IMPORTANCE OF FORESTS
Forests are of great importance to any country and mankind as a whole. They contribute significantly to the environment, economic and social well being of the country. The role of more pronounced in a developing country like India, Forests are very important in the viewpoint of ecological balance, agriculture, environment habitat for large number of plant and animal species and as natural prevention of soil erosion. Forest provides large number of forest goods like timber, firewood, fruits etc. the list is endless. Forests are home to a large number of tribes. Forests attract tourists. In addition, they play an important role in the carbon cycle and add to the aesthetic beauty of the region.
Forests are vital to the maintenance of a stable environment that is conducive to sustained agricultural production. The forests protect and enrich the soil mantle by checking soil erosion. Nutrient losses the forest brings the mineral nutrients from deep to the top soil.
The forests are very important for the sustenance of wild life and they play an important role in food chain. It plays an important role in the water cycle also. They check the flow of running water and cause to percolate through the soil and increasing underground water level.
Forest related activities are often a primary source of income for the landless rural families’ collection of timber, firewood and other forest products.
The importance of forests has been realized all over the world now. Large deforestation for timber, for agriculture or dwelling houses the concern in the mind scale of every vigilant person. In recent times a large number of environment-friendly non govt organizations have come up in order to protect the forest and environment.
Owing to the numerous benefits and the products of the forests it can be easily stated that forests are one of the invaluable gifts of nature to man. They are an indispensable part of our earth’s ecological system and if the forests cover of the earth is not kept infact, the very existence of life on the earth will be at sake.
The Importance of Forests in India
India’s forests cover about 23% of total geographical area of the country. Forests play a vital role in the economy of the country. They give fuel wood to poor people for cooking purpose.
Forests also provide material for industry. Those who build houses get timer for house building and for various other purposes. Besides forests please the attracts rains and stops erosion of the soil.
Evergreen forests are found where the rainfall is heavy. There are such forests in the Western Ghats and the Sub-Himalayan regions. The category of the forests yield hard wood such as teak rose wood and bamboos. The monsoon forests are found in large areas of Deccan plateau. They provide teak, shal, sandalwood etc. The hill forests found at places above 500 feet above include the best timber and other trees. In recent years, lakhs of fast growing eucalyptus trees have been planted along the roadside to attract rain.
India’s forest wealth has been reduced as a result of senseless cutting of trees. People need firewood. Even official agencies clear vast jungle areas for constructing dams, roads and buildings. The axe and bulldozer have been in common use. Grazing causes another problem in large parts of the country. So the annual rate of the loss of forests is a serious threat to the country’s economy.
Nobody would be able to escape adverse effect of this destruction. The disappearance of forests results in changing rainfall pattern and causing drought conditions in large areas. There is a report that about 25 per cent of all the drugs are derived from trees. Trees also yield vital industrial oils, resins and dyes.
Now we understand the importance of forests in the country’s economy. We also realize their value in maintaining the ecological balance. Now the government tries to save the forest land and reserve forest in the country. But the destruction of forests continues lakhs of fresh trees are planted every year in India but they perish, for lack of care.
We get many things from the forests. They include bamboos of different kinds. We get grasses of various types. Medical plants gum and lac are provided by forests. It is also widely used for medicines. In India there are over 20000 types of medicinal plants. So forests are of great value. They deserve much greater practical attention than they are getting now.
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