Deforestation is one of the important issues of environmental change and degradation of soil. About 30 per cent of earth’s surface is covered by forests. South America, especially Brazil, West Central Africa and South-East Asia, are home to regions of dense forests.

The human pressure on forests has signifi­cantly increased in recent decades. The need for agricultural land, increased demand for fuel and commercial wood, more and more dam construction, large-scale ranching and mining along with growing industrialization and urbanization have ruthlessly exploited the forests and have in turn created chaotic conditions and severe environmental imbalances.

The main cause of deforestation is commercial exploitation of forests. Besides this, as a part of developmental drive, large dams are constructed across many rivers thereby destroying forests. The forests play a pivotal role in balancing the ecosystem or, in other words, in maintaining the oxygen and carbon balance of the earth. Forests have a multiple ecological role to play which affects all types of life in a variety of ways.