Trees are one of the most important parts of the forest ecology, they are known to be part of the world’s most efficient repository of carbon monoxide. The greenhouse gas known for the increase in the planet’s temperature and the source of climate change. When a tree is fell, it’s canopy which blocks the sun rays during the day and retains heat at night can no longer serve its purpose.
African countries only have 10% left of the forest had 100 years ago. Research has shown that “the continent’s forests store 171 gigatons of carbon, are home to many plants and animals that exist nowhere else in the world and support an estimated 100 million people”.
Many African countries are losing forest at the least rate of 2-3 percent per year. When ignorant of the use of resources, abuse is inevitable as in the case of human exercising will on the available forest across the planet. The knowledge of how deep the effects of losing our forest is, is still obscure even upon years of researches, the little known is yet impossible to reverse which if care is not taken, would be a gateway to the very end of all living things.
For a short term gain, ignorance, poverty, and selfish reasons have over the years made people sacrifice long term benefits of existing forest exposing us to the danger of climate change, flooding, desertification, soil erosion, endangering lives of the animals in the wild by ruining their habitat.
To every problem created, there is meant to be a solution but to correct the consequences of deforestation, is not as easy as it sounds.
1. Afforestation and reforestation would effectively reduce the built-up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, stores emitted carbon, facilitate water cycling but may never restore the extinct species of plants and animals. For instance, in the early times of Amazon forest, deforestation was majorly observed by farmers who cut down trees for their family needs and consumption purposes, although this will change in the later part of the 20th century where deforestation is driven by industrialists.
In Brazil, that trend began to turn around since 2004, the yearly loss in the country declined by 80% which was fueled by factors like increased law enforcement, satellite monitoring and even pressures from environmentalists.
2. Controlled agroforestry market, large scale farming, cattle ranching, limiting human activities, encouraging masses diet to plant-based, controlling the pressure on land and developing forest protection schemes by the government are effective approaches.
3. Also educating and sensitizing the population on harms that revolves around deforestation. “Plant a tree for the planet” has helped in some countries like China, India, Ethiopia, and Pakistan respectively 2.8 billion, 2,1 Billion, 1,7 Billion and 1 billion making them top the Billion tree campaign. Other countries in Africa should follow the Ethiopian model in planting more trees.
Life, as they say, is all about balance but some problems are better avoided than corrected. Deforestation is no longer a necessary evil in our societies but an extreme trap to put an end to our comfort on planet earth.