Published on December 13, 2013
Kaushik Deb Forest & Bio-diversity Management
Introduction to Forest: A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. A forest is usually an area filled with trees but any tall densely packed area of vegetation may be considered a forest. Tree forests cover approximately 9.4 percent of the Earth's surface though they once covered much more. They function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the biosphere.
Classification of Forest Forests can be classified in different ways and to different degrees of specificity. One such way is in terms of the "biome" in which they exist, combined with leaf longevity of the dominant species. Another distinction is whether the forests are composed predominantly of broadleaf trees, coniferous (needle-leaved) trees, or mixed.
Classification Continued: Forests come in all shapes and sizes. The many different types of forest are generally classified according to location and climate. 1. Tropical rainforests 2. Sub-tropical forests 3. Mediterranean forests 4. Temperate forests 5. Coniferous forests 6. Montane forests 7. Plantation forests
Uses of forests: 1. Fuel Wood - For the rural population, wood is an important source of energy for cooking and heating. 2. Fodder- Fodder from the forest forms an important source of food for cattle and other grazing animals in the hilly and the arid regions and during a drought. 3. Fencing- Fences created with trees and shrubs are used in many parts of the world. 4. Soil Erosion Check- The roots bind the soil and prevent erosion by wind or water. 5. Soil Improvement- Some trees have the ability to return nitrogen to the soil through root decomposition or fallen leaves. 6. Honey- For animals and humans. 7. Oxygen- Necessary for every living being. 8. Fruits- To eat. 9. Natural Habitat for Wildlife- A natural home for animals to live.
Benefits of Forests 1. Produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. 2. Moderate temperature and rainfall. 3. Provide food, medicine, shelter and warmth.
Forest products trade and marketing: The 21st century continues a trend of rapid growth in both international trade of forest products and a concern for forests. These two trends are connected. Forces causing trade growth are linked to the loss of native forest resources in some countries and the accumulation of non-native forest resources in other countries. Factors increasing trade include relaxation of trade barriers, income growth, and improvements in wood growing, harvest, and manufacturing technologies. But environmental concerns are increasing as consumer preferences change, and as native forests recede and plantation forests become more prominent. Increasing trade in forest products has supported economic growth and eradication of poverty in a number of emerging countries. But trading out of poverty has proven difficult and it has led to further marginalization and events of misconduct in some countries. Safeguards must be firmly put in place to ensure that trade is based on legal and sustainable forest use, fair labour conditions and equitable sharing of benefits. Good governance is essential in setting the rules for sustainable production and trade.
Continued: FAO is supporting country efforts to develop the sustainable and legal trade of forest products, with the following objectives: Producers in emerging countries gain improved access to quantitative and qualitative analyses on forest products trade and marketing issues including tariffs, impediments for market access and other trade restrictions. Policymakers and the private sector benefit from a wider coverage and a structured interpretation of forest products trade statistics and a higher degree of market transparency feeding into their forest decision making. Producers in emerging countries are better up-to-date on forest certification and legality verification, and understand more profoundly their implications for sustainable forest product trade, market access and product promotion.
Continued: National and sub-national governments, local organizations, communities and other rights holders have the capacity to capture opportunities from forest carbon markets. Producers in emerging countries know how to apply proven marketing strategies and practices in their local situations, including green marketing in the low-carbon economy, branding and ethical/fair trade tools, and enter into electronic marketplaces and social media networks.
Forest Destruction Forests have probably been subject anthropogenic destruction, or deforestation, since the earliest days of Homo Sapiens and its predecessor species. The initial need for fuel wood and construction materials continued to increase as population expanded and as industrial construction, discovery of mineral resources in the forested area, and eventually roadways and highways, and new and successively large settlement increased the demand for the forest products.
Causes of Deforestation Tropical rain forests have been particularly subject to destruction since the 1950’s due to increased export of tropical hardwoods to Europe, Japan, and United States. In drier area, tropical rainforest are being exploited for the collection of fuel wood that, along with charcoal, is the main energy source for a large number of the poor in the third world. Agricultural practices have also taken their toll on tropical forest.
Consequences of Deforestation One of the immediate effects of deforestation is an acceleration of soil erosion. Consequence of tropical rain forest destruction are the long-term and global effects. Impact on global climate.
Conserving and Protecting Our Forests Over the past two decades, there has been great change in the management of natural resources in and around the world. As has occurred in many locations, Ontario's forest policy has shifted to a more balanced ecological approach. This means the forest is viewed as part of a larger ecosystem which is actively managed to protect and conserve a whole range of values and uses. Through legislation. The ‘Room to Grow’ framework sets out ways that increased wood supply for the forest industry to support jobs and growth, also allows for an increase in new parks and protected areas.
Measures to Conserve Forest: 1. By avoiding deforestation 2. By reducing pollution 3. By not practising overgrazing and if necessary rotational grazing can be adopted . 4. Plant trees on hillsides and abandoned land. 5. Cut only matured or damage trees. 6. Re-plant to insure future supplies. 7. Put out camp fires before leaving the camp and don't throw away lighted cigarettes.
Forest Loss and Management The scientific study of forest species and their interaction with the environment is referred to as forest ecology, while the management of forests is often referred to as forestry. Forest management has changed considerably over the last few centuries, with rapid changes from the 1980s onwards culminating in a practice now referred to as sustainable forest management. Forest ecologists concentrate on forest patterns and processes, usually with the aim of elucidating cause-and-effect relationships. Foresters who practice sustainable forest management focus on the integration of ecological, social, and economic values, often in consultation with local communities and other stakeholders. Anthropogenic factors that can affect forests include logging, urban sprawl, human-caused forest fires, acid rain, and the slash and burn practices of swidden agriculture or shifting cultivation. The loss and re-growth of forest leads to a distinction between two broad types of forest, primary or old-growth forest and secondary forest. There are also many natural factors that can cause changes in forests over time including forest fires, insects, diseases, weather, competition between species, etc. In 1997, the World Resources Institute recorded that only 20% of the world's original forests remained in large intact tracts of undisturbed forest. More than 75% of these intact forests lie in three countries—the Boreal forests of Russia and Canada and the rainforest of Brazil.
Continued • In the United States, most forests have historically been affected by humans to some degree, though in recent years improved forestry practices has helped regulate or moderate large scale or severe impacts. However, the United States Forest Service estimates a net loss of about 2 million hectares (4,942,000 acres) between 1997 and 2020; this estimate includes conversion of forest land to other uses, including urban and suburban development, as well as afforestation and natural reversion of abandoned crop and pasture land to forest. However, in many areas of the United States, the area of forest is stable or increasing, particularly in many northern states. The opposite problem from flooding has plagued national forests, with loggers complaining that a lack of thinning and proper forest management has resulted in large forest fires.
What can we do to preserve our forest? A few things we can also do to help: 1. Share Information. 2. Join organizations. 3. Reduce the use of artificial items, recycle more and re-use items. There is a fun way to remember the most important points in forest preservation called TREES which means Teach others about the importance of the environment and how they can help save rainforests. Restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees on land where forests have been cut down. Encourage people to live in a way that doesn't hurt the environment Establish parks to protect rainforests and wildlife Support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment
Introduction to Biodiversity The term Biodiversity was first coined by Walter G. Rosen in 1986. The Biosphere comprises of a complex collections of innumerable organisms, known as the Biodiversity, which constitute the vital life support for survival of human race. Biological diversity, abbreviated as biodiversity, represents the sum total of carious life forms such as unicellular fungi, protozoa, bacteria, and multi cellular organisms such as plants, fishes, and mammals at various biological levels including gens, habitats, and ecosystem.
Definition of Biodiversity As defined in convention on Biological diversity signed at Rio De Jenerio (Brazil) in 1992 by 154 countries, the Biodiversity defined as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic eco-systems and the ecological complexes of which the area part- this include diversity within species, between species and of ecosystem.”
Types of Biodiversity: 1. Diversity of Species. 2. Diversity of Ecosystem. 3. Diversity of Genes.
Distribution of Biodiversity Flora and fauna diversity depends on: 1. Climate 2. Altitude 3. Soils 4. Presence of other species 5. Most of the biodiversity concentrated in Tropical region. Biodiversity Hotspots: 6. A region with high biodiversity with most of spices being Endemic. 7. India has two Biodiversity Hotspots- East Himalayan Region and Western Ghats.
Biodiversity and Balance of Nature •. Tropic Level •. Complex Ecosystem •. Keystone Species
Benefits of Biodiversity Consumptive value: 1. Food/Drink 2. Fuel 3. Medicine 4. Industrial Material. Non-Consumptive Value: 5. Recreation 6. Education and Research 7. Traditional value Ecological services: 1. Balance of nature 2. Biological productivity 3. Regulation of climate 4. Degradation of waste 5. Cleaning of air and water 6. Cycling of nutrients 7. Control of potential pest and disease causing species 8. Detoxification of soil and sediments 9. Stabilization of land against erosion 10. Maintenance of Soil fertility
Threats of Biodiversity Natural causes: 1. Narrow geographical area 2. Low population 3. Low breeding rate 4. Natural disasters Anthropogenic causes: 5. Habitat modification 6. Overexploitation of selected species 7. Innovation by exotic species 8. Pollution 9. Hunting 10. Global warming and climate change 11. Agriculture 12. Domino effect
Recent Issues on Biodiversity 1. Some 75 per cent of the genetic diversity of crop 2. Plants been lost in the past century. 3. Some scientists estimate that as many as 3 species per hour are going extinct and 20,000 extinctions occur each year. 4. Roughly one-third of the world’s coral reef systems have been destroyed or highly degraded. 5. About 24 per cent of mammals and 12 per cent of bird species are currently considered to be globally threatened. 6. More than 50 per cent of the world’s wetlands have been drained, and populations of inland water and wetland species have declined by 50per cent between 1970 and 1999.
Conservation of Biodiversity 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Biodiversity inventories Conserving Biodiversity in protected HabitatsIn situ conservation Ex situ conservation Seed Bank, Gene Bank, Pollen Bank, DNA Bank. Restoration of Biodiversity Imparting Environmental Education Enacting, strengthening and enforcing Environmental Legislation Population Control Reviewing the agriculture practice Controlling Urbanization Conservation through Biotechnology
Biodiversity in India
Biodiversity Conventions 1. The first convention on biodiversity organized at Rio De Jenerio, capital of Brazil from June 5 to 16, 1992 named as United Nation Conference On Environment and Development (UNCED), better known as Rio Summit to maintain ecological balance and enrich biodiversity. The agreement on biodiversity signed by 150 countries including three programs a. To ensure conservation of biodiversity b. Sustainable use of biodiversity c. Rational and equitable share of profit to accrue from use of genetic resources.
Convention Continued: 2. The second convention organized at Johannesburg in 2002 called World Summit On Sustainable Development (WSSD) where the Biodiversity and Sustainable Ecosystem Management was the issue. 3. The International Conference held on Biodiversity in Relation to Food & Human Security in a warming planet 15-17 February, 2010 in Chennai. 4. International Conference on Wildlife & Biodiversity Conservation held on 3 to 5 June, 2010 at Dal lake, Srinagar, Kashmir. 5. Indian Biodiversity Congress (IBC) & Indian Biodiversity Expo(IBE) will be held on 27-31 December at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Conclusion Biodiversity is our life. If the Biodiversity got lost at this rate then in near future, the survival of human being will be threatened. So, it is our moral duty to conserve Biodiversity as well our Environment. Long-term maintenance of species and their management requires co-operative efforts across entire landscapes. Biodiversity should be dealt with at scale of habitats or ecosystems rather than at species level.
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