Nearly one-third of the earth’s geographical surface is covered by forests, which range from subalpine conifer forests to lush tropical rainforests but, the benefits of forests spread across the Earth.
Globally, the amount of solar radiation and precipitation, both of which are controlled by latitude, determine how forests develop.
The types of species that can live in a region are determined by its climatic circumstances, which have shaped the evolution of forests over millions of years.
Boreal, temperate, and tropical woods can be classified according to latitude.
Boreal woods, which are situated in the extreme north, have short growing seasons and lengthy, chilly winters.
Mid-latitude temperate woods experience four distinct seasons.
Along the equator, tropical woods can have hot weather, lengthy growing seasons, and a staggering quantity of species.
By providing ecological services like pollination, climate management, and soil protection, forests serve humans on a local and regional level.
But as a result of widespread tree-cutting and burning, this forest cover is disappearing quickly.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, forests worldwide are threatened by human activities notwithstanding the importance of intact forests for human well-being (FAO).
What is a Forest?
A forest is an ecosystem where trees predominate. According to the FAO’s guidelines, a region must be at least half a hectare in size, or roughly one and a quarter acres, to qualify as a forest.
A minimum of 10% of the sky must be covered by the canopy of the nearby trees, which must be able to reach heights of at least 16 feet.
Despite the clear definition provided by the FAO, there is considerable disagreement regarding what counts as a forest.
The organization’s view has a flaw in that it does not distinguish between natural forests and those that are planted.
Leading forest ecologists found that it can be challenging to track changes in the amount of forest since the present definition of forest does not differentiate between different types of forests.
Their research was published in the journal Ambio.
Some basic facts about forests include
- One-third of the land surface on Earth is covered by forests.
- Forests serve important roles throughout
- More than 2,000 indigenous civilizations, totaling around 1.6 billion people, rely on forests for their survival.
- The most biologically diverse ecosystems on land are forests.
- More than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants, and insects live in forests.
- Forests play a crucial role in our fight to adapt to and mitigate climate change, providing homes, jobs, and security for communities that depend on them.
- Forests give priceless ecological, economic, social, and health advantages.
- Forests contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity in the air.
- Forests safeguard watersheds, which produce 75% of the world’s freshwater.
Top 10 Importance of Forest
Below are some of the importance of forest
- They produce oxygen.
- The world’s largest carbon sinks are forests.
- Forests regulate temperature
- Forests affect weather
- Forests provide a habitat for a wide variety of species
- Forests purify the air
- They prevent erosion
- They can provide medicines
- They can produce food
- They create jobs
Benefits of Forest
We should protect our forests and preserve them standing for a variety of reasons.
Continue reading to learn the 14 amazing advantages that forests offer, and think about helping to preserve them by reducing your carbon footprint.
1. Forests offer Valuable Resources.
Many of the resources we utilize daily come from forests. How many items in your home are made of wood or other forest products, just by taking a quick look around?
Numerous basic household objects, including books and furniture, come from forest resources. How about your siding, doors, or floors?
In many places of the world, homes are mostly built out of wood. Not to mention the fact that many households heat their houses with wood fire.
2. Provide a Haven for biodiversity
A forest is so much more than just a collection of trees! These intricate ecosystems are teeming with life, from orangutans dangling in the treetops to ants moving across the forest floor.
80% of the land-based plant and animal species on the planet are thought to reside in forests. 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity lives in forests. These species’ life is all intertwined.
Even the dead leaves that cover the forest floor serve an ecological purpose by replenishing the nutrients in the soil that plants require to flourish.
Trees employ a network of fungi underneath the ground to exchange nutrients with one another.
Because forest life is so interdependent, the loss of any one component can upset the equilibrium of the entire ecosystem.
3. Support Jobs
For millions of people worldwide, forests also serve as a source of income and employment.
Loggers, construction workers, trekking guides, and forest rangers are just a few of the occupations that rely on forests and their resources.
4. Keep Rural Livelihoods Viable
Although we all rely on forests in some capacity, it is thought that 350 million people live within or close to forests worldwide and are extremely reliant on them for their livelihoods.
This includes the numerous indigenous peoples who depend almost exclusively on forests for their survival and means of subsistence.
5. Provide Nutrition and Food Security
Forests serve as the “grocery stores” of many rural villages.
The wild creatures that reside there are a valuable source of protein, and woods are a great area to forage for wild foods including berries, mushrooms, leaves, tubers, and nuts.
Since nearly one-third of the world’s population utilizes wood, forests are also crucial for preparing food.
6. Fight Climate Change
The natural sinks for carbon are forests. The climate issue may be slowed down or made worse depending on how we relate to them.
Carbon dioxide is taken up by growing trees and other plants, which then store it in their trunks, roots, branches, and soils.
More than 40% of the world’s emissions from fossil fuels are absorbed by the world’s forests, which annually absorb 16 billion metric tons of CO2.
However, destroying forests can accelerate climate change because they release more carbon than they absorb.
7. Clean the Air
Trees not only remove carbon dioxide from the air but also other hazardous pollutants by absorbing them from soils and water through their roots and exuding oxygen.
8. Protect us from Natural Disasters
Mangrove trees work similarly to bolster shorelines and lessen the force of waves. They serve as a natural buffer, shielding coastal settlements from the harm that storms and tsunamis can cause.
9. Are Playgrounds for Recreation
Forests are a source of entertainment, excitement, and inspiration in addition to the requirements.
The world’s national parks and other protected areas, many of which are forested, welcome roughly 8 billion visitors annually.
Forests are a venue for adventurous adventures, like hiking, ziplining, and mountain biking.
10. Create life-saving pharmaceuticals
Many people refer to forests as “nature’s medical cupboard.” And with good cause. Many of the components needed to make medications to treat cancer, malaria, and other ailments come from forests.
In actuality, tropical forest plants serve as the source of more than 25% of contemporary pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, when humans damage forest environments, zoonotic illnesses may spread.
11. Inspire and Heal Us
Additionally, forests foster psychological health and soul healing.
Staying at an ecolodge with a view of a luxuriant rainforest, exploring a grove of golden aspens, or spotting a sloth high in the canopy all have special qualities.
Spending time in forests promotes relaxation, fosters creativity, and fosters a greater respect for the environment.
12. Help Generate Rainfall
Forests affect the water cycle using a procedure known as transpiration. Through their roots, trees absorb water, which is then expelled as water vapor through their leaves.
This water vapor builds up into clouds before falling back to earth as rain, snow, or hail.
The majority of the moisture in the atmosphere comes from water bodies evaporating, although plant transpiration is still important.
A huge oak tree, for instance, can emit 40,000 gallons (151,000 liters) of water annually.
13. Purify Water
Our rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans depend on forests to remain healthy. Around 180 million people rely on forests for their water supply.
Reducing soil erosion, lowering stormwater runoff, and filtering out sediments and chemical contaminants, trees, and other plants help to improve the quality of the water.
14. Hold Spiritual and Cultural Value
Many civilizations and faiths place value on forests and the resources they provide.
While some woodland areas are revered as holy sites, others may be used as locations for rituals or celebrations.
In some societies, particular trees, plants, and animals have symbolic importance and are frequently depicted in artwork, folklore, and traditional customs.
As we have seen, forests are very beneficial to us, and destroying them will only cause us harm both in the short and long term. So, let’s plant trees which would bring back our destroyed forests.
Is there a man-made forest?
Yes, there are man-made forests on Earth, the biggest of which is the forest cultivated on a once barren land of Saihanba situated in the northernmost part of China's Hebei province, the forest is also known as the “Green Lung of Beijing”
What is a forest resource?
Forest resources are referred to as the commodities and services provided by the forest, whether in their natural state, as a raw material that produces direct economic benefits, or as a generator of indirect benefits.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.