About 11000 ago, before Man learnt to cultivate land for growing his own food, a large part of the Earth was covered with forests. Today, six out of ten forests have been cleared, so that they now cover little more than one-fifth of the land on Earth. Destruction of forested land is called deforestation.
Deforestation occurs for
many reasons: trees or derived
charcoal are used
as, or sold, for fuel or as
a commodity, while cleared
land is used as pasture for
livestock, plantations of commodities, and settlements.
The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforested regions typically incur significant adverse soil erosion and frequently degrade into wasteland. Currently, 12 million hectares of forests are cleared anually.
Biosequestration is the capture and storage of the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by biological processes.
Because of this, merely replanting trees may not help in solving the problem caused by deforestation, for by the time the trees mature, the soil will be totally devoid of essential nutrients. Ultimately, cultivation in this land will also become impossible, resulting in the land becoming useless.
Erosion of Soil : When
forest areas are cleared, the
soil is exposed to the sun,
making it very dry and
eventually, infertile, due to
volatile nutrients being lost.
In addition, when there is
erosion, rainfall washes away
the rest of the nutrients, which
flow with the rainwater into
Disruption of the Water Cycle : Trees
contribute in a large way
in maintaining the water
cycle. They take in water
via their roots, which is
then released into the
atmosphere. A large part
of the water that circulates
in the ecosystem of
rainforests, for instance,
remains inside the plants.
When these trees are cut
down it results in the climate
getting drier in that area.
Loss of Biodiversity : The unique biodiversity of various geographical areas is being lost on a scale that is quite unprecedented. Even though tropical rainforests make up just 6 percent of the surface area of the Earth, about 85 percent of the entire species of the world exist here. Due to massive deforestation, about 50 to 100 species of animals are being lost each day. This puts the extinction of animals and plants on a massive scale.
Flooding and Drought :
One of the vital functions of
forests is to absorb and
store great amounts of
water quickly when there
are heavy rains. When
forests are cut down, this regulation
of the flow of water is disrupted, which leads to
alternating periods of
flood and then
drought in the
Climate Change : It is well known that global warming is being
caused largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere. However, what is not quite known is that
deforestation has a direct association with carbon dioxide
emissions into the atmosphere. Trees act as a major storage
depot for carbon, since they absorb
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
to photosynthesis to produce
glucose which makes up trees. When
deforestation occurs, many of the
trees are burnt or are left to rot,
which results in releasing the carbon
that is stored in them as carbon dioxide. This in turn leads to
Greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =qzK2XITThZM
Recycling : we should recycle all the thing
that are made of tree ex. Paper, bags,
furniture, etc. because it lead to the
less cutting of tree and also
the products of trees will be
Wood factories: we should stop or lessen the production in those factories that cut down trees to make their products ex. paper, furniture, etc.
• People's basic needs: we all know that the colossal cause of deforestation is people's needs from the forests. Even though we depend on the forests, we should learn to lessen our dependency on the forests and their environment. So we need to use a little of them as possible and wisely.
Paper: paper is one of the
most important things in the
world without it we can't do
almost anything. We can't
study, write, learn and a lot of
stuff which is impossible to do
without paper, but many of the forests are destroyed just to make paper out of them. So lessen your dependency on the paper and try to use as less as possible and recycle them.
Reforestation: after cutting down a tree we should plant two because this way there will be a balance of
ecosystem and the rate of deforestation will diminish.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve’s “Reforestation and Reachout” started in August 2004, with the generous sponsorship of Toyota Motor Corporation and the participation of five schools. The programme aimed to involve students in reforesting the area around the outdoor classroom and to create educational materials based on their experience. It was hard work in the beginning sourcing committed and willing activists. However, we did still manage to secure five schools willing to participate and commit at least six to eight months of their time for this project.
The area around the Outdoor Classroom at SBWR showcased the diverse habitats of the Wetland Reserve, namely the mangrove, back mangrove, secondary forest and freshwater pond.
Each of these habitats had its own uniqueness, which supported diversities
of flora and fauna. A
small spice garden
was also planted to
help the visitor link his
new experiences of the
Reserve’s plants to something
he is likely to be familiar with.
From August 2004 to November 2004, the activists underwent a series of workshops conducted by SBWR staff and volunteers. These workshops included an orientation programme to familiarize them with their respective sites and to explain the need for reforestation. Through sessions on plant drawing, public speaking and presentations, resource searching and creating educational materials, they broadened their “outreach” scope. Given a list of plants to start with, the activists were encouraged to go a step further to find out more about the ecology of the area, and the benefits of reforestation.
The session on public speaking enabled and equipped the activists with necessary speaking and presentation skills.
They embraced the message
of nature conservation –
what this wetland reserve has,
the importance of trees –
and brought forth a call to their
peers to join them for a day of
reforestation, at the Outdoor
Sungei Buloh had a good range of participating schools, both local and international, with an age range of 10 to 18 year olds. The student activists were made up of Singaporeans and a diverse group of other nationalities, which include UK, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The role of the activists was to learn first hand about reforestation and rally their friends to join them in planting a new generation of trees and shrubs at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Each school had eight activists to represent their school in this project.
“ For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold or silver.” -Martin Luther 1483~1546
Wilderness and forests around the globe are being depleted rapidly, and are becoming confined primarily to islands, parks and reserves. The health of our planet’s forests will depend on how well we manage and protect the few remaining areas we have left. Forests are not only sanctuaries of wildlife, but of the human spirit. Every tree adds vibrancy, colour, magnitude, and they are vessels of health and vigour. Please, for the sake of man’s future, do contribute.
❤ HuiXuan (for bringing lots of snacks to my house during the meeting!)