Forests are not only these dark places where fairies and elves enchant your imagination, where the wolves wait for you to get lost or witches cook potions and make spells. The importance of forests in our world is much higher, is much farer, forest are part of the reason we and all living being live. The Earth as we know our planet could never remain as blue as it is, with water, gas, ice, animals and us without Forests, which play an irreplaceable role.
First of all, we breathe air because forests exist. Forests are the best purifying system by storing carbon. They have the capacity to filter water, to decompose material into humus (allowing water storing and providing fertile soil for food production and plants growth). Forests allow the creation of winds which have an excellent role in the cleaning of the Earth’s surface but also are a real source of energy.
Forests are also one of the key reservoirs for biodiversity, allowing ecosystems to grow, to evolve and to be preserved; it is in the obligation of mankind to ensure its preservation and protection. Animals and plants grow in the forest, live in it and develop in it, it is their home.
They have also a huge role in food production, and desertification threat is a real problem today. Imagine the numerous of people that are depending on forest, even if you live in an agglomeration, you still need the forest to live, breath, eat and grow. For all these reasons we have no reason to ignore the threats and to forget them. Many city-people today do not have even got in touch with forest, go to the nearest forest and just watch, what do you see, life, green, fresh air, what do you feel? You can feel the energy of the trees, trees that have been there for much longer than you and me, trees that have been storing life information for so long. This same energy has the power to influence the climate and so your pretty city-life too. I read a very good metaphoric explanation of why we should protect our soil, and will end this post with it:
“Pretend that this apple is the planet Earth. Cut the apple in quarters and throw three of them away. The quarter apple left represents dry land.
Fifty per cent of that dry land is desert, polar or mountains * — where it is too hot, too cold or too high to grow food. Cut the dry land quarter in half. Forty per cent of what remains is too rocky, steep, shallow, poor or wet to support food production. Cut this away and you are left with a very small piece of apple.
Notice its skin, hugging and protecting the surface. This thin layer represents the shallow cover of soil on earth. Peel it and you have some idea of how little fertile soil we depend on to feed our entire population. It must compete with buildings, roads and landfills. It is also vulnerable to the pollution and the impacts of climate change. Soil often loses out.
*As you will read, much of the land that is not suitable for food production is important in terms of soaking up CO2.” (“Soil — The forgotten resource”, Oct 22, 2010, José Luis Rubio, President of the European Society for Soil Conservation, http://www.eea.europa.eu/articles/soil)
European Environment Agency, “10 messages for 2010 Forest ecosystems”, 2010, http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/10-messages-for-2010-2013
“Soil — The forgotten resource”, Oct 22, 2010, José Luis Rubio, President of the European Society for Soil Conservation, http://www.eea.europa.eu/articles/soil