Deforestation is the clearing of the trees. This is usually committed due to illegal logging and industrialization. Most of the land areas are converted into commercial and residential buildings. There are countries that are committing deforestation: Ecuador, Haiti, Nepal, North Korea, Indonesia, Ghana, Benin, Philippines, Nigeria and Honduras. Most of this countries are covered by forest but have drastically deforested over the years. Not only that there is deforestation, no trees are planted back to the land where there was.
To prevent the effects of deforestation, afforestation may be done. Afforestation is the planting of the trees in a land that has never been planted before. It is very rare for afforestation to take place. In the world today, most lands are used for industrialization – housing projects. Also, lands are classified into agricultural or commercial. Most of the lands were good for agriculture, until the nutrients of it are used; then it is converted into a commercial land. At present, because of the continuous booming of the population, there are less land areas that may be afforested. However, there are some countries who have done afforestation.
Ireland has only ten percent (10%) of forest. Their government subsidizes the forestry one hundred percent. This means the citizens are encouraged to build forests that is paid by the government but the forester must follow the standards of the government in order for it to be qualified under its subsidy. The grant is for 15 years and is income tax free.
India also has passed a law called Compensatory Afforestation Fund. This was drafted in 2015, and the bill plans to spend $6.2 billion to increase the forest cover from 21.34% to 33%.
For afforestation to take place, it needs study and process because the land may not be suitable for planting. Nonetheless, afforestation is done prevent soil erosion. Soil erosion happens when the topsoil wear away due to water or wind. The plants keep the soil intact; hence the soil is prevented from eroding.
There is a process to afforestation. Most importantly is the soil survey. The soil must be studied in order to know what kind of plants may planted in it. Next step is the biomass survey. Here the species that may live in the prospective forest is determined. This is to know what needs to be done to protect the ecology that will be created. The seedlings are first prepared before actually planting to the actual site. Afforestation takes a while before the society will benefit from such.
Our forests are important to protect the Earth from the effects of global warming. Deforestation is one of the main cause why the effects of it are increasing every year. No trees are absorbing the carbon dioxide emitted by the society. There are also no trees that will serve as a shade to the land. Flood will continue to damage the cities because there are no trees holding the water coming from the mountains affected by the deforestation. Worse than the flooding are the soil eroding whenever there are strong rains that may cause deaths of people.
The effects of the global warming is increasing and the planting of the trees takes time. There are several NGOs and government entities who are giving importance to the forest. This is by putting stringent policies with regard to the cutting of trees and planting back the forests. More than action, the government must educate the society of the importance of the forests to prevent the damaging effects of the deforestation.
India and Ireland has already set the best example for the rest of the country. The number one catalyst of the forestation is the government.
Since the human expansion began, we have always cleared some forest for our needs. Biodiversity remained. With agriculture, larger areas were cleared for our domestic plants and then we found we needed industry. With the recent advent of opencast and cities with dormitory cities, the woods with which we might have grown up are finally lost. Whereas developed countries have recreational forest, none of this is ancient in many countries. Biodiversity has been lost. Only well-wooded regions such as Sweden boast some original species mixtures, while the lucky Americans of both hemispheres have only been destroying their habitats for a few hundred years. For thousands of years, only forests that could be used for hunting or some royal pastime or other were preserved in any rational way. The "New Forest" of William the Conqueror is now the oldest forest in England, while true ancient forest, such as the Americans have, is restricted to truly tiny areas in the far north of several countries.
Mountains unfortunately don't support large trees, otherwise we could count on high areas for some protection from us. Europeans tended to live originally on hills to avoid the lowland forest, so we decimated even those few high places that could have been conserved in modern times. Later, in the 15th century, the tree was the basis of all of that magnificent colonisation and warring on every continent, by virtue of naval power. (6000 oaks per ship were required by Nelson's navy.) There is no point in blaming our ancestors. Whether we can rebuild forest in a natural state is doubtful in many regions where so many species of fauna and flora have been lost.
By far the most serious aspect of deforestation is the destruction of tropical rain forest, where crops can quickly provide profit. The trees can also be profitable of course, as in Indonesia where toilet paper is being made from trees, removing the last refuge of Sumatran tigers there. Really valuable trees such as teak have been replanted in some countries. Thailand has many new golden teak plantations. This hardly compensates for the sites that can be seen as you fly over the remnants of rainforest.
Everywhere, oil palm and industrial farming is taking the pristine plants and their attendant rare animals. The Amazon is the largest example of sheer exploitation. With the murders of Mendes and, recently, Ribeiro, apparently by ranchers, in nature reserves in Brazil, the take-over by large scale farming, loggers mining corporations and ranchers is inevitable unless the powerless government changes.
It seems that deforestation is more about politics than any other conservation issue. When first brought to notice, the response to deforestation was to reforest areas, not always in the same place. The afforestation was often unsuitable, with Sitka spruce where Scots pine had been taken and varieties that local organisms could not adapt to. Very few animals live in some of the dark, dense forestry projects in some European countries. Habitat has been lost forever.
Ancient forests and the huge trees that dominate them still remain. Unfortunately their only role seems to be in a small national Park, preserved rather than conserved as a large ecosystem. Scotland still has stands of ancient pine that are nostalgic to view. All the native species that survive there remind you of a tropical forest. But these few stands are being enlarged slowly so we may gain back the forest that wild areas deserve. The Countess of Sutherland long ago condemned her crofters to poverty and emigration (to America), but she also condemned her own trees, with the introduction of the industrial farming of the 19th century - sheep!
Elsewhere, these lessons have to be learnt. The few remaining large trees in South East Asia can be seen standing, lonely, in mountain areas, with National Parks attempting to protect them. But if you build a golf course nearby, will you attract more Japanese tourists? Perhaps the worldwide regulation of natural areas is the only imaginable, but draconian solution. Loss of trees to desertification (and heavy soil erosion as a result) is a problem not confined to the usual African Sahel examples.
This is an African mangrove that has been used to preserve shoreline when coastal erosion threatens. However, many birds, fish, crabs and other invertebrates live among the aerial roots in the foreground, making this ecosystem one of the most valuable on a coast. Few realise its importance until the negative effects of mangrove removal force a rethink! - African mangrove image via Shutterstock
Water shortages on every continent are building up, and Africa cannot expect to regain desert, once lost. Trees of course make for a much damper climate, the water being essential both for us and the rest of the environment. The loss of rights for people is an alternative to this loss of this planet's resources on such a gigantic scale. With the intrinsic global warming implied by such destruction of carbon, international action is already forcing replanting as carbon offset programmes. More trees and their forest soils especially, absorb more carbon and store it long-term. This is termed biosequestration, as described in the landmark Kyoto Protocol.
We also need to study how each tree, in each habitat influences other species and the whole environment. Mangrove species are a unique but salutary example, where such worldwide losses have occurred, that, in Senegal, 6 million have been planted. This preserves coastal villages that have long been protected by the maritime mangrove.
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