Forests are important. We learnt this in school, college and even on social media, but we seem to have forgotten all we were taught. Sir David Attenborough is probably really disappointed in us. Since today is World Wildlife Day, we decided to shed light on the home to almost all the world’s wildlife. To remind you (and us) of why forests are essential and need to be protected at all costs, we decided to list the most important and literally life-altering reasons we need to conserve them. The importance of forests holds a major spot in the United Nation’s Sustainable Developmental Goals, and if the UN is prioritising their conseveration, we definitely need to as well.
We all know that forests are home to many plants, animals, bugs, birds and bacteria, but did you know that they house nearly 80% of them? 80% of terrestrial wildlife lives in forests, and if we do things to destroy them, we will actually render 80% of the earth’s terrestrial wildlife homeless. How cruel would that be? We’ll answer that – extremely.
Forests are made up of plants, trees and a whole of of green flora and foliage. This alone elevates the importance of forests as it means they give out tons of oxygen. A single deciduous tree can provide oxygen for nearly 10 people. If we didn’t have oxygen to breathe, we would not be alive. Forests literally give us life! Furthermore, with the massive carbon footprint we have created and extent to which we’ve polluted the air, we need forests more than ever. The whole world should not be like New Delhi.
Trees take water from the soil, which evaporates as moisture. These tiny droplets of moisture are carried to surrounding areas where they condense as rain. Additionally, trees also emit little particles like pollen and fungal spores which eventually form clouds, also bringing rain. Forests located near coasts also play a major role in drawing in water from the sea or ocean next to them to regulate rainfall. This is extremely important especially today, where the rates of drought are increasing worldwide.
Forests protect us from a whole bunch of natural disasters like floods, soil-erosion, landslides and drought. This is one of the biggest points advocating the importance of forests. If it weren’t for forests, the movie 2012 may have become a reality and there would be no massive emergency ships to save us.
Forests are vital in our fight against global warming, so much so that loss of forests has contributed to nearly 18% of the global warming today. Trees have a cooling effect and can be nearly 20 degrees cooler than cities and bare land. Plus, they take in a lot of carbon-dioxide which majorly helps reduce not only global warming but also air pollution. So yes, we need forests desperately if we don’t want the earth to become a complete toxic waste-land.
Over 2 billion of us rely on forests to survive. Our ayurvedic medicines, homeopathy, cosmetics, paper, furniture, and most importantly our food comes from forests. They sustain our lives by giving us essential raw materials, without which we would be miserable. If this doesn’t emphasise the massive importance of forests, we don’t know what will. They’re also home to almost 300 million people, of which 60 million are indigenous people and tribes!
To put it crassly, the net-worth of forests is almost 16.2 trillion dollars. 16.2 trillion. This includes their industrial worth, tourism value and more. They provide jobs for nearly 20 million people worldwide as well. They are important for the global economy and need to be protected at all costs.
Does this need to be explained?
What according to you adds to the importance for forests? Share it with us in the comments below!