We are only beginning to see and suffer certain experiences that our previous
generations never had to contend with, and also to slowly understand the full gravity of
the slew of climatic and topographic changes that have begun to overwhelm our planet.
With the breakneck pace at which former forest lands are being turned into industrial
and residential complexes, we are witnessing some of the most destructive weather and
natural phenomena that had not been seen by our species in the last few centuries.
Global conferences are constantly churning out evidence about, and research-based
analyses repeatedly warn us of the condition we are driving our planet towards, with our
current practice of senseless exploitation of natural resources. Significant and
irreversible damage to our natural flora and fauna has already been done, and some
fear that most discussions about the subject will be futile in a decade. So what can be
done, if time is against us?
Our planet can only be saved by the efforts and goodwill of people who truly believe that they can make a difference. The solution begins with giving back to our planet the first things we wiped out from its surface – the forests. Essentially, our first and primary line of defence comes from the reforestation of the earth. It is only by taking that step that we can reduce and combat the serious damage inflicted by deforestation and consequent climate change.
At its core, the loss of forest cover caused the release of carbon stored in plants and soil, and changed the planet’s topography. However, reforestation is known to be the best carbon sink, and will ensure we begin to retrieve some bit of what has been lost. Further, we stand to gain a host of other benefits including a healthy wildlife habitat, clean water and carbon sequestration that can directly counter the negative effects of greenhouse gases. Pioneers have come up with innovative ways to infuse reforestation methods into our day-to-day lives and in urban spaces, with processes that can be undertaken in simple ways by determined individuals.
Our goal from here on is to introduce you to certain sure-fire techniques, adopting which will help all of us combat this massive threat that our planet faces. But before we begin our journey towards reforesting the planet, let’s try to understand a few essential data points about the green behemoths we lovingly call forests. They act as a primary source of food, medicine and energy for more than a billion people around the world. Apart from that, they host a massive amount of the planet’s biotic gene pool, a priceless commodity that is essential for humanity's future endeavours.
Forests tend to flourish in areas which get adequate rainfall. Estimates say that the world’s forest area decreased from 31.6 per cent of the global land area to 30.6 per cent between 1990 and 2015. While that pace has slowed somewhat, the rise in world population and rapid urbanisation have already begun to trace an ominous picture for forest cover in the future.
Forests are divided into 3 main types: