Forestation is the need of the hour—on a global scale. Forests are an important part of human life and also integral for the survival of the human race. From breathing clean air to using wood as raw material, forests offer us so many benefits that these become a vital component of the human ecosystem.
In one of our previous blogs, we have written about the classification of forests, woodlands and trees in Pakistan. This time we have brought you information related to the advantages of forests in Pakistan and why there is more emphasis on planting more trees nationally and globally.
Advantages Of Forests In Pakistan
Trees and forests have a direct link with various changes in the environment. The more trees we grow, the better it is for our ecosystem. Unfortunately, forests comprise less than 6 percent of the total area in Pakistan, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Pakistan. The number is abysmal, not to mention alarming, considering how deforestation, coupled with rising greenhouse gases emissions, is harming the planet in the form of global warming. The adverse effects of greenhouse gasses range from environmental to human health issues, but more countries are taking steps to control these emissions as much, and as soon, as possible.
Global warming has made the entire world realize the importance of forests. Out of all the provinces in Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the highest percentage of forest area followed by Punjab and Balochistan. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to establish an Urban Forestry Park in Islamabad that will spread over an area of 350 acres and 150,000 more plants will be grown other than those already present.
As part of the government’s initiatives to tackle environmental hazards in Pakistan, the plantation drive of 10 billion trees across Pakistan has already begun. Through this plantation drive, the government not only aims to restore forests that were damaged due to deforestation but also create resistance against floods.
Let’s look in detail at the advantages of forests in Pakistan and how these have been helping mankind since the beginning of time.
Wood Used As Raw Material
Trees in the forests are the biggest source of wood, which is a raw material used by many industries. From sports goods to furniture in the house, wood supports many industries. Among the most common areas where wood is used are furniture, sports goods, paper, construction and building frames for different things like windows and doors etc. Different trees have different importance and wood from each species of the trees varies from the other and hence their usage also differs.
Source Of Fruits & Medicinal Herbs
Among the biggest advantages of forests are food and medicine. Growing more forests can increase the amount of fruit that grows in a particular region and cater to the consumption needs of a country. The additional fruit can be exported to earn foreign exchange.
In addition to fruits, forests are also the source of natural herbs and seeds that are used to develop different medicines. Different plants and trees are enriched with a variety of bioactive compounds that are used by pharmaceutical industries to cure different diseases and also use the same for research purposes.
Source Of Oxygen
Forests almost literally breathe life into our lives. Trees use carbon dioxide that humans exhale during breathing. Carbon dioxide is used by plants and trees for photosynthesis, a process that culminates in the production of oxygen, which is essential for the survival of all living things and also helps keep the air clean.
Forests As Cleaners Of Environment
The effect of forests on the environment is huge and plays an important role in regulating our environment. It is because of these forests that we are able to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and grow fruits and vegetables in fresh soil. The benefits of forests are numerous and some of us don’t even know about the invaluable and invisible services they are doing for us.
Shelter For Different Living Beings
While forests offer numerous advantages to humans, they also benefit animals and birds in a number of ways. Many migrating birds seek shelter in the forests of Pakistan and fly back to their home countries when the weather becomes suitable for them. Similarly, it provides shelter to different animals and deforestation may lead to a lack of shelter for these and eventually their extinction.
Forests & Water
Any list of advantages of forests is incomplete if we don’t mention how trees help in providing and regulating water. A good example in this regard is that of the Uluguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania. The Food and Agriculture Organization notes that the famous mountain range supplies “drinking water to the 2.5 million residents of Dar es Salaam.” In addition, various research studies have found forests play an important role in preventing droughts and floods.
While discussing the advantages of forests in Pakistan, it’s important to remember how growing more trees can also benefit people in terms of employment. Conservation of the environment requires manpower. Forestry workers, forestry technologists, heavy-duty mechanics, etc., are some of the many jobs that can be generated if we start focusing on growing more forests in Pakistan.