Presentation on theme: "Remember - “you and I can decide the future”"— Presentation transcript:
1 Remember - “you and I can decide the future” E-Weekly-5/10Green Earth MovementAn E-Newsletter for the cause of Environment, Peace, Harmony and JusticeRemember - “you and I can decide the future”G E MFORESTSAREGREENLUNGS
2 We all have an inherentunderstanding that ourlives are better becauseof forests.People heal faster whenthey can see trees outthe hospital window.People willingly pay much more for a home withmature trees. Forests are called the “lungs of theearth”, and work against climate change. There is a purifying and moderating role for trees and forests related to water that is more important now than ever.
3 Forests are essential to our survival and well-being Forests are essential to our survival and well-being. Forests clean our air, our water, our soil and they regulate our climate, amongst many other things. Trees and forests are not always associated with urban landscapes. However, there too they provide invaluable, often invisible, services. Simply by acting as 'green oasis' in our concrete jungles, they offer recreation and health services for many.
4 How many of us love strolling through parks and green spaces in cities, tending our gardens and filling our homes with green plants? Access to green environments makes us happier and our bodies healthier. Scientific studies show that urban forests and greenspaces help improvephysical health andmental well-being.With more and morepeople living in urbanareas, trees, forests and green spaces mean more than ever before.
5 A. BENEFITS OF FORESTS1. Forests Absorb and store carbon – Because trees absorb carbon dioxideand turn it into wood, wherethe carbon stays bound upfor hundreds or eventhousands of years, livingforests are an important partof the earth’s climate system.Growing trees soak up CO2from the atmosphere and store it in their trunks, roots, leaves, and forest soils.
6 2. Home to people – Three hundred million people around the worldactively live in forests and dependon them directly as sources of food,medicine and livelihoods.3. Source of jobs and livelihoods – More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend onforests to some extent for theirlivelihood, according to the FAO. Some60 million indigenous people arecompletely dependent on forests forall aspects of their survival. And about10 million people are employed inforest management and conservationaround the world.
7 4. Wood for furniture, lumber, firewood and other products – In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, many local communities sustainably harvest mahogany and other wood, as well as chicle, which is used to make chewing gum. Panama hatsare actually made from anunderstory palm from thecoastal dry forests of Ecuador.In total, about 30 percent ofthe world’s forests are usedfor production of wood andnon-wood products (such as food, resins, medicines, etc.).
8 5. Habitat for mammals, birds, insects – Forests are home to almost half of the world’s species, with some of the richest biodiversity found in tropical forests. Insects and worm help cycle nutrients through the soil. Many rare andendangeredspecies, such asorangutans,gorillas and pandas,depend on densepatches of isolatedforest.
9 6. Preventing flooding – During times of heavy rainfall, lowland forests such as those in floodplains help to absorb water and slow flood flows, preventing damage to soil, property and buildings. Lowland forests such as the blackwater swamps of the Southeast are also spectacularly beautiful habitat for a wide range of wildlife.
10 7. Conserving soil and water – Trees are an important part of the watercycle. By helping slow runoff andallowing water to filter into the soil,they can preserve groundwatersupplies that are important both topeople as drinking water and to fishand other aquatic life in nearbystreams. Trees also help hold soil inplace, reducing erosion by both waterand wind. Deforestation in Inner Mongolia plays a role in dust storms that afflict Beijing and other East Asian cities. China has embarked on an ambitious reforestation effort in part to alleviate these problems.
11 8. Regulating regional climate – When trees are planted in cities, they can help to ease the “heat island” effect and provide cooling shade for homes and buildings, reducing energy usage for air conditioning in the summer. When planted strategically, they can provide effective wind barriers. Large forests also play a role in weather and rainfall patterns and micro-climates. For example, the Amazon rainforest creates conditions that result in regular precipitation for lands to the south that are productive agricultural areas and are thought to even enhance rainfall in the Great Plains of the United States.
12 9. Natural beauty – Trees and forests are sources of human inspiration and enjoyment – even from afar. Trees area symbol of life, and inour modern times, ofa movement to sustainthe environment thatall people depend upon.Polling by The NatureConservancy shows that more than 90 percent of Americans report that trees give them a feeling of peace and tranquility.
13 10. So we can put trail blazes on something – The establishment of protected areas and parks often allow for development of trails for hiking, snow sports, and bird-watching, providing people who live outside of forests with a refuge for recreation, tourism, and educationalactivities. Walking in aforest can be a source ofspiritual renewal for many(stillness broken by thewhispering of pines, thecall of an owl or the rustlingof a small animal through brush and dried leaves).
14 B. CAUSES FOR DELCINE IN FOREST COVER 1. AGRICUTURE:About 60 per cent of theclearing of tropical moistforests is for agriculturalsettlement. Millions ofpeople live on the tropicalforest with less than a dollara day where a third of abillion are estimated to be foreign settlers. However, as the land degrades people are forced to migrate, exploring new forest frontiers increasing deforestation. Deforestation is proxied by the expansion of agricultural land. Thus agricultural land expansion is generally viewed as the main source of deforestation.
15 Forest and other plantations: Plantations are a positive benefitand should assist in reducing therate of deforestation. The fact thatplantations remove the timberpressure on natural forests doesnot translate eventually into less,but rather into more deforestation.Indeed, it is feared that agricultural expansion which is the main cause of deforestation in the tropics might replace forestry in the remaining natural forests. The impact of timber plantations could thus turn out to be quite detrimental to tropical forest ecosystems . Tree crops and rubber in particular plays a more important role in deforestation in Indonesia than subsistence-oriented shifting cultivation. Moreover plantations can promote deforestation by constructing roads that improve access of the shifting cultivators and others to the forest frontier.
16 3. Logging and fuel woodLogging does not necessarily cause deforestation. However, logging can seriously degrade forests . Logging in Southeast Asia is more intensive and can be quite destructive. However, logging provides access roads to follow-on settlers and log scales can help finance the cost of clearingremaining trees and preparing landfor planting of crops or pasture.Logging thus catalyzes deforestation .Fuelwood gathering is oftenconcentrated in tropical dry forestsand degraded forest areas. Fuelwood is not usually the major cause of deforestation in the humid tropics although it can be in some populated regions with reduced forest area such as in the Philippines, Thailand and parts of Central America.
17 4. OvergrazingOvergrazing is more common in drier areas of the tropics where pastures degraded by overgrazing are subject to soil erosion. Stripping trees to provide fodder for grazing animals can also be a problem in some dry areas of the tropics but is probably not a major cause of deforestation. Overgrazing are causing large areas of grasslands north of Beijing and in Inner Mongolia and Qinghai province to turn into a desert. Animals remove the vegetation and winds finished the job by blowing awaythe top soil, transforming grasslandsinto desert. When a herder was askedwhy he was grazing goats next to a signthat said “Protect vegetation, nograzing,” he said, “The lands are tooinfertile to grow Crops — herding is theonly way for us to survive.”
18 5. FiresFires are a major tool used in clearing the forest for shifting and permanent agriculture and for developing pastures. Fire is a good servant but has a poor master. Fire used responsibly can be a valuable tool in agricultural and forest management but if abused it can be a significant cause of deforestation .
19 6. MiningMining is very intensive and verydestructive. The area of land involvedis quite small and it is not seen as amajor cause of primary deforestation.Mining is a lucrative activity promotingdevelopment booms which may attractpopulation growth with consequentdeforestation. The deforestation rate due to mining activities in Guyana from 2000 to 2008 increased 2.77 times according to an assessment by the World Wildlife Fund-Guianas . Similarly, in the Philippines, mining, along with logging, has been among the forces behind the country’s loss of forest cover: from 17 million hectares in 1934 to just three million in 2003 or an 82 per cent decline.Nyamagari hills in Orissa India currently threatened by Vedanta Aluminum Corporation's plan to start bauxite mining will destroy 750 hectares of reserved forest. Massive and unchecked mining of coal, iron ore and bauxite in Jharkhand, India has caused large scale deforestation and created a huge water scarcity.
20 7. Urbanization/industrialization and infra-structure Expanding cities and towns require land to establish the infrastructures necessary to support growing population which is done by clearing the forests. Tropical forests are a major target of infra-structure developments for oil exploitation, logging concessions or hydropower dam construction which inevitably conveys the expansion of the road network andthe construction of roads in pristineareas. The construction of roads,railways, bridges, and airports opensup the land to development andbrings increasing numbers of peopleto the forest frontier. Whethersupported or not by thegovernmental programmes, these settlers have usually colonized theforest by using logging trails or new roads.
21 8. Air pollutionAir pollution is associated with degradation of some European and North American forests. The syndrome is called “Waldsterben” or forest death. In 1982, eight per cent of allWest German trees exhibited damage that rose to about 52 per cent by and half of the trees reported dying of Waldsterben in the Alps. High elevation forests show the earliest damage including forests in the north-east and central United States.
22 9. Wars and role of the military It is well established that militaryoperations caused deforestationduring the Vietnam war andelsewhere. More recently, linkageshave been documented between the civil war in Myanmar and the timber trade between Myanmar and Thailand. Myanmar regime sells timber to the Thais to finance its civil war against the Karen hill tribe. Forest destruction in El Salvador has resulted from war. Apart from military involvements in wars, the role of military in deforestation has been documented in Southeast Asia and South America. The authors also observed that role of powerful military in Brazilian politics are a major cause of Amazonian forest destruction.
23 10. TourismNational parks and sanctuaries beyond doubt protect the forests, but uncautioned and improper opening of these areas to the public for tourism is damaging. Unfortunately, the national governments adopt tourism for easy way of making money sacrificing the stringent management strategies. Further, many companies and resorts who advertise themselves as eco-tourist establishments are in fact exploiting the forests for profit. For instance, the Chilapatta Reserve Forest is opened for eco-tourism for its ancient ruins deep in the forest and a tree species Myristica longifolia that exudes a blood like sap when injured. The site has become apopular eco-tourist destination becauseof the ruins and for this blood exudingtree. In the whole forest only eightindividuals were found but two of thetrees in the near vicinity of the ruinscompletely dried away due torepeated injuries caused to the plants by the curious tourists. In fact, in the name of eco-tourism, infra-structure development is taking place mostly be the private players in these wilderness areas which are further detrimental to the forests.
24 DECLINE IN FOREST COVER Forests cover 31 percent of the world’s land surface, just over 4 billion hectares. (One hectare = 2.47 acres.) This is down from the pre-industrial area of 5.9 billion hectares. According to data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, deforestation was at its highest rate in the 1990s, when each year the world lost on average 16 million hectares of forest—roughly the size of the state of Michigan. At the same time, forest area expanded in some places, either through planting or natural processes, bringing the global net loss of forest to 8.3 million hectaresper year. In the first decade of thiscentury, the rate of deforestationwas slightly lower, but still, adisturbingly high 13 millionhectares were destroyed annually.As forest expansion remainedstable, the global net forest lossbetween 2000 and 2010 was5.2 million hectares per year.
25 The World Rainforest Movement’s ‘Emergency Call to Action for the forests and their Peoples’ asserts that “deforestation is the inevitable result of the current social and economic policies being carried out in the name of development”. It is in the name of development that irrational and unscrupulous logging, cash crops, cattle ranching, large dams, colonisation schemes, the dispossession of peasants and indigenous peoples and promotion of tourism is carried out. Harrison Ngau, an indigenous tribesman from Sarawak, Malaysia and winner of the Goldman Environment Award in 1990 puts the cause of tropical deforestation like this, “the roots of the problem of deforestation and waste of resources are located in the industrialized countries where most of our resources such as tropical timber end up. The rich nations with one quarter of the world’s population consume four fifth of the world’s resources. It is the throw away culture of the industrialized countries now advertised in and forced on to the Third World countries that is leading to the throwing away of the world. Such so-called progress leads to destruction and despair”! Such a development leads to overconsumption which is the basic underlying cause of deforestation.
26 TO CONCLUDE WITH A QUOTE “What an irony it is that these living beings whose shade we sit in, whose fruit we eat, whose limbs we climb, whose roots we water, to whom most of us rarely give a second thought, are so poorly understood. We need to come,as soon as possible, to a profound understanding and appreciationfor trees and forests andthe vital role they play,for they are among our best alliesin the uncertain future that is unfolding.” ― Jim Robbins
27 This educational PowerPoint Presentation (editable) is prepared by GEM Team (courtesy: internet).For other similar GEM PowerPoint Presentations on various environmental issues see next slide.These PPTs may be downloaded from our websiteOr visit GEM FACEBOOK
28 Eco-friendly Religions Happy Green Diwali Zero GarbageSolar Energy -(Darkness to Light)Junk FoodTwenty Tips To Save NaturePlastic – a boon or bane?Green PassionSoft drink – A Health HazardWaste to energyRain Water HarvestingEco-friendly ReligionsHappy Green DiwaliClimate ChangeThe future of BiodiversityGenetically Modified FoodsWaste Water TreatmentGive thanks, Give Life (Body, Organ, Tissue Donation)Organic FarmingWaste to cooking gasReduce, Reuse. RecycleProtect MangrovesSay NO to Bottled waterSave Lakes and Ponds Forests are green lungs