Forests, the key for a sustainable future

Forests, the key for a sustainable future

The world forest cover is shrinking by the day and time is ripe for the world to initiate conversations and an all-inclusive approach to repopulate the forests of the world for the sake of humanity that heavily relies on them. It is high time leaders and various stake holders reign in on those aiding in deforestation and find a way of sustaining forests and restoring the degraded ones. These are actions that require those concerned to be intentional about their approach to avoid the damaging consequences of deforestation.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day is meant to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

What would it take for everyone on earth to plant a tree? What would it take for everyone to understand that the existence of trees is as important as having oxygen to breathe in? For everyone to come on board and feel the need to plant a tree then there is need for one to gain understanding of the fact that it is actually cheaper to plant trees than it is to save the environment once degradation sets in.

The Billion Trees Campaign team

Planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of tackling climate crisis and conserving the environment as we know it. A worldwide tree planting programme could remove a good amount of all the toxic emissions from human activities that remain in the atmosphere today and ensure good quality of the air we breathe in.

Tree seeds are easily and readily available and everyone should make a choice everyday to plant a tree. This is the cheapest, simplest and easiest thing for everyone to get involved in and to do. Individuals could make a tangible impact by growing trees themselves, donating to forest restoration organizations and avoiding irresponsible companies that destroy trees in the name of manufacturing.

A pupil of Athi River Primary School ready to plant a tree

Education is one of the ways of getting people to love and fight for trees. Educating the young people, especially children about the value of trees is what will help more people care about trees. They say that train a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he will never depart from it.

A child who is trained in a particular way will never depart from that training. a child who constantly trained on the value of trees and their importance to this planet will always feel the need to plant a tree. If we have a whole generation that has grown up with a similar mindset of advocating for trees, then we will not need to worry about deforestation.

Pupils of Kongoni Primary school getting ready to plant to plant trees at thier school

The work that forests and trees in general do cannot be underscored. Simply put, trees are critical to livelihoods and the more they are planted, the more humanity is guaranteed of quality life on earth. But what can be done to reduce the over-reliance on trees by humanity? Recycling of waste materials is one approach that should be widely advocated for. Recycled products provide alternatives to products produced from wood.

Some of the ways to do recycling include: using bamboo in construction. Bamboo is actually a type of grass and may not be as strong as your conventional wood but it can be useful in doing floors. Using materials like cork which is made with bark rather than the core of a tree. The cork then re-grows faster and is more sustainable in some ways than many traditional wood products. It is a popular flooring material, and is growing into other areas of construction and remodeling.

Recycled newspaper is being used to create fiberboard products for roof decking and even produce products like pencils. At least nowadays when you walk around you will find a good number of companies manufacturing papers, books, and grocery bags from recycled materials. By purchasing and using recycled products, more companies will no longer use new and raw materials in manufacturing items.

Another approach of preserving trees is reforestation. Start intentionally planting and caring for trees. This helps replace the trees that have been cut down and re-grow forests.

Rashid Omari demonstrating to pupils of Kongoni Primary School on how to plant a tree seed

While we are all down planting trees, it’s time we started to consider going paperless. Go digital with that bill instead of insisting on a printed paper bill, read that digital book instead of insisting on a hard copy, read that online magazine that you subscribed to, re-use that gift bag you received or use a recyclable gift bag, avoid paper towels or buy tree-free or recycled paper towels instead of paper towels made from trees or switch to cloth napkins.

These are small things but they have a great impact on the environment as we know it. In their small way, they greatly contribute to conservation of trees and help maintain the world forest cover.



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