One of the most significant ecosystems on Earth is the forest. Forests are home to 80% of all terrestrial plants, insects, and mammals. The livelihoods of around one-third of people worldwide are directly dependent on forests.
Trees protect soils against erosion, filter water through their roots, trap airborne pollutants and dust and help to control the climate. They provide these essential services to everyone equitably, regardless of their location or level of wealth.
We utilize the resources that woods supply us on a daily basis, including wood for building, food, medicine, and firewood. However, if the current rate of forest loss continues, there won’t be any more woods on our “green” earth in 80 years.
Everywhere on the earth, deforestation occurs for a variety of regionally specific reasons. Huge tracts of rainforest have been cleared to make way for cattle ranches, soy plantations, and palm oil plantations in a number of tropical nations, including Indonesia, Brazil, and Malaysia.
There are things government can do to stop deforestation. Many historic forests across the world are in danger due to the rising global demand for wood products, whether it be for furniture, fuel, or paper.
The best opportunity we have to stabilize our climate, save wildlife species, and safeguard human well-being is to stop deforestation. No matter how distant we live from the closest forest, it is our shared obligation to protect it.
Governments must play a role if we are to reduce deforestation. To live in the future free from severe climate disruption, we need world leaders to support ambitious national and international forest conservation policies based on the most recent scientific research.
Laws like the Endangered Species Act, the Wilderness Act, the Lacey Act, and the Roadless Rule assist safeguard our forests in the United States and prevent the entry of illegal wood products into the domestic market.
We also support international agreements that could save forests and the species that depend on them for habitats, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Table of Contents
12 Things government can do to stop deforestation
Here are some actions that the government can take to stop further tree losses.
- Plant a tree
- Use less paper
- Recycle cardboard and paper
- Utilize recycled materials
- Reduce meat consumption
- Don’t burn firewood too frequently
- Engage in ecoforestry
- Raise awareness
- Respect the rights of native people
- Encourage groups that combat deforestation
- Assist in restoring ravaged woods
- Illegal logging
1. Plant a tree
Planting a tree is the easiest personal and governmental technique to combat deforestation. The act of planting a tree can be viewed as a long-term investment in the environment that a government can make for the benefit of the neighborhood.
Billions of tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, are emitted into the atmosphere as a result of tree chopping. We can fight global warming by growing trees because they absorb carbon dioxide.
We are also reducing the amount of water that runs off the hills. Tree roots stop landslides and rock slides, which can occasionally hurt people, and animals, or cause property damage.
The overall well-being and standard of living of the community depend on the planting and maintenance of trees.
2. Use less paper
Paper products account for 40 percent of all timber consumption worldwide, and demand for paper is rising by 2% to 3% annually. This indicates that more and more trees are still being used by the paper industry.
It shouldn’t be surprising that some of the timber comes from illegal logging given the industry’s huge demand for wood.
In Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of paper, more than 30% of the wood used by paper mills comes from illegal sources.
We unknowingly contribute to illicit forest destruction by printing every email and waste paper in the process. The government should see to it that electronic gadgets are successfully integrated into society and replace paper-based systems.
Policies that ensure businesses use less paper for daily operations should be developed. We will lessen our role in the destruction of trees in this way.
3. Recycle cardboard and paper
Did you know that recycling one ton (2,000 pounds) of paper saves the need to cut 17 trees? Then, each year, these 17 trees absorb about 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
25 million trees might be saved if just 10% of the paper consumed by the average American in a year was recycled. In total, these trees will have absorbed 367 million pounds of carbon dioxide in a calendar year.
The government can promote the establishment of recycling organizations and improve the paper and cardboard recycling by implementing laws that encourage recycling and providing recycling agencies with a lot of support.
By recycling all of your paper, consider how many trees we can save and the benefits they provide for the quality of our lives.
4. Utilize recycled materials
You might have seen a tiny label that read “made from recycled paper” on your brand-new notepad. Numerous other everyday things, including books, paper bags, egg packing, and even toilet paper, come with the same branding.
You actively reduce the demand for new lumber by choosing products made from recycled paper.
Your purchase not only lessens the need to clear additional trees but also supports paper recycling facilities and lowers waste entering landfills. Try to buy your next notebook made of recycled paper instead, and the earth will be very appreciative.
When buying furniture, the same principle applies. Try to hunt for used furnishings before investing in brand-new items. Real treasures are frequently available for little to no cost. All they require is a minor amount of renovation.
In this way, the government can encourage the development and promotion of recycled goods while also raising public knowledge of their use.
5. Reduce meat consumption
Compared to plant-based farming, animal agriculture requires substantially bigger land areas to generate the same amount of protein.
For instance, nearly a third of the planet’s ice-free surface is used as pasture for domestic animals, and 30% of the arable land that is accessible is used to grow livestock feed rather than food for human use.
Government can affect how much meat a population consumes by keeping an eye on the sales of meat products with the goal of lowering the need for meat production.
While doing so, they promote vegetal products by outlining their health advantages.
If we decide to eat less meat, we will lessen the demand for meat globally and contribute to halting further logging of forests to make room for more animals.
6. Don’t burn firewood too frequently
Around the world, more than two billion people only rely on firewood for cooking and home heating.
Unfortunately, this frequently occurs in underdeveloped places where woods close to villages and cities that are already susceptible are cut down for fuel long before they can regrow. Such poor management causes them to gradually vanish altogether.
If you wish to light a fire in your fireplace, make sure the wood you use is from sustainably managed forests that have had enough time to recover from our excessive consumption, as global forests already suffer greatly from it.
The government can aid in reducing the excessive burning of firewood by outlawing bush burning and offering environmentally friendly alternatives.
7. Engage in ecoforestry
To engage in eco-forestry, the government can collaborate with other for-profit and nonprofit institutions.
Eco-forestry is a technique of forest management that focuses on restoration rather than economic productivity. In this method, certain trees are deliberately cut down while causing the least amount of harm to the forest as a whole.
The long-term goal of this approach is to steadily cut down mature trees while largely preserving the forest ecology.
8. Raise awareness
Major environmental issues like deforestation frequently persists due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the issue.
The people should be made aware of the effects of deforestation and the steps that can be taken to effectively stop it by the government.
Deforestation can be lessened by educating people about the results of their behavior, such as the consumption of palm oil.
Even for farmers, increased knowledge and education are crucial. It will be less necessary to clear forest land for farming if local farmers are educated about how to manage their property most efficiently. Farmers are after all the guardians of our soil.
9. Respect the rights of native people
Millions of indigenous people’s lives are destroyed by deforestation, despite the fact that this issue is not generally known or extensively acknowledged. Large foreign businesses deliberately violate the rights of local residents in many isolated places while working under the cloak of corrupt governments.
The best instances of such mistreatment and contempt are those related to cattle ranching in the Amazon or the expansion of palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia, which frequently lead to confrontations and even physical assaults against indigenous people.
However, the prevalence of (illegal) deforestation declines when indigenous people are granted equal rights and their customary lands are protected since they are then able to legally fight for the conservation of their woods.
For instance, Greenpeace wrote about the Canadian Cree Nation of Waswanipi’s battle against the widespread exploitation of boreal forests in Quebec.
The Cree have so far maintained their position and ensured that their pristine woods and cultural legacy be preserved for future generations despite intense pressure from logging firms.
The government has a responsibility to uphold, support, and respect the rights of indigenous people.
10. Encourage groups that combat deforestation
Many globally and regionally oriented groups work to stop deforestation and employ sustainable forestry techniques. To combat deforestation, the government can assist them.
11. Assist in restoring ravaged woods
Decades-long restoration of damaged forests is a difficult task that demands careful planning and oversight. If we don’t want to lose all of our forests, it is not simple but it is vital.
The government can significantly influence the restoration of deforested areas, therefore they have a significant role to play here.
The ability of the ecosystem to completely recover and give us a fresh start is what makes forest restoration so remarkable.
For instance: With extra government efforts, a portion of Costa Rica’s long-gone tropical rainforest was successfully recovered in just 50 years.
Similarly to this, South Korea’s reforestation initiative proved effective, increasing the nation’s forest cover from 35 to 64 percent since the 1950s.
While this doesn’t directly stop deforestation, it can mitigate many of its harmful effects on the planet. Find such organizations in your area or in the field of your interest, and if you can, support their initiatives.
Future generations will value their efforts to halt deforestation.
12. Illegal logging
The government is expected to provide effective solutions to stop illicit logging.
Romania, for instance, just released the app “Inspectorul Padurii.” Users of the app can enter the registration number of a logging truck to see whether the truck is legally permitted to transport wood. The load is unlawful if the number is not in the database, and the user should call the police.
In Uganda, rangers and private forest owners use the app to spot illegal logging and as proof when criminals are prosecuted.
One strategy to reduce illicit logging, which contributes to deforestation, is to use contemporary technology and gadgets.
From what we have learned about the things the government can do to stop deforestation, we have seen that deforestation would be reduced drastically if not stopped if the government is involved.
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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.