Judging by the increasing rate of deforestation, one can clearly make out that the desire of sustainable development is only a concept that remains in theory, which is rarely implemented practically. Certainly, some exceptions do exists, but on the greater scale, we are only going after the development, without making it sustainable.
What do we mean by Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is the development where the present population fulfils its own needs, without compromising the sustainability of our future generation. One should not think solely about self, but it is us on whose actions the condition of the future generation will depend.
Forests:The Lungs of Nature
Forests, which are also referred to as ‘Woods’, are the lungs of the nature. For past many centuries, humans are making good use of the forests in various ways. Earlier, the “homosapiens” used forests as their home, and also obtained food from it, living in harmony with the other creatures who dwelled in the same region. As the human race evolved, they methodology changed. Man started making furniture and other articles from the wood, provided by the trees. Speaking of the present century, the rapid evolvement of the human race has brought drastic changes in the nature’s functional cycle, and certainly it is not a good sign.
We now not only make use of wood for furniture, but it also also used for the following purposes :
- Dry wood of certain species of trees is used as fuel
- Rare species of trees are the source of expensive furniture
- Plants are also cut down for their medicinal properties
- Wood logs are used as supports in construction sites
Listed above are few of the major requirements of humans for which trees are cut down. We now see the forests as a source of income. Thinking this way is not wholly wrong, but then do we give a thought about replenishing the forests by planting new saplings in place of the trees we chop down?
The answer is NO. After our purpose is served, the land is abandoned and slowly it turns into barren land. The reason behind this irresponsible action can be cited differently by people having different point of views. Some people do not attempt to grow back trees as it may be pose a cut in their profits, some may feel its not their duty, and some may simply ignore it.
What the Experts Say
Many people sometimes feel like bringing a change in this system, but most of the time their inner rage is short – lived, and they come out with no practical results. But some people willingly devote their life to the study and analysis of out natural environment. A common term for people specialising in this field is ‘environmentalists’.
Environmentalists think that the planet earth is being abused by the humans. Socialists say that the increasing deforestation is global problem, which can be solved by a series of legal enactments. On the other hand, environmentalists do not see things from this point of view.To support this statement, we can consider the example of the Brazilian Amazon forest, whose deforestation rate has increased by six times as compared to the year 2010-2011, despite the promises and efforts of the government to curb this practice.
The nature experts say that the cutting down of trees is a global problem and is not because of social ignorance. The governments of all nations are very well aware of the scenario, still they ignore this issue purposely. The woods serve the economy of nations, and the farmers, and rural families solely depends on the forests for their living. A well cited reason for this increses rate of deforestation is the increasing demand of people. As the population is increasing at an un – controlled rate, the demands for food, fuel and shelter is increasing tremendously. Also, urbanization is further fuelling this demand, and people look for expensive articles rather than doing away with the common ones, as they feel that it will reflect their ‘social status’.
Effects of Deplenishing Woods
As forests are being cut down rapidly, it poses a threat to many other factors which supports life on earth. To name a few, they are:
- Climatic Change : The rainfall in a region is drastically affected as the trees are cut. The land faces a threat of getting converted into completely barren land, and the inhabitants of the region, which includes both humans and animals, are compelled to rehabilitate somewhere else. Dry, hot lands also leads to forest fires. The presence of pollutants in air increases as the natural filters i.e. the trees are cut down.
- Health Issues : The pollution increases, which leads to health issues in humans as well as animals. Problems like flu, respiratory disorders, vision problems etc are already on the rise in urban areas, where green – zones are very limited.
- Loss of biodiversity : As the forests of a region disappear, so does the flora and fauna. Many local species of plants become endangered or sometimes, even extict. Animals are driven out of their natural homes, and they end up either in sanctuaries, or are killed sometimes. Natural habitat of the region is completely destroyed.
- Soil destruction : As we all are aware that trees hold the soil around it firmly, and prevent its erosion during heavy rainfall. As the forests are destroyed, the soil gets easily eroded, and land turns arid. It may lead to floods in times of heavy rainfall, which again causes its own damage.
What needs to be done?
Well, efforts are not only required at the community level, but also at the individual level. As the inhabitants of the planets, it is the role of every individual to think for the development of our nature, rather than thinking only for the materialistic development. One must spread awareness about the problems related to deforestation, in every way possible. With the advancement in technology, conveying messages has become easier than ever before. People can make groups and distribute as well as plant young saplings at suitable places.
Private companies and governments must renovate the forests after they cut down the trees. Habitat destruction should be removed at the roots. Population control policies should be implemented in all nations, similar to the initiative taken by the Chinese government.
Such basic steps are enough to accomplish the dream of a healthy development and to curb the deforestation rate, provided we follow these smallest steps regularly and systematically.One must know that “woods” do not mean wood, but it symbolizes “a healthy and peaceful living”.