Here is your essay on Forest!
A forest is a natural ecosystem having multispecies and multivariate trees (predominantly woody vegetation) as dominant community, covering an extensive area of land. It constitutes the largest, complex and most important resources and remains almost in a fixed and self regulated condition over a long time.
It supplies the civilized society fuel, timber, paper pulp, raw material for synthetic fibre etc. It regulates the earth’s temperature regime, hydrologic cycle, control of flood and soil erosion and helps the balance of the carbon dioxide and oxygen in atmosphere.
The natural forests maintain soil fertility by returning the nutrients to the soil. In addition, these act as suitable habitat for varieties of wild life which are essential for maintaining ecological balance. Some other benefits of forests are checking of air pollution, attracting rainfall, preventing soil erosion, contributing substantially to the socio-economic development of the society or country etc.
As per the national forest policy, there should be 33% of land under forest. But the present statistics suggests the there is only 12% of land in the form of forests.
In its 1999 report, WCFSD came to the following conclusions about the state of the world’s forests:
1. The world’s remaining forested areas amounted to about 3.6 billion hectares in 1999, down from about 6 billion hectares 8000 years ago.
2. Fifty six countries have lost between 90 and 100 per cent of their forests.
3. Over the last two decades of the twentieth century, 15 million hectares of forest were lost annually, largely in the tropics.
4. About 14 million hectares of tropical forests have been lost each year since 1980 due to conversion into cropland.
5. Forest decline threatens the genetic diversity of the world’s plant and animals. About 12.5 per cent of the world’s plant species, and about 75 per cent of the world’s mammal species, are threatened by forest decline.
6. In developing countries alone, some US$ 45 billion per year is lost through poor forest management.
7. In Europe, forests are declining due to drought, heat, pests, and air pollution. The number of completely healthy trees in European forests fell from 69 per cent in 1988 to 39 per cent in 1995.
The WCFSD concluded. The decline is relentless. We suspect it could change the very character of the planet and of the enterprise within a few years unless we make some choices.’