Deforestation is the clearing of trees, transforming a forest into cleared land. The first step in turning the wilderness into a shopping center is deforestation.
You can see the word forest in deforestation. The prefix de- means "remove" and the suffix -ation signals the act or state of. So deforestation is the act of removing a forest. First, the trees are chopped down, the wood shipped around the world for making products. Then the land is made smooth enough for homes, businesses, or farming. Today, in many places, laws limit the amount of deforestation.