"every year felling of trees and clearing went on to make new fields"

Deforestation to clear forests to grow crops or graze farm animals has always occurred, but in recent years it has become a real problem, especially in South America, as insufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, loss of biodiversity and soil aridity.

When carried out on a large enough scale it also adds to the greenhouse effect through a reduction in biosequestration of carbon dioxide.