The forest is important for a countless number of reasons that goes far beyond our list. It’s beautiful, but it’s also something we need to survive. Our environment and our quality of life will continue to improve if we promote the well-being of the forest. Unfortunately, some view the forest as merely a resource for modern conveniences instead of understanding the importance of preserving its natural state for ourselves and future generations.
Deforestation has been on the rise since last couple of decades. Increase in population has led to increase in demand for various goods and services. A simple example is increase in demand for homes due to lack of available housing units to suffice whole population. The result is felling down of forests to make room for more housing and industrial units. Deforestation not only badly impacts the environment but also displaces wildlife from their natural habitats. Here are 25+ key points to remember about the essential lands of the forests.
1. The forests provide homes for people around the world.
More than 100 million people currently call the forest home and depend on its important resources. This may seem like a large number, but there were many more residents of the forest before mass deforestation caused them to be displaced.
2. Many animals need the forest to survive.
From the smallest lizard to the biggest bear, the list of animals who live in the forest is quite long. As we lose more forests, more species face extinction. Only the woodlands can provide the essentials that allow many creatures to live comfortably and to contribute to the biodiversity that keeps our world functional and full of beauty.
3. Forests can prevent soil erosion.
Soil erosion is the wearing down of soil’s top layer and it robs the ground of valuable nutrients as the soil becomes loose and eventually breaks away. Erosion can occur naturally from the impact of water and wind, or it can be encouraged by irresponsible farming practices.
Eroding soil negatively affects the growth of crops and plants, and can lead to destructive flooding. Trees in the forest help to keep the soil attached to their roots. Forest trees also act as a shield against the direct downfall of rain that can cause erosion. Instead, the tree leaves evaporate the water before directing it back into the atmosphere.
4. The forest slows down global warming.
Deforestation adds more carbon and other pollutants to the air and carbon contributes to global warming. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide capture and absorb heat, thus speeding up the process of global warming by making the Earth hotter. The forest slows this process down because carbon dioxide is stored in the soil as the trees pull it from the air and also convert it to the oxygen that we all need to breathe.
5. Natural watersheds are created by the forest.
The plants and trees in the forest catch rain and other types of moisture. It helps water to naturally find its way into larger bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. This keeps the waters full for fish to flourish and prevents floods that occur from too much water collecting on dry land.
6. The forest is an excellent source of groundwater.
The Forest Service has reported that 20% of our drinking water comes from forests. In forest ecosystems, rain and moisture is made into groundwater that is collected as freshwater used for drinking.
7. The forests helps us to breathe.
Did you know that more than 10 people can have enough oxygen to breathe from a single tree? Trees are commonly called “The Earth’s Lungs” because of their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and change it to oxygen. If they didn’t do this, the air would be too thin for us to breathe and we could not survive.
8. The forest keeps us cool.
You may not live close by a forest, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t helping you to beat the heat. Many of the cities we live in are naturally hot; they could be much hotter because heat is often attracted to many of our man-made creations. As the forest keeps excess carbon from heating the air, it also releases water vapor that helps our bodies to handle high temperatures more comfortably.
9. The forest gives us clean air.
The air we breathe is less harmful to us because the forest trees act as a natural filter to remove dangerous pollutants and greenhouse gases from the air.
10. There is less solar radiation thanks to the forest.
In small doses, the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun are good for us and provides a healthy dose of vitamin D. But, when we are exposed to too much sun, it can be uncomfortable and lead to skin cancer or many other health issues. UV rays are made less powerful because the forest has the ability to weaken solar radiation.
11. We deal with less noise pollution because of the forest.
Imagine how crazy we all would be if we could hear all the noise that was around us to its full capacity! With the way our ears process sound, the forest actually cuts down much of the noise we hear or makes some sounds so subtle that we barely notice them. Instead, the forest replaces intrusive noises with its own pleasant sounds of birds chirping and leaves softly rustling.
12. The forest provides food for people.
There are many healthy edibles found throughout the forest. Around the world, many people depend on forest food to live. As global hunger crisis continue to be an issue, the forest remains as a diverse source of foods that are naturally packed with nutrients.
13. The forest is a source of food for animals.
Food from the forest also provides sustenance for animals. Without the forest, many of these animals would perish. Even if we tried, we could not replicate all the foods that are naturally healthy for them in the way the forest can.
14. The quality of soil is better in the forest.
Soil is naturally filled with bacteria, but the plants of the forest breaks down this bacteria. Because of this process, the soil more readily absorbs water and filters it as groundwater.
15. The forest promotes economic stability.
Many people are employed because of the forest and millions of jobs would be lost without it. It is from the forest that we are able to get much of the energy that powers cities and homes, provides material for shelter, and much more. There are also those who work to promote the safety and preservation of the forest because sustainable methods will keep forests and local communities thriving.
16. Forests make us happy.
Millions of people head to the forest to find relaxation and renew their spiritual energy. It has also been scientifically proven that the natural elements of the forest can serve as a remedy for emotional and mental distress.
17. The forest can encourage better physical health.
The quality of air found in the forest can help to improve lung health and there are many recreational activities to be found there as well. For example, trekking through the forest is good for your physical endurance and can be a family activity.
18. The forest reminds us to appreciate the beauty of nature.
There is nothing quite like spending time in the forests to sightsee and enjoy a day filled with surprises that only nature can afford. The visual splendor of the forest is one of the things that makes our Earth especially stunning and unique.
19. The forest awakens our imagination.
The visual and mental stimulation that the forest provides can boost our creativity and serve as a source of inspiration. This may explain why the settings for many of our favorite stories take place in the woods.
20. Forests increase tourism.
Many communities find valuable funding through tourism. Where there are forests, tourists are usually attracted to the area. This leads to more money to support the needs of the community and promote sustainable tourism and cultural understanding.
21. Medicines can be found throughout the forests.
Medicines are found in the forest that can be used for a wide variety of ailments. We can extract medicinal agents to help with everything from the common cold to staph infections. These natural medicines can also boost the effectiveness of man-made treatments.
22. The forests acts as a natural windbreak.
A windbreak is naturally created by the forest as it protects against strong winds by becoming a barrier that softens the wind’s impact and halts the erosion of soil. Without these windbreaks, erosion would happen much more quickly and would negatively affect agricultural efforts.
23. The forest adds value to surrounding areas.
If we had to discuss the value of the forest, the conversation would be extremely long. There are so many important plants, animals, and conditions that are created by the forests. So, it’s no surprise that investors take notice. It’s also interesting to note that planting trees in a neighborhood can even increase the property value of that area because of the aesthetic value and more tolerable weather conditions.
24. More forests lead to less droughts.
While it can act as a watershed and windbreak from harsh weather occurrences, the forest can also help it to rain. With less deforestation and more planting, a great service can be done for communities that are stricken by drought due to climate change.
25. Forest animals keep pests at bay.
The cycle of life in the forest allows for a natural system of pest control because many animals feed on bugs that can put the lives of humans and other animals in danger.
26. Much history is learned from forest communities.
Forest communities are especially distinct and valuable. They remind us of a way of life that once was before industrialism took hold of our society. Such cultures should be preserved for future generations to be inspired towards sustainable practices. Without the forests, these communities will become obsolete.