14 Apr Forests Matter
Forests matter to most living organisms on earth, more especially humans. Besides the obvious gains of food, fruit and timber resources we enjoy from forests; the water we drink, paper we write on, and medicines we take come from forest resources.
Forests, from its deep brown earth to its thick dense canopies, keep our planet healthy and alive. Every single different species of plant form found in the forest have a definite role to play in the biological and ecological chain of the forest. So does every animal, big and small, even the microscopic small; and water bodies.
Together, forests provide the exact balance life needs to thrive. A sparse area of land with scanty trees have its ecosystem balance disturbed, you probably hear only a few bird chirps and insect creeks. However, in a dense proper Forest area, you hear a symphony of all forms of life creatures singing (cooing) together in harmony.
The soil in the former are easily leached. Whereas, you find the soil in the latter, richly dark brown & teeming with different life forms such as earthworm, mushrooms & the likes. Forests serve barriers against erosion, landslides, and avalanche of natural disasters.
The roots of trees gives the soil the structure it needs to retain rain water and absorb excess of it, thus preventing flood and top soil run-offs from rain water. Forests are our most important buffer against climate warming. Trees take in the excess CO2 produced by humans for their respiration and food production. They give us clean air, clean the drinking water in our rivers and attract the rain we need to grow food.
Some animals take their food and shelter from specific tree species. Once they are depleted in a forest area, the animals migrate to find greener pastures wherever they can. With all the importance of forests to us, we haven’t learnt to treat forests well. Over 80% of Forests have been wiped out since human’s existence on earth.
Efforts geared at reforestation shouldn’t count re-introducing mono species to a degraded forest as reforesting it. Mono tree cultures does not enrich the soil and mop-up carbon as dense forest areas, hosting diverse tree species and animal species would. Every second, the world loses about a football pitch portion of Forest area, because we are not conscious of living in tune with nature.
In the Olokemeji reforestation project sponsored by IITA, the Nigerian Breweries Plc and Ogun State Ministry of Forestry, over 200 tree species native to the environment will be replanted to bring back birds, monkeys, and many other living creatures native to the land, to remake and recover it into the dense forest that it once was.
This year, with everyone around the world, let us protect our: Forests for Sustainable Production and Consumption. Protecting our forests should be everyone’s corporate and individual responsibilities. You can do so by:
– Raising at least one tree in your lifetime! Two is better. More is fine.
– Supporting associations and groups that promote trees conservation course.
– Choose green buildings (to build with wood instead of steel and concrete.)
– Take more Forest awareness courses and spread the work too.