, etc.
- To get firewood and charcoal for domestic cooking.
- To clear forests in order to construct roads, bridges and houses.
- To develop villages into towns.
Effects Of Deforestation On The Environment
- Deforestation exposes the land to soil erosion.
- Deforestation exposes the soil and this leads to loss of soil fertility and soil water.
- Deforestation destroys the natural habitat of forest animals and this can lead to their extinction.
- Some plant species are lost during the process of deforestation.
- Deforestation causes an increase in the concentration of carbon (IV) oxide in the environment which can cause global warming.
- Deforestation can cause drought which can cause a shortage of food.
- Deforestation may lead to economic loss if forest raw materials are no longer available for industry to use or export.
Ways To Control Deforestation
- Government should enlighten the populace on the adverse effects of deforestation.
- Government should decree that for every tree fell, at least one must be planted to place it.
- Government should set aside large areas of land and forests as forest reserves.
- People who go against the laws that prohibit deforestation should be severely punished.
- Planting of trees in places where they are not planted before.
- Replanting of trees to replace those trees that have been removed from the forest.
- The use of forest guards to keep trespassers away from the forest.
Importance Of Forest
- The forest provides raw materials like timber, latex, medicinal extracts etc, to industries.
- Trees of the forest help in purifying the atmosphere by removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere for photosynthesis.
- The forest is the home of many animals which provides hides and skin for us to make clothes, bags, shoes and so on.
- The availability of forests provides employment for a lot of people.
- The presence of trees slows down erosion and desert encroachment.