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Earth is filled with many species of plants and animals. Around \(70 - 100\) \(lakh\) species are present on the earth. All these animals and plants together is called biodiversity. A variety of organisms are essential for the survival and well being of humanity. Biodiversity - "Bio" means life, and "diversity" means different or varieties.
Biological diversity is the variety of life forms on the earth and the interdependence of all the living things.
Forests have a various life forms that include different trees, flowers, birds, animals, and other wildlife. India is filled and is full of forests and wildlife.
Forests and its importance:
Forests are renewable resources that cover nearly \(30 \%\) of world land surface. Forests produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis and maintains the carbon dioxide levels present in the atmosphere.
Forests provide many products like timber, wood, paper, spices, natural rubber, spicescork, gum, honey, and medicinal plants. They control the surface water runoff, protects the soil from soil erosion, and regulates the changes present in the climate. They also maintain the water cycle and fulfils our freshwater requirements.
Nowadays significant cut down of forests takes place in different parts of the earth and India through deforestation.
A large scale cut down of forest trees to make the land available for different uses is called deforestation
Deforestation is seen around the globe, which poses a big threat to the forests. Forests are destroyed continuously so that the forest land can be used for other purposes. Due to the rising population, forests are cleared as there is competition for space and food.
Deforestation causes severe ecological imbalance like increased temperature, deficiency in rainfall and extinction of plants and animal species.
Deforestation is caused due to:
  1. Natural causes - forest fire, cyclone, drought and flood.
  2. Human activities - agricultural expansion, cattle breeding, mining, to construct roads, dams, houses, industries, and to obtain timber etc.