Climate Change and the Role of Forests

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We live in a world full of possibilities, world, that is undoubtedly more open and more interconnected than our parents ever dreamed of. But along with this huge advantage, a huge responsibility comes for us as a humanity as well. We are responsable for our planet and for all our actions that can significantly harm and change our environment, and we are obliged to react. And please, do not generalize, I mean, we should take a moment to realise, that all and every one of us has the same responsalibity as a single human being. In this context, Let me share with you one quote, that says it all:

„On climate change, we often don’t fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen.” Kofi Annan.

So what are the options on the table to handle with? Is there any space to manoeuvre in this issue, when we hear on a daily basis, that we crossed the line and it cannot by stopped on a high-level initiative, not even on a personal one? SGClimateMarch1-300x257

“There is no “Plan B” for action to reduce climate change as there is no “Planet B” ” Ban Ki-moon

Yes, it is a big problem to face for our generation, but true is, we are capable to manage it and to cope with it. And how? Just do not make it worse!  We should be more aware of what we are doing. In other words, do not produce needless waste, recycle, act gentle in nature, use brain when taking a shower (yes, the primary purpose of shower is to make you clean, not to relax and clean your mind) and mobilize the public pressure as well. When we take this step, the other one is on the nature. Nature has, although we underestimate this possibility, its own regulators or instruments to cope with climate change. Maybe the best one and the most efficient is the role of forests.

But it is not as simple as it seems. Every year, more than 15 million hectares of tropical forest – an area larger than the state of New York – are cut dow, realising millions of tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
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So when we want to stop climate change, first of all is to stop deforestation, that significantly contribute to this by the carbon emissions. But problem with deforestation is not only for its role as emission producer.   Forest has a lot of positive features, that are essential for life on earth and deforestation and these features are reduced just by process of deforestation.
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Forests cover 30% of the world’s land surface, and are home to around 90% of the world’s land-based animals, plants, insects and birds. Forests are one of the world’s largest carbon sinks, absorbing billions tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and they can also play an important role in regulating temperature, protecting soil from erosion and providing foods for humans. Maintaining water resources is another ability of forest. It acts as a sponge – collecting water through rainy times and releasing rainfall during drought. More than 1 billion people living in extreme poverty depend on forests for their water, fuel or livelihoods. South American forests are home to the greatest plant biodiversity in the world, and are the source of important pharmaceutical ingredients. Almost 50 percent of pharmaceuticals on the market today have an origin in natural products. Forests also contribute significantly to national economies through recreation and tourism.

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Based on what I mentioned in the article above,  i would like to point out, that we live in a truly challenging world  full of various questions. One question that arises above all others is climate change issue. We realise it , we experience it all over the world and we can taste its bitter flavor.  It won´t be right to undervalue  or even deny this problem. We need to be responsable for our planet, not just for us, but for generations that will come after us. But there is also a good news  – we are capable to stop or at least to slow down this process and it´s not difficult, we are only obliged to be sensitive to our environment and respect it. The major role is given to nature anyway, only nature knows how to care for itself.

Author: Milan Škvarna

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2 thoughts on “Climate Change and the Role of Forests

  1. People should stop deforestation, because as you wrote in this article, carbon emissions caused by deforestation affect climate change and also as we learnt during our classes, walking in the forests have positive effects, both on our physical and psychical health even one month after this walk.

    J.S.

    Like

  2. Very interesting article it really made clear what is the role of forests in climate change. If only all people, especially large transnational companies ,would realize that too and stopped cutting the forests just to have higher profits…

    barbora p.

    Like

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