Deforestation, related to the cutting, clearing and removal of a forest or a large cluster of trees for agricultural purposes or urban development, is a significant global issue. As a part of this the preservation of the forests is extremely important. Forests and trees support sustainable agriculture; they help to stabilise soils, regulate the climate and are home to countless insects, birds and animals. As such, there is an urgent need to assess the environmental damage to forests that is caused by human activity around the world; not only will this contextualise the problem, it could lead to the development of preventive measures that will ultimately protect forests. The main driver behind the destruction of forests is economic activity, where governments and companies see a way to boost their profits and the economy in general. Professor Shojiro Tanaka is at the Department for Information Systems in Business at Hiroshima University of Economics in Japan. His research is centred on finding effective means of assessing environmental damage in regions around the world, exploring the functional forms of man and environment.