Importance of Forests
Forests are a great gift of nature. The wealth of forests is useful in many ways. Forests regulate the climate and help in rainfall. They help in the control of environmental pollution.
Wood obtained from forests is used in various industries and for making furniture. Forests are the shelter of wild animals.
Forests are also useful from an environmental point of view. Forests also prevent soil erosion. Rainwater washes away the useful soil, due to which the problem of soil erosion arises.
Forests make the climate and weather favorable to life by converting them into chemical cycles. Trees take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen.
They maintain the environmental balance of the earth by controlling the atmosphere.
Destruction of trees for agriculture, wood, fuel, and human settlements, for animal enclosures is called deforestation or deforestation.
Impact of Destruction
Scientists estimate that 130,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforests are destroyed every year due to deforestation. It has made the following effects all over the world:
1. Many species of animals have become extinct due to lack of homes.
2. Fewer plants means less photosynthesis. Less photosynthesis means less oxygen is produced and less carbon dioxide is taken out of the air.
3. Forest is a temporary environment where survival depends on the rapid and relentless reproduction of nutrients. Once a forest is destroyed, the nutrient cycle is broken.
The humus is not removed and the soil soon becomes infertile and eroded. Without rain, forests are not able to re-establish themselves. The land is not even fit for agriculture.
4. Destruction of rain forests by state and international timber companies in Indonesia and Bornean has killed thousands of species of plants and animals.
Animals have been put in danger. This has increased the risk of flooding and millions of Asian people are on the brink of increasing starvation.
5. Deforestation of the world’s tropical rainforests may contribute to the greenhouse effect in two ways:
(i) Trees are burnt to clear the land, they release a large amount of carbon dioxide. It is the main greenhouse gas. It is estimated that more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is released by burning forests.
(ii) Loss of trees and other plants means less carbon dioxide is absorbed by the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Deforestation completely increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
With increased levels of carbon dioxide, more heat is trapped near the Earth’s surface, resulting in global warming.
Wildlife includes plants, birds, animals, and other elements that live in natural habitats. All the components of the biosphere depend on each other through the balance of the atmosphere.
Many species of birds and animals have become extinct due to human activities and many are rare and endangered.
Causes of Extinction of Wildlife
1. Habitat Destruction:
With the population explosion and increasing need for resources, forests were cleared for agriculture, habitat, and animal feed. Deforestation has stunted the growth of wildlife.
2. Hunting and Poaching:
Animals are killed for food, feathers, fur, hides, horns, and teeth. Hunting is the main reason for extinction.
Air, water, and soil pollution spread by various industries badly affect animal health. harmful chemicals; Such as DDT and dieldrin destroy many useful insects and affect wildlife.
Steps to Save Wildlife
1. Biosphere Conservation Centers have been established in representative ecosystems to preserve genetic diversity.
2. Special efforts have been made to protect the threatened species.
3. The period count is continuous.
4. National parks and sanctuaries have been established to preserve wildlife in its natural condition. National Park, for its flora, wildlife, and natural beauty. There is a safe zone. A sanctuary is a protected area for endangered species.
5. In 1973, the Government of India launched a special program ‘Project Tiger’, many national parks and sanctuaries have been established as protected areas for tigers. Due to this project,
their population has increased from 1700 in 1973 to more than 3000 in 1999. Today there are 50 tiger reserves in India where tigers and consequently the entire ecosystem are protected by scientific measures.
Threatened species of plants and animals are those which are so rare that they will become extinct soon. IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) monitors many animals and brings out the Red Data Book, which lists the rarest plants and animals.
Species information is available.
Many government and non-governmental organizations such as IUCN WWF and UNESCO and many non-governmental organizations are also working in the effort to protect the threatened species.