To counter the ill-effects of deforestation across the world, reforestation projects must be encouraged. The former refers to the permanent cutting down and removal of tree species in a specific site to make space for something else’s development. Deforestation involves the clearance of the land for grazing or agriculture or using the timber from the trees for the purposes of manufacturing, construction, or fuel.

Why must reforestation efforts be beefed up?

As per the World Wildlife Fund, forests take up over 30% of the planet’s land surface. They offer medicine, fuel, and food to more than one billion people on Earth. Globally, forests give over 13.4 million people jobs in the wildlife and forest sectors, and there are about 41 million people that have jobs associated with forests. In short, forests are a valuable resource. They also largely underdeveloped acres of land that can be transformed for activities like grazing and agriculture.

In North America alone, approximately 50% of the forests prevailing in the Eastern region of the continent were permanently cut down for farming and timber between the 1600s and the later part of the 1800s, as reported by National Geographic.

Reforestation efforts are essential today as it combats pollution and absorbs the harmful greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by human factories and other associated activities. In its absence, deforestation will cause irreversible harm to the planet.

How can deforestation bring about the doom to the planet?

Contrary to popular belief, deforestation causes more harm than good. Forests dominate sites right from high-altitude regions to the tropics. They serve as a home to more than 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. According to the World Bank, they contain a wide diversity of animals, trees, microbes, and plants. There are, again, some uniquely diverse sites. For instance, the tropical forests present in New Guinea that house over 6% of the globe’s species of animals and plants.

How can deforestation affect future generations?

Forests are more than a haven for a diverse collection of healthy living organisms. They are a valuable resource for humans as well. In nations like Uganda, individuals rely on several tree species for charcoal, timber, and firewood. The unfortunate news today for this nation is Uganda has lost about 63 percent of its forests. Families here send girl children to forests to collect firewood, and they need to trek farther into the forest to find trees. The collection of this firewood takes the whole day. The children miss school and remain uneducated for the cause.

Reforestation efforts need to be encouraged and practiced by people across the world. As per a FAQ report in 2018, about three-quarters of the planet’s freshwater is sourced from forest watersheds. Deforestation affects the quality of water badly, and this will affect the global population adversely if not checked. Humans need water not only for consumption, bathing, and cleaning. Water is needed for industrial and agricultural use. If reforestation projects do not increase, plants, animals and humans will be the worse sufferers on Earth.