Pollution, climate change and the massive upheaval due to rapid industrialization and mining has resulted in the reduction of rich forest land. Sadly, we have taken the forests for granted unlike certain indigenous communities who have been forced into extinction. The movie Avatar beautifully portrays the environmental upheaval and destruction that can ensue due to the callousness of vested interests. Of course, we need to welcome the wonderful innovations that have made our life easier. However, rampant development and mining without sustainable practices and without due regard for the environment is causing turmoil and putting pressure on the earth’s fragile ecosystems. Let us discuss the importance of forests and effects of deforestation which will hopefully inspire you to become environmentally conscientious and friendlier.
- Clean air: Forests act as a natural air purifier as the presence of numerous trees ensures that abundant amounts of oxygen are released along with filtration of any polluting factors. The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also come down with the presence of adequate forest area as it is absorbed by the trees. Reduction of forest area has aggravated environmental problems like greenhouse effect and global warming.
- Prevention of soil erosion and flooding: Many environmental disasters and conditions such as desertification at one end of the spectrum and flooding at the other end of the spectrum have occurred due to destruction of forests. Without the presence of lush trees of the forests, the top soil can simply be washed away by heavy rains and eroded under the intensity of heat and weather conditions.
- Prevention of depletion of the water table and drying out of water bodies: The presence of a large concentration of trees in forests ensures that the water table is kept healthy and at optimum levels. Ponds, lakes and rivers are kept alive due to the presence of forests and their presence contributes to the water cycle and good rainfall.
These are just a few factors that bring home the importance of forests and the effects of deforestation. Think of what you can do to help protect, re-green and revive our dying forests and discuss it with your teacher and classmates.