We cut down anywhere between 7-10 billion trees a year and estimates show that there are close to 400 billion trees that exist on this earth and if you do the math then you’ll know that it not such a long time before we cut down all trees, not more than two life times at best to be precise. We cut down trees for various purposes. From building homes to the paper we take notes on we need trees and a lot of us don’t mind the mass deforestation that occurs every year. Apart from the problem of trees just running out, there are tons of other problems that come with the mass cutting down of trees including soil erosion, no fresh air to breathe in, water retention in soil decreasing and so on.
Afforestation which is planting more trees or sowing seeds in a barren land to create forests is a great way to prevent the problems we discussed above. Afforestation isn’t to be confused with reforestation that involves increasing the existing number of trees in preexisting forests, afforestation involves creating completely new forests. Let us look at the benefits of afforestation and why it is important to us.
Supply of timber, fodder and fruit:
Afforestation makes sure that timber supply doesn’t stop. Timber is such a vital resource to humans that is used to make the furniture we use every day and construct the houses we live in. The more you plant now the more you reap in a few decades. Trees also supply a lot of other things such as fruits and other valuable resources that humans need, afforestation makes sure that we don’t run out of these resources and makes the use of these resources sustainable for the future.
Wildlife need forests to dwell in and without these forests most wildlife cannot survive and will slowly go extinct. In order to maintain the ecological balance one needs to plant more trees and create forests or at least keep the remaining forests alive. Afforestation makes sure that there are enough forests for wildlife to thrive in.
Prevents soil erosion:
Afforestation prevents soil erosion as the tree’s roots hold the soil together tightly and makes sure that soil stays in its place. Soil erosion is a major cause of concern as humans need quality soil to grow the crops we need and to make sure that there is enough soil to absorb and retain rain water as well as filter rain water before it reaches the ground. Soil that isn’t held tightly also can cause landslides in hilly and mountain regions.
Forests are beautiful places and every year millions of people visit forests to admire their myriad beauty. Afforestation creates new forests and through that brings in economic benefit. More trees there are, more beautiful the forests become and more people come to visit these forests. This brings in considerable tourism revenue to countries.
Stabilizes the Climate:
Planting more trees in semiarid regions is known to bring in more rain and this is also true for most other regions as well. Placed with more tress have more frequent rains. Trees also reduce the greenhouse effect and prevents warmer temperatures.
Prevents Global warming:
More trees we plant the more we reduce the greenhouse effect and this prevents one of the world’s leading problems, global warming. Global warming is the melting of the polar ice caps which leads to an increase in the sea level. Afforestation prevents such a thing from happening.
Brings more rain and water retention:
Planting more trees brings more rain and with a lot of sources of fresh water now getting polluted, rain is one of the very few ways that humans still get fresh water. Also the trees make sure that water is better held in the soil and this increases the underground water table that is accessible by wells. By taking part in afforestation one bring in more rains and also make sure that the rain water that falls down doesn’t go to waste.
Better quality air:
Trees purify the CO2 in the air and gives us the oxygen we breathe. Humans breathe out CO2 but that is not the only source of CO2 in the atmosphere as burning a number of things also produces CO2 and we burn a ton of fossil fuels every day like petrol or diesel to run our automobiles and other ones like coal to produce power that runs our lights and other electrical appliances both of which release considerable amounts of CO2. With more CO2 released into the atmosphere every day we need more trees to make sure that we have clean air to breathe.
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Afforestation refers to the plantation scheme for the new forest on the earth. It is the great scheme for developing the plantation, which is very helpful for improving the greenery on the planet.
“The branches of a tree, begin from a single seed. Welcome to life; where one decision, can affect your entire life.”
Steps to protect the forest
Under the scheme of afforestation, people should prohibit the forest fires and always do carefully supervise to protect the plantation.
Under the scheme, people have to understand the value of plantation because it is the important base of life.
Everyone have to grow many of the trees for the great nature of earth. Plant the trees in different regions and type of soil.
Schemes of the afforestation
To meet the many deficiencies of supply of wood in view of the growing demand, there are the three important schemes were undertaken, which are as follows
- Plantation of quick growing species
- Plantation of economic species like teak, sissoo, and email
- Plantations to be raised under the scheme of rehabilitation of degraded forests
There are the various plans, which understated in the scheme of afforestation.
In between 1951 to 1988, the total area of about 4.2 million hectares was brought under man-made plantation.
Rules of Central government
The Central government must set up the National Wasteland Development Board in 1985 with the object of bringing 5 million hectares of wasteland per year under fuelwood and fodder plantation with people’s participation.
Priority of the afforestation
There is some priority of the scheme has given as follow
- Establishment of decentralized nurseries
- Block plantation on community land and land of schedule cast and schedule tribe and people living below the poverty line
- Pasture development through people’s involvement
- Assistance in implementing the Tree Pata Scheme
For develop the quality of seeds a centrally, the assistance is sponsored scheme, which was introduced by the National Wastelands Development Board in 1988-89.
The tribal population and rural population have more requirement of the fuel wood and fodder, but it cannot be easy without securing the trees.
So, it is more necessary to involve the many hands for developing the tree population because without it everything is impossible.
In India, the fuelwood and fodder requirements of the rural population and the tribal cannot be met in an ad-hoc manner.
Sponsored scheme approach
To ensure an area-specific approach of fuelwood and fodder, a centrally sponsored scheme was initiated in 1988-89.
The scheme of watersheds has covered the districts included under the National Watershed Development Programme of the Department of Agriculture.
The scheme of decentralized people’s nurseries was initiated in 1986-87 for encouraging seeding production by farmers to cater to local needs of planting material.
It is the Eighth Planning schemes, which was identified by some deficiencies of the various afforestation schemes.
According to plan document, the afforestation schemes have no specific plan of action for meeting of fuel wood and fodder requirement except for the continuance of the scheme for rural fuel wood plantation, which does not directly address these issues.
Under the scheme of afforestation, fostering of people’s movement for afforestation has been done largely through increasing people’s interest in farm forestry.
The rural people and tribal people are more independent on the forest area and lands because they have not another source of their better livelihood.
So, the afforestation scheme is most important for them and all efforts of this scheme are generated for their livelihood.
Under the social forestry program, the efforts have been departmental. The rural poor and tribals who depend mostly on public and forest lands for their living have at best been given restricted access to the areas taken up for development.
There is also more movement is developed for the rural and tribal people, which name is introduced as ‘Van Mahotsava’ movement.
Under the “Van Mahotsava” movement, thousands of trees have been planted along roads railway lines and hill slopes.
The restoration of forests that had been indiscriminately destroyed is called re-afforestation. Under this scheme, two saplings are planted to replace every felled tree.
India is signatory to the following important international treaties and agreements in the field of environment, which is given below
- International Convention for the regulation of Whaling.
- International Plant Protection Convention.
- The Antarctic Treaty.
- Convention on Wetlands of International importance especially as water flow habitat.
- International Convention on International trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna.
- Protocol of 1978 relating to the international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, 1973.
- Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer.
- Convention on Migratory Species.
- Basel Convention on transboundary movement of hazardous substances.
- Framework Convention on climate change.
- Convention on the conservation of bio-diversity.
- Montreal Protocol on the substances that deplete the ozone layer.
- International Convention for Combating Desertification.
The forest is the very important factor of the life and without it, no one can take a breath, so save the environment and forest by taking a part in the scheme of the afforestation.
To develop the country, make all possible effort for save the forest because the forest is the great livelihood of the rural and tribal people, consequently, they can also live their better life without any difficulties.