Need to increase understanding about forests
To date, we are making a mistake in understanding and explaining the importance of forests. The biggest proof of this is that we are continuously losing forests. No matter how much the Forest Survey of India claims, the percentage of forests cannot be considered satisfactory. It also shows our ignorance about the definition of forests.
Forests are not only trees, their mutual ecology and species should also be discussed. By the way, we have definitely adopted plantation as a fashion and today we fulfil our responsibilities and formalities by planting saplings in all kinds of events and festivals.
For example, every year we become and become a part of many such events, where the goal of plantation is fixed, be it government or non-government organizations, plantation is done in the name of creating greenery in all. The truth is that later it all becomes clear, except for the pictures published in newspapers and social media.
It also has to face the consequences that no one takes this kind of work seriously in the coming time.
There have been countless plantations in the last decades, but many claims have also been made and if these were true, there would not have been any space left for planting forests in the country today!
In fact, since three-four decades, when the international concern about the deteriorating environment around the world started becoming a reality, then the formality of showing sensitivity towards nature by organizing such events started. The official understanding of forest and trees is not visible in such programs.
It is never thought that where we should plant which species of plants. It is also not understood that each species of tree has an association with the local soil, water and climate. Accordingly, trees can make the right contribution, otherwise, they remain unusable.
For example, four to five decades ago, due to the lack of depleting forests in the foothills of the Himalayas, thousands of hectares of teak land was afforestation. It is originally a tree from South India.
Where extreme heat controls its ecology. Its broad large leaves do not quickly become a pile of leaves in the Himalayan environment and due to this nothing grows among such forests and the whole ecology is disturbed.
The forest department had considered the importance of its wood to be more beneficial for bringing this tree here from Kerala, but it has unbalanced the ecology here.
Similarly, there was more emphasis on its economic aspect behind the abundance of species like pine in the central Himalayas and eucalyptus in the plains. Today, the most lethal pine for the forest fires of the Himalayas turned out to be the eucalyptus and similarly the enemy of water.
The truth is that even today, in the education of forest science, there is more emphasis on the economic aspect and contribution of forests. The economic benefits of forests are the centre of forest education.
It shows the contribution of the forests in a very subtle way indirectly. But the truth is that this contributes to the ecological contribution of forests manifold because no direct data is prepared about the air, soil and water obtained from them, which are their indirect contribution.
In the context of forests and trees, these contributions should be given importance and not their other economic products. To some extent such awareness is visible, but it does not reflect practicality.
If it were not for this, today 10 million hectares of forests would not be cut every year in the world. In our own country, from 1988 to 2000, we have wiped out about 100 million hectares of forests.
The question arises that in the race for development we are in, forest development does not matter much.
But this is our big mistake because the basic roots of all development are related to ecology and forests have an important role in the environment. The best conservation of rainwater is possible only from forests. The biggest problem of watersheds around the world is the depleting forests.
Life cannot be imagined without a forest. Despite this, the condition of forests in our country is getting worse. The speed with which deforestation is taking place in the development works is not being compensated relative to it.
Forests should be in 33 per cent of the country’s land, but according to government data, only 23 per cent have forests. Ignoring the forests is not right now, our development speed should not be ruined, for this, there is a need to remember the forest deity.