Notes On Importance of Afforestation With Definition & Objectives

What is afforestation? Definition and introduction

For the past decade, talk about environmental crises like global warming and climate change has dominated major events and conferences. The main objective of afforestation is to rebuild the ecosystem by planting trees so that environmental crises like global warming, greenhouse effect, air pollution, floods can be addressed completely.  It is the process of sowing seeds or planting trees in an area where there are no trees to create a forest. The importance of afforestation is well explained in the lines below. scroll down to find the list of important points showing important objectives and benefits of afforestation

Notes on Importance of Afforestation, Conversion of land From deserts to forests
Notes on Importance of Afforestation, Conversion of land From deserts to forests

According to the vocabulary definition, afforestation is “the conversion of bare or cultivated land into the forest”. However, afforestation should not be confused with reforestation. Reforestation refers to the planting of trees in a land with a decreasing number of trees.

For us, the forest is not a resource, it is life itself. It is the only place where we can live.”

~ EvaristoNugkuagIkanan

Afforestation is therefore the process of reproducing trees in an existing forest, while afforestation is the process of creating a new forest. In this article, we want to examine the importance of afforestation and its various benefits.

Top 13 advantages of Afforestation

Here is the list of key points showing the importance of afforestation.

1.Provide an alternative source for tree products

2. Increased supply of trees in high demand

3. Protection of natural forests

4. Environmental benefits

5. Value creation of land

6. Constant supply of forest products

7. Prevents soil erosion

8. Stabilizes the climate

9. Afforestation has the potential to reverse global warming and climate change

10. Better quality air

11. Improve the watershed

12. Conservation of wildlife

13. Provision of jobs and economic opportunities

Importance of afforestation

 

1.Provide an alternative source for tree products

Notes on Importance of Afforestation : Honey, a super food derived from forests
Honey, a superfood derived from forests

In today’s world, the rate at which trees grow naturally in forests is much slower than the rate at which trees in forests are felled for production. The increased demand for tree products has put the forests under pressure and led to deforestation.

Afforestation helps relieve pressure on natural forests by providing an alternative source of tree products. It is mainly done for commercial purposes.

Notes on Importance of Afforestation : Morchella esculenta, a medicinal edible mushroom
Morchella esculenta, a medicinal edible mushroom

2. Increased supply of trees in high demand

In the business world, the demand for a particular species of tree is usually high. Afforestation enables stakeholders to plant the tree species in demand, which encourages the rapid reproduction of certain tree species. For example, introducing a new tree offering can help stabilize the home industry, resulting in stable prices and business reliability.

3. Protection of natural forests

The protection of natural forests also leads to other benefits associated with increased tree forest cover, such as the preservation of river basins, wetlands, and river zones.

4. Environmental benefits

Planting trees in a barren land is sometimes more beneficial than planting trees in an exhausted or depleted forest.

  • Planting the trees in a forest that is depleted or recovering, helps to restore the area’s ecosystem, but planting trees in barren land helps to create a new ecosystem.
  • Most governments and institutions have used afforestation to convert the arid and semi-arid areas into productive areas. It also helps improve the wasteland areas in a new ecosystem.

5. Value creation of land

One easy way to transform barren land is to plant trees. Land with trees is more attractive and valuable than barren land. Regardless of whether you want to develop or sell real estate, planting trees is a surefire way to add value to the property.

6. Constant supply of forest products

Planting trees in the land that was previously not productive ensures that the supply of essential products does not stop. Relying on natural forests can be very unreliable. It is also unpredictable due to government and environmental policies.

Notes on Importance of afforestation; Forest are the ultimate source of food products for humans
Herbs and spices used in cooking give food color, flavor and taste are forest-derived food products. Importance of afforestation: Forests are the ultimate source of food products for humans

The forest harvest is heavily regulated. It is common for governments to ban forest harvesting, which can adversely affect a business that is completely dependent on forest supplies. Afforestation offers people and businesses reliable alternative sources of forest supply.

For example, a company can project its annual sales and production easily and reliably when it has its own tree land, as opposed to when it gets its products from natural forests.

The creation of new forests also provides the community with fodder, fruits, firewood, and other valuable resources that are necessary for humans.

Afforestation not only provides the resources but also ensures that the resources are sustainable for the future.

7. Prevents soil erosion

Soil erosion is a common problem in barren areas. Barren land isn’t the best place to be on a windy day. In barren areas, strong winds occur that carry large soil particles that cause soil erosion while affecting air quality. A good example is the dust bowl, which has been largely associated with intensive agriculture and large areas of barren land.

Notes on Importance of afforestation, afforestation controls erosion
importance of afforestation is best understood when Barren land is eroded badly by bulk soil erosion

Barren areas are exposed to flooding even when it rains, which results in topsoil being transported to rivers and water sources in the area. Afforestation helps tackle all the problems of soil erosion and barren land at the same time.

Trees act as wind barriers, weakening the speed of the wind and reducing its impact and ability to transport large particles of soil. Tree roots also hold the soil tightly together, ensuring that the soil stays in place during the flood.

A joint soil erosion project with the "Peoria Park District" and "the Illinois Department of Transportation" aims to protect Galena Road and Grandview Drive in US
A joint soil erosion project with the “Peoria Park District” and “the Illinois Department of Transportation” aims to protect Galena Road and Grandview Drive in the USA

Tree leaves and branches also help reduce the impact of raindrops on the soil and prevent water droplet erosion. When the soil is kept in place, farmers have fertile soil for growing crops. Persistent soil is also less prone to landslides, especially in hilly and mountainous areas.

8. Stabilizes the climate

Planting trees is a proven way to transform arid and semi-arid areas. It rains a lot in places with more trees, so planting trees is a perfect way to stabilize the climate. Trees also reduce the greenhouse effect and prevent warmer temperatures as they are the only natural air conditioners in the world.

9. Afforestation has the potential to reverse global warming and climate change

Global warming is a major concern of world leaders and environmentalists. Hence, more and more people are being encouraged to plant trees in their gardens and afforestation is one of the recommended methods to combat global warming.

Pakistan's one billion tree plantation program, the best afforestation program
Pakistan’s one billion tree plantation program shows the importance of afforestation techniques to reverse global warming and other environmental issues

Trees help reverse the greenhouse effect through the process of photosynthesis as they act as carbon sinks. In other words, the creation of new forests creates new carbon dioxide holding areas, which reduces the carbon dioxide in the environment. The overall result is reducing the effects of global warming.

10. Better quality air

Trees play an important role in cleaning the air. People living in areas with trees suffer less from air conditions. Trees purify carbon dioxide and provide oxygen through photosynthesis.

Over the past few decades, people have been producing more and more carbon dioxide through their activities such as driving, fossil burning, and industrial activities, which has resulted in more carbon dioxide in the air.

In addition to producing carbon dioxide, human activities such as building have reduced forests. The imbalance has resulted in more toxins in the air. In addition to carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, human activities such as building and driving create dust particles in the air that affect air quality.

Trees not only purify carbon dioxide, but also greenhouse gas emissions. They also trap soil particles in the air, which leads to better air quality.

11. Improve the watershed

The earth cannot support life without clean water. Humans and animals depend on clean water to survive and thus protect the watershed. Although most efforts are being made to restore the existing water catchment areas, afforestation plays an important role in creating new water catchment areas.

Notes on Importance of Afforestation: Watershed forests that surround the streams and reservoirs
Watershed forests that surround the streams and reservoirs provide important water treatment services allowing water percolation through the ground and receive natural filtration

People living in arid and semi-arid regions are most affected when there is a lack of clean water for consumption and domestic use.

Places with forests have multiple sources of water as opposed to places without trees where they mainly rely on flood protection. Afforestation can help improve the watershed of arid and semi-arid areas. Trees help bring more rain to the region. Trees also ensure that water is better held in the ground, which improves the water table.

 

 

 

 

12. Conservation of wildlife

Notes on Importance of Afforestation:  Wildlife Conservation Volunteer projects in countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Ecuador, South Africa, Spain  protecting the wild life species
Wildlife Conservation Volunteer projects in countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Ecuador, South Africa, Spain protecting the wildlife species

When forests decrease, so does wildlife. Wild animals suffer most when humans enter forests and their other habitats. Today most of the places where people built cities and estates were pastures and homes for wildlife. As human activities continue to increase, the number of wildlife living in unprotected areas has decreased.

Notes on Importance of Afforestation: wildlife conservation
wildlife conservation

In addition, unless drastic measures are taken, most of these animals will become extinct. Afforestation helps ensure that there are enough forests for wildlife to thrive. These animals, displaced from their natural habitats by human activities, can move to the new forests. For this reason, afforestation can help protect wild animals.

13. Provision of jobs and economic opportunities

The wood industry has great employment. In the construction industry, wood products are a basic component of every building. However, before they are ready for final use on the construction site, they undergo detailed processing. Before a hardboard, for example, can be used to build drawers, it must be made from round wood.

The process involves different phases that require a number of unique skills that require the hiring of different employees.

In addition, since afforestation is the process of turning barren land into forests, it requires large numbers of workers to complete various tasks, including digging the ground, sowing seeds, watering plants, and harvesting trees. Most of the people who are employed in these countries are previously unemployed and usually poor.

Conclusion

At a time when most of the efforts of administrators and policymakers are focused on protecting native forests, afforestation is a reasonable solution to curb the overexploitation and destruction of natural forests.

Afforestation is a more practical solution as it provides raw materials for human consumption without harming nature. In addition, the benefits of trees and forests are extended to barren areas, which lead to the region’s economic growth.

Related topics: