Afforestation Essay in English
Afforestation is the creation of a forest or tree stand in a region where no earlier vegetation cover existed. Significant parts of our country were covered with forests in the early periods of civilisations.
Forests provide us with oxygen and are an essential condition for survival. Our country’s population increase has contributed to a decrease in the forest area. The forests that purify the air were cut down, and new towns and factories were built in their place.
Not only has this impacted the world, but it has also impacted us the most because we have disrupted the balance of nature that was important to our survival. Hence, recognising the value of afforestation is the need of the hour.
March 21st is the UN International Day of Forests, which promotes the importance of forest and trees in our lives. Also, Van Mahotsav is an annual one week tree planting festival in India, celebrated in the 1st week of July.
Significance of Afforestation
“Afforestation” is important in India, as rapid deforestation occurs in many areas where new industries and urbanisation are emerging.
The Western Ghats in India are renowned for their lush green mountains, beautiful rice fields, waterfalls and blooming environment. Due to the factories and heavy construction work, these mountain valleys are continually eroding.
Widespread deforestation has led to devastating flooding and landslides. It is also possible to quote the value of “afforestation” for forest protection to safeguard the wildlife. The wild animals face a dearth of inhabitable forest regions and the land is being cleared for agricultural and industrial purposes.
Environmental Importance of Afforestation
Most notably, afforestation is of environmental significance. One of the most significant is that we are receiving much oxygen for our survival. Additionally, the other value of afforestation is that forests help to reduce emission rates and give us a safe living environment.
The value of the forest is also that they help avoid clouds and induce rainfall. They also prevent soil erosion. Besides, there are numerous species of animals and birds that rely on forests for their survival. In reality, forests are important to all living creatures.
Economic Importance of Afforestation
Forests are a source of renewable energy and contribute significantly to economic growth. They play a significant role in improving environmental sustainability. As per the 2007 assessment, the country’s forest cover is 690,899 km2 which is 21.02 per cent of the country’s geographical area.
Very dense forest forms 83,510 km2 (2.54 percent), moderately dense forest for 319,012 km2 (9.71 percent) and open forest forms 288,377 km2 (8.77 percent) of the geographical area protected by the scrub for 41,525 km2 (1.26 per cent).
Benefits of Afforestation
Forests are providing raw materials for pulp, panel goods, matching wood and other wood industry. Forests are also a source of a variety of minor but important items such as bamboo, canes, grasses, essential oils, medicinal plants, lacquer, resins, fatty oils, fats, gum, tanning content, painting, animal products, etc. Any of these goods are precious foreign currency earners.
The forests play a crucial role in our country’s economy. They produce a range of forest products, major and small. Timber and firewood are big items. These are used for industrial purposes and charging.
Forests offer natural protection against storms of dust, hot winds and erosion. We consume four times as much wood as is regenerated each year in the forests and other tree lands according to an estimate. If this plundering of forests is avoided, the resources of forests in India will soon become extinct.
Deforestation poses a challenge to the ecological balance in India. This has already adversely affected the climate, rainfall and fertility of soils in India.
Role of Government
In 1952, the Government of India adopted a National Forest Policy aimed at keeping at least one-third of the land in the country under forest cover to ensure environmental conservation and stability. Conservation and growth are now the two main principles that form the main planks of this strategy. In 1988, this strategy was revamped.
In our Constitution, the issue of forests appears in the Concurrent List. The Forests (Conservation) Act, 1980, which was originally enacted for the prevention of indiscriminate deforestation and forest land diversion for non-forestry purposes, was revised in 1988 to make it more stringent by introducing penalties for violations.
The Government has formed a National Forest Fund. Its funds would initially be used for unemployed youth, ex-servicemen, tribal’s, etc., to plant trees on uncultivated lands. India’s Forest Survey was established in June of 1981. An Institute of Forest Management was founded at Bhopal in October 1982.
Afforestation – The need of the hour
The only measure that can be taken to stop all the catastrophic havocs is afforestation. We know that Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna started Chipko Movement to avoid the indiscriminate felling of trees in the Himalayas. However, they need an all-out effort.
We can not put this burden solely on the Government or public agencies, or any single person. This is everybody’s responsibility, and everybody has to work together to make it a success. There is a need for organised government action in every state.
The Government will invest in the afforestation of desert and hilly regions. It will boost green belts in quick erosion-prone areas. Yet at the same time, there is a tremendous need for knowledge among the common people.
Steps need to be taken to build a huge movement of people with women involved in achieving the goals and reducing pressure on existing forests.
As a community, people need to be inspired to see planting and protecting trees as social responsibility. There’s no question that saplings are planted every year, but they die by the next monsoon in the absence of proper treatment.
It is the general public whose holy duty is to water and save any plant in their neighbourhood which grows on the ground. In that respect, educational institutions should play a key role. They must instil the need for planting trees in the younger generation.
Several social groups need to come forward to support and enable the Government to effectively and quickly execute their numerous forest management programs. Our life is linked to the trees and trees must, therefore, be planted particularly on the side of the road and near railway tracks.
Forests are incredibly important to us. It is unfortunate we neglect its importance and play havoc with this one of nature’s most important aspects. In short, afforestation needs to be promoted. This will help transform the planet into a greener environment.
Afforestation would ensure the future for our generations to come. Therefore, we need to be mindful of this issue and conserve trees to save our homes and the planet. We think very much about emissions from the atmosphere but do little about it. Let us undertake to plant trees in growing numbers and to encourage others for this noble cause.