Sunday, 21 March 2010

Vigorous tree plantation needed to combat global warming

By: Jamaluddin Jamali Published: March 21, 2010
LAHORE - Massive tree plantation is the only hope for combating the monster of global warming and environmental degradation, which is endangering the life on earth in the wake of haphazard industrialisation and emission of lethal gases.Only the trees have the natural potential to consume the toxic gases and the clouds of smoke produced as a result of ever-expanding industries and mounting flood of vehicles in the urban centres. Forests make a substantial contribution for mitigating the climate change through carbon sequestration, substitution and conservation.This is the message of the International Forestry Day, which will be celebrated today (Sunday) around the world to increase human knowledge and awareness about the global warming and the role of trees in the modern times. The day is being celebrated for the last 32 years to remind the people of the importance of forests and the benefits which we gain from them.The experts say trees and forests being the nature’s gifts can reduce the high levels of carbon dioxide pumped into the earth’s atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels and emissions of dangerous gases.As per international guidelines, about 25 per cent of the total land mass should be covered with forests to balance the cycles of gases in the environment for making it healthy for human living. But the Punjab Forest Department has been able to increase the tree-covered area on farmlands from 3 trees/acre in 1947 to over 17 trees per care only by the year 2001. And still, there is a potential to increase this density up to 28 trees/acre.Forests give us shade and shelter, refuge and refreshment, clean air and water. Today, with a growing population and subsequent demand for timber products, the forests are at risk from widespread deforestation and degradation.