Sunday, January 17, 2016
By Anton Antonio
January 18, 2016
I have often been asked this question: “If you were to recommend just one initiative or solution to the different environmental problems, what will it be?” After a three-year academic study in environmental science, I’ve come to realize that environmental problems are so diverse and multifarious that conceptualizing a single cure-all solution will practically be like formulating a single pill (a “wonder drug”) that could cure all conceivable medical problems of man. It’s a tough call but there should be one. I would always answer, often automatically, “reforestation”.
Here is a researched material that supports reforestation as the generic solution to most environmental problems. “Reforestation is the natural and intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the sir, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forest facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvest for resources, particularly timber. The term reforestation is similar to afforestation, the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodlands or forests that may have existed long ago but were deforested or otherwise removed at some point in the past. Sometimes the term re-afforestation is used to distinguish between the original forest cover and the later re-growth of forest to an area. Special tools, e.g. tree planting bar, are used to make planting of trees easier and faster. Forests are an important part of the global carbon cycle because trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. By removing the greenhouse gas from the sir, forests function as terrestrial carbon sinks, meaning they store large amounts of carbon. At any time, forests account for as much as double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Even as more anthropogenic carbon is produces, forests remove around three billion tons of anthropogenic carbon every year. This amounts to about 30% of all carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Therefore, an increase in the overall forest cover around the world would tend to mitigate global warming. There are four major strategies available to mitigate carbon emissions through forestry activities: (1) increase the amount of forested land through a reforestation process; (2) increase the carbon density of existing forests at a stand and landscape scale; (3) expand the use of forest products that will sustainably replace fossil-fuel emissions; and (4) reduce carbon emissions that are caused from deforestation and degradation.” (Wikipedia)
A honest-to-goodness reforestation program, however, will never work as long as the illegal harvesting of timber and other forest resources remains unchecked. At present, there are sufficient laws that protect forests… it is, however, in the aspect of enforcement that epic failures happen. The continued illegal harvesting of forest resources will render useless any effort at reforestation.
Thoughts to promote positive action…
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Wikipedia, (2016). “Reforestation”. Retrieved on January 18, 2016 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reforestation