Forests on our planet are benefitting us with several services. The irregular cutting and clearing up of forest by human activities is disturbing the natural equilibrium. Afforestation is basically related to turning up of waste and barren land into a productive one. These forests after being planted and raised up would provide us with different forest products, shelter, and ecological services.
The afforestation methods should be applied only after a proper study and research of the area under restoration. Get here some essays on the topic to have a clear idea about as well as fulfill your need for assignments.
Short and Long Essays on Afforestation
Essay 1 (250 Words) - Afforestation versus Reforestation
Afforestation is the term with an emphasis on planting trees or seeds in those areas which were once barren or areas losing its green cover and productivity, due to mining activities. The planting or seeding will help the areas to restore it. Thus, it will help in regaining the fertility of the area. It is not a very easy task, but a time taking process to restore the structure and functions of that ecosystem. Afforestation can be an aid in the restoration of the ecosystem which has been degraded.
Afforestation versus Reforestation
The term afforestation is many times confused with the term reforestation. Reforestation is the process of planting more trees in a forest that is already existing but undergoing depletion or is recovering. However, afforestation is the method of planting trees or sowing seeds naturally or artificially, at a place that is barren due to some natural or man-made calamity. So we can say that afforestation is towards the creation of a new forest on a wasteland or barren land which was used to be a forest or agricultural land in the past.
Trees and forests are essential parts of our ecosystem and life. The changing lifestyle and necessities of mankind are directly or indirectly responsible for the degradation of forests, and that resulting in an imbalance of the natural equilibrium. Afforestation is one of the positive approaches to conservation.
Essay 2 (400 Words) - Pros and Cons of Afforestation
India is a land of forests; around 33% of the land is under forest cover. Due to increased human necessities, the forests are regularly being cut down for many purposes. It may be for settlement or for different construction projects. Some of the forest areas have been cleared up in such a way that it has lost its fertility, productivity, and biodiversity, leading it to become barren or wasteland.
Afforestation is a method of conserving those areas by planting trees and seeding, manually, or by application of some tools or technology.
Pros and Cons of Afforestation
The advantages are enlisted below:
- Regulation of Temperature and Rainfall - The forests are responsible for the process of the water cycle and thus helping in the formation of clouds and rain. They actively absorb carbon dioxide emissions and help in temperature regulation.
- Flourishing of Biodiversity - The bare lands when are converted to the forests will turn out to be a shelter for many animal and plant species along with microorganisms.
- Reduce Soil Erosion hence the Soil Fertility - The area with no forest cover is totally bare and subject to erosion. Planting of trees will help in the binding of the upper layer by the roots of trees. The upper layer of soil is also responsible for soil fertility and so fertility will be enhanced by afforestation measures.
- Helps in Charging of Water Aquifers and Watershed Management - The trees helping in absorbing the running water or rainwater, preventing it from wastage. The people in areas with fewer forest covers i.e. semi-arid or arid areas are facing water scarcity. Afforestation will be fostering toward watershed management and recharging of water aquifers.
- Reduction of floods by absorbing the excessive flood water or by directing it towards proper drainage basins.
- Helps in the purification of air by absorbing the emissions. Forests also contribute to the beauty of nature.
- Helps in increasing wildlife by providing a space for dwelling.
Afforestation is one of the measures towards conservation, but if not done with prior research and knowledge of the area to be restored, then would have major impacts.
- It may lead to the disappearing or extinction of the local species which exists in the open area.
- The plants being planted being an invasive species instead of being a native species may lead to the extinction of other species. It will result due to the competition for food and survival.
- The plantation may affect the properties of soil, as trees planted will require different constituents for its growth and thus may lead to depletion of several soil constituents. It may also disturb the different biogeochemical processes of the microorganisms.
- Reduced streamflow may directly affect agricultural activities.
The degradation of forests and cutting trees have caused an inevitable loss to nature and mankind. Afforestation should be practiced but with proper knowledge and care to foster the emergence of new forests. Afforestation is one of the ways of moving one step ahead for conserving our forest.
Essay 3 (600 Words) - Afforestation: Need and Methods to Promote
Afforestation accounts for the conversion of any barren, waste, arid, or semi-arid lands to a forest area, towards greenery. This is performed by planting trees and sowing seeds of the plants.
Afforestation helps in achieving greenery and biodiversity. The forest will provide habitat to many of the living organisms. The newly created forests will be helpful in the purification of the air by absorbing the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The process of afforestation is a beneficial one but should be carried on with proper knowledge and care. Many times numerous local species might undergo extinction due to biome modification.
Need for Afforestation
The forests are providing us with various services and needs. They are responsible for important activities like temperature and rainfall regulation, maintain the ecological balance, etc. But certain practices are making afforestation to be carried out extensively and are enlisted below:
Overpopulation - The continuous rise in population is becoming a threat. The rise in population and demands for meeting their needs is leading to the degradation of forests. A large-scale cutting down of trees and forest for making the land available for agriculture, construction, and settlement purpose. The biodiversity dwelling in the forests is becoming homeless and there are chances of extinction of many of the native species. Thus, the ill-effects of overpopulation can only be compensated by afforestation.
Industrialization and Urbanization - The changing lifestyle and standard of living have made the world to move towards industrialization. Therefore moving in the race of development, many constructions, project technologies are installed and build-up, again by using them destroying our natural resources such as the construction of roads, dams, buildings, power projects, mining. More and more people are coming to cities from rural areas in order to get benefitted from different facilities and opportunities. This in turn is increasing the load on the carrying capacity of the ecosystem.
Overgrazing - The regular grazing of the grasslands by the livestock leads to clearing up the grassland and turn into barren land. The speed by which grazing is continued is insufficient for the grasslands and soil to replenish itself. Thus overgrazing of the greener areas turns it into a bare one.
Methods to Promote Afforestation
- Public Participation and Awareness Programmes - Each and every individual of society should be self-responsible to plant more and more trees. The focus should not be only on the plantation but also on taking good care of the same. Making people aware of the importance of forest and its services. One of the best examples of public participation and awareness is the CHIPKO MOVEMENT, in 1973 which was based on the conservation of trees and forests.
- Rules must be implemented for the unwanted clearing up of the forest areas, those who would be unable to abide by the rules would be punished and charged a penalty.
- Regular planting of trees must be done.
- The accidents in the forest areas must be reduced or checked.
- The government should make plans and policies for carrying out afforestation and reforestation practices.
A Successful Effort of NTPC towards Afforestation
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is successfully involved in the afforestation program, moving forward one step towards conservation of the environment. The company has successfully planted 20 million trees in areas including the project and areas outside the projects. The main aim of the company is to reduce carbon credits and the forest plantation will help in sequestration measures.
Overall it is a great effort of this organization, towards environment protection by adopting one of the conservation measures i.e. Afforestation.
Afforestation is said to be a mitigating measure for the depletion of green cover and decreased fertility of the soil caused due to different inhuman activities taking place. As it is said Prevention is better than cure, in the same aspect we need to lay stress on the protection of our forests. The protection strategies and proper management will reduce the chances of application of any mitigation measures. But on a whole, afforestation is a better method to see the barren land turning to lush green along with rendering of important ecological and functional services.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. Afforestation is the act of planting trees in a barren area that is devoid of trees.
Ans. Afforestation helps in transforming the barren areas into productive and green areas.
Ans. China is the country with the highest afforestation rate in the world.
Ans. Jadav Payeng is referred to as the Forest Man of India as he spent his 30 years of life planting trees.
Ans. Uttrakhand state in India has witnessed a revolution because of afforestation.