Forest Conservation through Inclusion

General Dated:  March 28, 2016
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Community Participation in Forest Conservation

Moving into solace producing tree houses, experiencing a seclusion in a hill resort or may be the noble development of green corridors across multiple cities in India and other parts of the globe are few of the adrenaline pressing experiences and evolutions in the contemporary world that signal the eco-friendly community development. The natural green has always fascinated humans and other species alike and are major consideration for all alterations and creations. Stated under Arboriculture, forests respond to environment and cultural practices. They have been used as a shield in trivial areas of consideration, play a significant role in Carbon control. Forests also play a vital role in creating carbon offsets along the lines of Industrial zones to compensate the amount of greenhouse gases produced at some other zone but at the same time have been brutally handled commercially. Preservation has always been on the line but contemporary conservation need be more Inclusive!

Deforestation, pollution, anthropogenic climate change and human settlements have all been driving forces in altering and destroying forests. Extreme deforestation has altered the natural water cycle process and has thus led to fear of earth entering the ice age, alternate warming events and a rise in sea level, which can further be linked with destruction of marine forests. These changes due to climate alteration sometimes do not destruct the forests but genetically modify species by natural selection which leads to a radical shift in their growth pattern that might affect the thriving ecosystem, an example is “Megafauna Australia”. Pine forests produce aerosol particles that promote cooling by reflecting sunlight back into the space and help clouds to form. Extreme deforestation in such areas have not only invited landslides but also hampered this natural chemical effect of cooling. Forests will stop emitting vapours if they become too stressed from heat or lack of water. Forest loss can be a consequence of both Invasive and noninvasive species along with natural calamities. Forest and habitat destruction can also be a consequence of forced introduction of species into the environment like in the case of South Cerney, Glos, United Kingdom, where introduction of beavers for felling trees for dam construction has hampered the ecological setup as perceived by many.

The condition of the major Indian metropolis is more unpleasant when it comes to the consideration of the green cover these cities vaunt about. The forest covers and Eco-zones, where multitude of species thrive, if not sacrificed for upcoming tall towers for city development to overcome the urban sprawl or the dust and poison producing industries, are sacrificed for the development of Institutional buildings, Eco parks and community open spaces. Even high sensitive areas of wetlands and mangroves are no exception to this encroachment. Compensation comes in form of artificial landscaping that is not only induced and overloaded with foreign species but also overpowering on the existing native species, or the high vertical elevation shift of trees to the rooftops under the label of conservation and sustainability. There have been major attempts of reforestation as a response to large scale deforestation, for commercial industries like paper and pulp, which is often seen as a geoengineering tool to remove Carbon dioxide from atmosphere, but, a planted forest cannot replicate the aspects and biodiversity associated with that of a natural forest.

Forests fragment habitats and also play a major role in its spatial distribution. Rainforests are a home to numerous flora and fauna itself. Tree transplantation has been carried out for reallocation of huge trees in similar areas. This is a major shift on the conservation canvas. Multi-tasking renewable solutions are becoming the talk of the town, with inception of Multi-dimensional innovative technologies towards forging a life in dead and deadly setup like Sahara desert. Michael Pawlyn’s vision of conservation seems more inclusive than a perspective directed towards water, fuel and forest generation by an amalgam of technologies like concentrated solar power and seawater greenhouses. It’s a major step towards countering deforestation and climatic crisis associated with it. The inception is not only helping in rethinking deserts and tropical arid areas in terms of its green but has also provided a means to tackle the seasonal nature of forests in such areas. These conservation intended inclusion is not only associated with preservation but also sound economy generation, with China being the latest invader into similar economy based conservation by organic farming in forests where controlled lighting is a major requirement. Forest Farming and forest sector oriented jobs and rising economy are a better examples of Inclusive conservation in the contemporary world.

Public uprisings have always shook the globe and India as such with the noble idea of preservation, be it the Santhal movement in the Chaotanagpur plateau, to summon British from Industrial deforestation or the chipko movement in the north under the leadership of Bhuguna or the Narmada Bachao protest, have stirred the wheel of history time and again. But, in the contemporary world, where interaction between these locomotive and non-locomotive species is inevitable, forests must be looked upon more technically and as a broader perspective of green neighborhoods. Forests are biodiversity hotspots now confined within tiny zones. It might have gained a green spot across major Land use classifications and environmental concerns might have raised the conservation aspects of “this classified land use” but with encroaching urbanization and ever increasing demands they are somewhere suppressed. The Idea of Green and compact cities with a fresh aura of community planning and development somewhere mandate this suppressed, the aforementioned “the classified land use” as a tool that is more inclusive in nature, but, the inclusiveness here should be understood as a better version of Intrusion. The alarming rate at which natural forests get depleted is unmatched with the rate of afforestation, and is a worse version of the same intrusion. Controlled deforestation or selective cutting on contrary can enhance these aspects of habitat conservation as well. Thus, planting multiple saplings on cutting a tree should no longer be the theme for contemporary forest rejuvenation, but, vision of Inclusion through community participation and multi-nodal positive intrusion must define “The Contemporary Conservation of forests”.

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