Understanding the importance of reforestation is crucial. The world we live in would not be the same if it weren’t for the forests spread across the globe on every continent because they play a vital role in our survival.
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Importance of Reforestation
With an increased population, land use is also increasing rapidly. We are clearing forests for agricultural lands, plantation forestry, and building cities.
Besides restoring forests, preventing excess greenhouse gas emissions and reversing biodiversity loss are the primary aims of reforestation.
And the reason why we should grasp the importance of reforestation; here are some stats that describe the criticality of the situation.
According to a report by FAO, in the last two decades, about 80 million hectares of forests have decreased.
Besides, if we see the scenarios of deforestation, in the past 10,000 years, humanity has destroyed about one-third of its existence.
The demand for free land is increasing as the population increases. And as per the estimation of the United Nations, the global population will continue to grow up to 10.8 billion by 2100.
These all show why we should be serious about our initiatives.
One of the factors is that they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen which is our means of survival. If it weren’t for the forests, we would have been extinct from this planet long ago.
Despite how vital trees are to our existence, we still destroy trees recklessly because we fail to think that we will deforest the world one day if we keep doing it the same. This will result in no fresh air to breathe, and we will be responsible for it.
Now let’s understand what is reforestation? It is the process of replanting trees in fields destroyed by humans or some natural calamity to restore the environment to its natural form.
Deforestation occurs when green trees are harvested and used for purposes unrelated to forestry. This creates an imbalance in the environment and makes the environment inhabitable for both humans and wildlife.
People worldwide are now coming together to support this initiative to regrow trees. In recent years, they have become more aware of the importance of reforestation. They are helping to plant more trees on lands that have lost all their natural ability to regrow trees that have been severely affected by deforestation.
Both passive and active reforestation can replenish the critical impacts of deforestation.
Importance Of Reforestation in Our Lives
- Global warming, which results in the melting of the polar ice caps and a rise in sea level, is just one example of how the world around us is rapidly changing in an unfavorable manner.
- Ozone layer depletion allows the sun’s harmful rays to enter the earth’s atmosphere and damage it. Our planet is facing a crisis, and we are the cause of all the damage; it is up to us to restore the earth as it was decades ago. Our need for demand and supply has cost us our resources and has brought this planet to the verge of extinction.
- Only through reforestation can we save the earth. It has been proven to be the only solution to all the problems related to the environment. Over the years, some animal species have already become extinct due to the climate change around the world as the changing climate forces animals to come out of their habitat and migrate to someplace safe; This caused a lot of loss in biodiversity.
- The emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the major causes of the greenhouse effect. Its increasing amount in the air is making the atmosphere unbreathable to everyone.
- Because of deforestation, metropolitan cities face some of the worst climatic conditions. There is pollution from industries that produce harmful smoke, pollution from vehicles, and garbage burning within the city. Here the importance of reforestation arises as plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. They also help in precipitation which reduces the temperature of the surface.
- Forests help convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, making the air fresh and breathable. They also reduce the effect of other harmful gases present in the atmosphere.
- When planned reforestation is done in a particular area, it reduces the chances of global warming, and this is only achievable through reforestation. The amount of carbon emission in our environment is very harmful. When deforestation occurs, the hazardous effects of this gas rise; plants control this problem; hence, reforestation is vital for our existence.
- Animals’ habitats are the most affected when destroying the forest in the name of development, so it makes our duty to restore their natural habitats. The reforestation process makes it possible to create homes for wildlife animals and endangered plants.
- Active reforestation is planting trees at places with trees before but turning them into other land types.
- In some places, active reforestation has been in progress for reasons such as riparian plantings to reduce stem pollution, upland plantings to reduce salinity and soil erosion, increasing the biodiversity of the native place, and also plantations for timber.
- Further, some other importance of reforestation includes fixing the links between existing forest patches, gene flow and adequate population size of the native groups.
- Another benefit of reforestation includes balancing all the biogeological cycles of carbon, nutrients, and oxygen in all mediums.
Understanding Afforestation vs Reforestation
Apart from the importance of reforestation, we need to understand afforestation vs reforestation. Although both serve almost the same purpose, still there is a slight difference between them.
- Afforestation means the plantation of trees on barren land, which was already empty and unfertile, to convert it into a new forest-covered land. This is becoming very popular in urban areas where people are taking this initiative into their own hands and making things change for the betterment of society.
- Reforestation means replanting trees on a piece of land that was previously covered with trees but somehow lost its vegetation and trees due to human interference. Many NGOs undertake this initiative worldwide to make the climate the same as it was decades ago and repopulate the lands with forests as before.
On 21-March-2016, the International Forest Day was declared, which had been done to create awareness about the problem of deforestation increasing worldwide.
Even the Secretary-General of the United Nations had expressed his thoughts on the rapidly cutting down of trees. The points outlined by him are global climate stability, encouraging projects of afforestation in every country to make the planet habitable for all types of plants and species.
Both afforestation and reforestation are important to populate our earth with forests which is crucial to prevent further climate change issues.
Trees can store atmospheric carbon from CO2 to soil and vegetation for further usage. However, improper or unsustainable practices can lead us to further degradation of existing forest ecosystems.
Besides the soothing effects on global warming scenarios, afforestation and deforestation help us avoid the degradation of soil and protect biological hotspots and other natural resources like water.
Advantages of Reforestation
- When there is deforestation in the area, the soil loses many minerals and resources. It makes the soil more prone to erosion. Now, because of reforestation, the roots of trees hold the soil tightly and prevent it from eroding; This prevents the soil from losing its essential mineral and makes it more fertile.
- Trees absorb water and hold rainwater through roots and leaves, which prevents the atmosphere from drying out.
- Rainfall is also widespread in the region where there are more trees as they release water vapor into the environment, which accounts for more rainfall in that region.
- Another benefit of reforestation is that trees if used in a steady state, are also a good source of income for the people of that region. There are various occupations related to making paper from trees and providing employment to the local villagers of that region but remember to regrow again.
Furthermore, there are advantages to restoring large and old trees, including habitat building, critical environmental cycle management, and sequestering and storing carbon.
Increasing forest areas at places also has a high impact on people’s health. Besides, reforestation helps reduce air and water pollution, decrease energy costs, increase food security, and increase the sense of community and safety.
Important Guidelines on Achieving Reforestation Systematically
- Reforestation requires a lot of research through scientific technology. They require a study to be conducted first to acquire helpful knowledge of the weather condition of that region that needs to be covered through reforestation.
- Information may contain details about the condition of the soil of that region, and the types of trees, plants, and vegetation that can flourish easily in that landform; by going through such details then, only it is achievable to restore the land back to the forest.
- For example, fast-growing production species have no biodiversity value but can withdraw carbon faster than the planting of native mixed species.
- Further, reforestation has different benefits and consequences in riparian zones and up-slope areas. And also, harvested plantations are less likely to be considered than permanent restoration plantations.
- There has been a lot of change since the issue of forests has been widespread worldwide. Many initiatives at a large scale are now launching to stop the deforestation process.
Earth is made habitable from resources we get from forests. By destroying these forests, we are creating problems for ourselves and destroying many wildlife species along the way.
So, we would like to encourage you all to understand the importance of reforestation deeply and planting more trees. Whenever there is a need for reforestation, come forward and create awareness about the problem of deforestation our planet is facing. Make the earth’s resources replenish and safe for consumption.