Heading into at the United Nations climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, two of The Nature ConservancyБs leading forest experts,
and, sat down to brainstorm their list of Бtop 10 reasons why forests matterБ (in no particular order). Absorbing and storing carbon Because trees absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into wood, where the carbon stays bound up for hundreds or even thousands of years, living forests are an important part of the earthБs climate system. Growing trees soak up CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their trunks, roots, leaves, and forest soils. Home to people and depend on them directly as sources of food, medicine and livelihoods. Source of jobs and livelihoods More than 1. 6 billion people around the world depend on forests to some extent for their livelihood, according to the. Some 60 million indigenous people are completely dependent on forests for all aspects of their survival. And about 10 million people are employed in forest management and conservation around the world. Wood for furniture, lumber, firewood and other products, many local communities sustainably harvest mahogany and other wood, as well as chicle, which is used to make chewing gum. Panama hats are actually made from an understory palm from the coastal dry forests of Ecuador. In total, about 30 percent of the worldБs forests are used for production of wood and non-wood products (such as food, resins, medicines, etc. ). Habitat for mammals, birds, insects Forests are home to almost half of the worldБs species, with some of the richest biodiversity found in tropical forests. Insects and worms help cycle nutrients through the soil.
Many rare and endangered species, such as orangutans, gorillas and pandas, depend on dense patches of isolated forest. Preventing flooding During times of heavy rainfall, lowland forests such as those in floodplains help to, 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. Conserving soil and water Trees are an important part of the water cycle. By helping slow runoff and allowing water to filter into the soil, they can preserve groundwater supplies that are important both to people as drinking water and to fish and other aquatic life in nearby streams. Trees also help hold soil in place, reducing erosion by both water and wind. Deforestation in plays a role in dust storms that afflict Beijing and other East Asian cities. has embarked on an ambitious reforestation effort in part to alleviate these problems. Regulating regional climate When trees are planted in cities, they can help to ease the Бheat islandБ 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, 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. Natural beauty Trees and forests are sources of human inspiration and enjoyment Б even from afar. Trees are a symbol of life, and in our modern times, of a movement to sustain the environment that all people depend upon.
Polling by The Nature Conservancy shows that more than 90 percent of Americans report that trees give them a feeling of peace and tranquility. 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 educational activities. Walking in a forest can be a source of spiritual renewal for many (stillness broken by the whispering of pines, the call of an owl or the rustling of a small animal through brush and dried leaves). Do you have your own reasons why forests matter? Please tell us in the БcommentsБ section below. Frank Lowenstein is climate adaptation strategy leader at the Nature Conservancy (Image: Winter snow fall in the woods of the Saint John River watershed. Image Credit: By Amy Vitale. ) We depend on the forests for a number of resources, which is why it is so important that we do all we can to conserve the trees and plants that we still have. Forest conservation has become a worldwide concern. If you want to know more about how you can do your part, it will help to know about the types of forest conservation that is necessary for each type of forest. The places that are of great concern these days are the tropical forests, and there are several different types. The most popular type, perhaps, is the rain forest, the largest of which still remain in places like Brazil and Malaysia. However, about one and a half acres are lost every second of every day.
This is due to humans using the trees and natural resources there for industrial purposes. Pollution and air impurity has a lot to do with why certain plants no longer grow properly in the rain forests. It is also important to learn about forest conservation if you are planning on purchasing land or having a home built. This is another reason why trees are always being cut down, which in turn reduces the oxygen supply on the earth. So, as you are planning, be sure to choose an area that will not require you to damage the ecosystem around you. According to forest conservation experts, we lose 137 plants, insect, and animal species every day because of the damage that we are causing to the rainforest. This means that 50,000 species are permanently lost every year. This not only means that some animals are no longer in existence, but also indicates that possible cures for severe diseases are also lost. It has been proven that about twenty five percent of Western medications are derived from plants that grow in the rainforest. However, less than one percent of these plants have actually been tested before the medication is put on the market. Doing small things like buying recycled paper to write on or use in your computer printer will help tremendously, and you can also invest in a shopping bag made of cloth so that you do not have to ask for paper bags for your groceries each time you shop. Using recycled paper towels and toilet paper will help with forest conservation as well. Even recyclable building materials will help you to do your part to preserve parts of the earth that are disappearing daily.