“What we are doing to the forests of the world is just a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and others"- Mahatma Gandhi
My office is located on the 57th floor of a building in New York City. It fascinates me how my boss asks me to stay grounded, well at least he doesn’t mean it literally.
Recently I am craving to be more in touch with mother nature, but I resist this urge by doing the same activities that make me forget all of those pure seconds of meditation only nature can offer.
What we have done recently as human civilization has only sped up the process of deforestation. Each year we lose a considerable amount of forests due to our need for land, for spaces, to make it available for use. One of the worst damaging actions is the damage of other forests and herbs.
Take sprawling for example. It has a lot to do with soil relief, causes species to disappear, but affects us as well. Cutting and damaging forests and herbs remove the soil quilt. By cutting the trees the ground remains naked and unprotected. The plants are the city's lungs. Damaging those plants is damage to the lungs of our cities. The plants are the loyal protectors of the earth, water, and purifier of the day.
Forests cover 31% of the surface of our planet. They produce oxygen and provide shelter for people and wildlife. Most endangered animals live in forests, as well as 1.6 billion people are dependent on the benefits provided by forests, including food, water, clothing, and alternative medicines. The direct causes of deforestation are the expansion of agriculture, the extraction of trees (burning, processing, etc.), as well as the expansion of infrastructures, such as road construction and urbanization.
Deforestation is a concern for tropical forests because these forests represent the major part of biodiversity in the world. Meanwhile, 20% of the oxygen on Earth comes directly from the tropical South American forests.
Loss of species
The loss of habitats, especially the transformation of forests into agricultural and urban areas, is the main driver of the biodiversity crisis we are facing today.
Much of this controversy comes from the fact that species in a community have different habitat requirements and so the reactions are different from the loss of local vegetation and the growth of human habitats.
But some there is still hope! Researchers have discovered that the loss of species can be compensated by preserving forest areas. In 1973, fishery and wildlife services in America, Rocky Mountain wolves were listed as endangered species in the Yellowstone National Park. From 1955 to 1997, 41 wolves from Canada and Montana were released in Yellowstone. As expected, wolves have begun to spread into these territories, thus creating a balance in the Yellow-stone ecosystem. Nowadays this is a typical example of how a single species can affect an ecosystem.
Trees also help control the water level in the atmosphere by helping regulate the water cycle. Fewer trees left, due to deforestation, have less water in the air (from transpiration) to get back to the ground. On the other hand, this causes the earth a great dryness and inability to cultivate it. Amazon, which represents more than 40% of all remaining tropical forests in the world, has been the focus of many studies on the impact of such changes on hydrological dynamics.
Scientists have estimated that one-third of the world's arable land has lost ground erosion and other types of degradation since the 1960s. Without the presence of trees, soils begin to be very vulnerable to erosions that may come as a result of strong rain and strong winds. Also, the soils begin to be drier and in the deficit over nutrients such as lack of maintenance of these two components from plant vegetation.
The environment in some ways represents the man himself. It reflects human life as an open book. Each of us, regardless of age, can do something to help slow down some of the damages. We can’t rely only on experts to solve the problems. Each of us all has responsibility for our environment. Take for example the garbage issue. It would be more meaningful to find ways in our day to day life to recycle and reuse rather than throw them away.
We must learn to live sustainably, that is, to use our natural resources that include air, fresh water, forests, wildlife, agricultural land and seas without damaging them.
There are many things we can do, to make a difference!