21st March 2012: World Forestry Day;
|Bhutan Forest: source linked|
This day marks the importance of the Forests. Forests has played a paramount role in the evolution of ethnological culture and shaping the livelihood of the people dwelling in close intimacy with the forests from time immemorial. Forests are the basic of life, which contributes towards environmental, economical and socio-economic development of this modern world. Thus, forests are one such creation of God, which helps the people and community meet their basic necessities for living. The world’s poorest of people rely on forests for food, cooking, heating and lighting, owing to multifarious services the forests provides in the form of timber and numerous non-wood forest products.
“Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.” Contemplated George Santayana, and as such the natural beauty of forest is a great source of inspiration for the innovative artists. It is worth mentioning here that Lord Buddha himself was born in the forest and got enlightened in the forest. His teachings were made simpler for comprehension by using many metaphors and similes from the elements present in nature and as such, rooted in the forests is the doctrine of Buddhism. Moreover, many believe that there are unseen spirits everywhere – in the earth and trees, sky and waters, rocks and forests, failing to respect them, they punish us with natural calamities. This calls for the conservation of forests from the spiritual point of view.
Life in the metropolitan city is never peaceful. There are noises of honking cars, and surrounding areas are filthy with stinking garbage. The air is polluted and water is not fit for drinking directly. A short recreational tour from their busy schedule by the side of woods would heal the entire mental trauma that the man faces in their what they ironically term luxury homes, when gush of fresh air filled with natural aroma from green trees and colourful blossoms caresses them. Added to the mystical serene are the sounds of chirping birds, rustling of leaves and flowing of pure streams. This is why a valleys adorned with natural forest rich in its biodiversity attracts many nature lovers, thus opening the scope of ecotourism.
Forests also serves as major carbon sinks and plays a crucial role in reducing the negative impacts of climate change. Looking beyond our narrow human greed, forest provides home to diverse animal species and maintains a stable and dynamic ecosystem. Furthermore, forests play an important role in prevention of soil erosion, and helps in maintaining a water cycle thus offering a protection to catchments and our agricultural lands.
However, many forest areas are lost annually due to carelessness and unsystematic use of forest resources by humans. Intentional as well as accidental forest fires engulf thousands of hectares of forest cover every year. The expansion of urban areas and road networks further adds pressure to the nearby forest areas. Excessive grazing of cattle’s trample the newly sprouting seedlings of trees rendering the area degraded. Illegal cutting of trees and exploitation of the virgin forests disturb the wildlife habitats, which compels the wild animals to come in close proximity to human settlements causing great threats of human-wildlife conflicts. Wildlife is dying and species are prone to extinction. Watersheds are diminishing and fish spawning streams are shrinking. The air we breathe is getting polluted and world is getting warmer year after year due to global warming, only because the lost forests are not replenished.
We should therefore remember that when we take away the forest, it is not just the trees that go. If the forests go, so will be the fate of the entire population who depend solely on forest for their livelihood, and the balance of the entire ecosystem will be shaken, leaving dire consequences for all of us. With the disappearing of forest, so gone will the beauty of mother earth, so we should sustain the forest by protecting it to meet the requirements of products and recreations forever.
Save our Forest to Save Ourselves.