Table of Contents
What is Afforestation and Why do we Need it?
The process of creating a forest by planting trees in the barren field is called afforestation. Most of the time people get confused between the two terms- “afforestation and reforestation”. Well, reforestation is a process of planting the specific trees in a native forest which are gradually reducing in numbers.In simple term, afforestation is a process of creating a new forest whereas reforestation is a process of increasing the number of trees in a native forest. Below, we will discuss both advantages of afforestation with its disadvantages.
Our planet has come to a very critical condition due to the usage of natural resources, constantly cutting of forests for constructions, contamination of air, water etc. by human beings. Global warming and climate change are the major effects caused by industrialization, pollution, damages of natural resources etc.
Till now we have studied a lot about saving our planet but now the time has come to implement all those theories what we have studied till date. We all need to work together to save our planet & the living organisms too that can be done by increasing the natural resources. Afforestation is a step towards this effort to save the Earth. Many countries are implementing the concept of afforestation to save the environment.
Importance of Afforestation
As we know that afforestation is a process of transforming an unused land into a forest, hence this process has a great importance to the biodiversity. Afforestation is important to solve the problem of imbalance in the ecology, global warming, soil erosion, greenhouse effect etc. Afforestation actually helps in purifying the environment. it starts from sowing the seeds and continues till the trees are completely grown. The complete care has to be taken in the process of afforestation. This process protects from desertification of huge lands.
The human needs have increased with the increase of population and then the exploitation of environment have started in various ways such as industrialization, use of forest lands for agriculture, mines, advancements of the civilization etc. All these advancements are going on at an extreme rate and the situation of our ecosystem has come to an alarming situation. Now we need to resolve this problem by accepting afforestation to save our environment.
How Afforestation Occurs?
When an array of trees is planted in a barren land then Afforestation occurs to create a new forest. If we compare the process of afforestation with reforestation then we will come to know that planting of trees in the process of afforestation will be carried out through artificial methods, but reforestation is the simple process of planting trees in a forest area either by a natural or artificial method. In the artificial process of afforestation, the planting of trees happens with a sapling from nurseries directly using the seeds.
Is Afforestation playing any role in dealing with climate change?
Afforestation is undoubtedly playing a significant role in climate change. Afforestation reduces the level of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which helps in climate change. The level of carbon dioxide in the air is directly related to the number of trees. If there are fewer numbers of trees, the level of carbon dioxide will be more in the air and vice-versa. As we know that afforestation is a process of creating a new forest, hence it can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and ultimately reduces pollution.
What are the Advantages of Afforestation?
Afforestation increases the number of trees on Earth by creating artificial forest land. Afforestation helps in reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Apart from this, afforestation have many other advantages that have been discussed below-
- Solve the problem of climate change
One of the main reasons that affect climate change is a greenhouse effect. Afforestation helps in treating the problem of the greenhouse effect through the process of photosynthesis performed by the trees. It is a big contribution of afforestation in climate change.
- Solve the problem of wildlife habitats
If we talk about the wildlife, trees are the main source for anything i.e. it provides shelter, provides protection, provides food etc. to wild animals. Afforestation not only provides all this to help the wild-life animal but also upgrading our ecosystem to function properly.
- Solve the problem of soil-erosion
We all know that the roots of trees help in binding the soil and cutting of trees is one of the main reasons of soil-erosion. Afforestation increases the number of trees and hence resolves the problem of soil erosion.
- Solve the problem of timber & charcoal by increasing the supply
There are also commercial advantages of afforestation. The companies perform afforestation in order to source timber & charcoal from trees. Apart from this it also offers job opportunities and increasing the wood products which improves the local economy.
- Enhances the production of food & fodder
Afforestation also helps in the increase of food production. Along with it creating a new forest solves the problem of grazing by providing the fodder facility to the cattle.
- Provides better scope to Cottage Industry
The huge amount of raw material is required for cottage industry. Afforestation provides the raw material to uplift the scope to cottage industry such as sports products, baskets, furniture, paper industry, match industry, pencil making, house building etc. and many more.
- Provides employment
Afforestation is a huge process that requires many working hands, hence huge numbers of labourers are needed to perform different tasks such as soil digging, sowing seeds, weeding, watering plants etc. It provides employment to poor people and helps them as a source of income.
- Helps in conserving the rainwater
The trees play an important role in the conservation of rainwater. As per the present scenario, conservation of water is a very important need of man. The afforestation process helps our environment in various ways such as conservation of rainwater, stopping the precipitation and releasing the water gradually in the form of springs etc.
- Helps in reducing desertification
One of the type of land degradation, typically a desert where all bodies of water, wildlife and vegetation drops or started decreasing. Reasons include deforestation, drought etc. Afforestation helps in removing it.
Apart from the advantages mentioned above, afforestation also helps in decreasing the desertification, decreasing pollution, helps in bringing rain on time, reduces the effects of Global Warming, controls acid rain etc.
More advantages of afforestation are:
- Afforestation increases greenery.
- It creates new forests that play an important role in maintaining proper balance in the environment.
- Afforestation also increases water resources for agricultural activities.
- It helps to improve the quality of air.
- Afforestation helps to deal with global warming.
- Trees help to maintain a proper balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Trees help to maintain the temperature of the planet.
- Afforestation helps to fulfill the requirement of food for many tribes.
- It helps to upgrade the biotic and abiotic components of the environment.
- Afforestation helps to protect endangered species by providing them natural habitat.
- Afforestation also helps to reduce the effects of drought.
- Trees perform a vital role in the regulation of the water cycle.
- Afforestation helps in the conservation of wildlife.
- Forests are a beautiful place for those who want to spend some time in the lap of nature. Forests attract tourists across the world to view astonishing landscapes full of amazing sceneries.
What are the Disadvantages of Afforestation?
We have discussed the advantages of afforestation above. It helps in many ways to the environment and ecosystem. Well, afforestation also has some disadvantages such as-
- Afforestation can affect our biodiversity
Reduction in bio-diversity is a huge drawback of afforestation that can be occurred due to poor management. The grassland of the artificial forest may not get the same habitat required for its growth & survival. It may also cause the reduction in stream flow, mismatch of the environment for local species etc.
- Afforestation may also bring ecotourism issues
If ecotourism is the reason for afforestation then you must be ready for the ecotourism issues that arise with it such as littering & misuse of wild-life.
Disadvantages of afforestation also includes:
- Expensive procedure as it requires more manpower to perform various jobs.
- If trees do not get proper space while growing, it may cause damages above and below ground levels.
- Trees need proper maintenance to grow. Fruit trees require more maintenance to grow.
Conclusion of Afforestation
Afforestation is no doubt a positive practice to save our environment and our planet. This process is definitely providing a lot many benefits to Earth & its ecosystem. Well, afforestation has two aspects- advantages & disadvantages as discussed above. Now it’s your turn to make an opinion about afforestation by analyzing both the aspects (advantages of forestation & its disadvantages), whether it is good for us or not and should we accept it or not.