|Deforestation has resulted into loss of biodiversity. Man’s intervention has speeded up the deforestation rate. An estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The causes of deforestation are industrial agriculture, shifting cultivation, urbanization, population growth, desertification, selective destruction and habitat destruction. According to IUCN’s Red List, habitat destruction is universally the most dominant threat to biodiversity. |
According to World Bank data, for the 70 percent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas, agriculture is the main source of income and employment. Due to increasing population pressure, villagers are paying more attention on crop cultivation than on afforestation. This situation will increase deforestation and will disturb Oxygen evolution and Carbon di-oxide consumption ratio in the ecosystem; it will ultimately add to Climate Change. It is estimated that about 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation. Such practices and activities are not environment friendly and are un-sustainable.
It is the fact that without remedial measures, the current living “biological life forms” will collapse.
Deforestation can be checked by applying afforestation strategies offering local people. One such grass root level strategy is transforming the village into “Green Village”. This unique model was developed by Mr. Prabhat Misra, District Savings Officer, Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, India, in the year 2005. Under this model, a village is selected and each family of the selected village is made aware and educated about the benefits of afforestation and at least one member of each family is initiated to do plantation of at least one plant species, which is best suited for that region. In this way, people’s participation will be ensured and percentage of green cover area will also be increased. “Green Village” model is equally helpful in controlling species extinction, desertification and deforestation. This will be helpful in sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, water conservation, soil conservation and biosequestration.
Making the environment impact assessment and environment management plans a statutory obligation on all developmental projects, are other equally essential steps to control deforestation.
According to University of Michigan’s Global Change Curriculum, it is only after more than 100 years that forest become as they were before the cut. Thus, tackling deforestation is a challenging target but not impossible to achieve.