The Forests of Tomorrow: Plant a Seed, Grow a Tree
Sep 27, 2021|15Life on Land
Did you know the world's forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants, and insects? So not only are forests the inspiration for books and mystical fairy tales, but they are magical places filled with unique life and diverse ecosystems.
However, according to the United Nations, between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas due to deforestation and land being claimed by cities to build more housing. This is why the UN introduced Goal 15, Life on Land. This goal looks to promote sustainable management of all types of forests, stop deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase reforestation globally.
Faced with the climate and biodiversity emergencies, the United Nations has declared 2021-2030 as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The goal is to work hard to reverse centuries of damage to forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems. Getting it right will be vital to putting the planet back on a sustainable course.
Deforestation, also known as forest clearance, is when we remove trees and forests to make space for non-forest use structures like farms, houses, or urban development.
Deforestation has been increasingly growing since the 1960s by human development and population growth. As a result, deforestation has negatively affected natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate for decades.
Primary Causes of Deforestation
- Agricultural Activities: to grow vegetables and cereals
- Livestock Ranching: Livestock is responsible for about 14% of global deforestation. Farmers often clear the land by cutting down trees and burning them to raise livestock and grow food.
- Illegal Logging: cutting of trees in none authorized areas to produce firewood and use it as fuel, and in some cases, to supply the high demand for wood by wood-based industries such as furniture, paper, etc.
- Urbanization: making more houses, malls, schools, and roads.
- Mining: Oil and coal mining requires a considerable amount of forest land.
- Forest Fires: hundreds of trees are lost each year due to forest fires around the world. It happens due to hot summers and milder winters. Fires, whether caused by man or nature, result in a massive loss of forest land cover.
Research shows that lands managed by local communities suffer less degradation. To empower local communities, we must recognize the right to a healthy environment and create better laws, infrastructure, and financial aid to facilitate this.
Does your school or community offer any opportunities to plant trees in nearby areas? If so, why not get involved and help the planet one tree at a time. And if there aren't any current local tree-planting events, why not start your own? Start small with friends and family in their gardens and homes and see how many trees, bee-friendly flowers, and plants you can all plan together.
Reforestation: Ecosystem Restoration
Reforestation is when communities intentionally restock existing forests and woodlands that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. In simple words, it is when we actively and purposely plant trees.
Restoring ecosystems via reforestation is an excellent (and fun) solution. Not only does it slows climate change, but it often brings back lost biodiversity - that is, insects and animals back into living in those areas. However, trees are most likely to thrive in places where they are used to growing naturally. For this reason, it is usually best to plant trees that are natural to the area you are reforesting. It also helps the ecosystem thrive naturally and keeps invasive plants or animals at bay.
Video: What is Ecosystem Restoration? Take a look
Thinking Cap On
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, between 31 October and 12 November 2021. In there, world leaders will have the opportunity to accelerate progress towards the Goals by stepping up their efforts to fight the climate crisis.
Head over to the United Nation's Voices for Change website and record your message. Do you want more trees planted? Do you feel we can do more? Have your say.
The leaders of today want to hear the voices of tomorrow.
Alternatively, make a little video with your parent's permission and tell us what changes you expect to see for the world to be more sustainable. Then share it with us on social media, tag @diproinducafoundation.
We love to see and hear your contributions and ideas for a green and sustainable future.