Forests: sustain them!

Writing this article took me awhile. I reflected a lot on the forests protection and its value. What drew my attention was how people deal with it. The truth is that not everybody is worried for the ecosystem health. By worrying, I mean doing something concrete for the environment protection. 

1) We are all too busy. The routine. It takes all the energy we have: work, study, projects, family, friends and so on.
2) The common belief that “there’s somebody else or something that takes care of it”.
We are all somehow absent-minded and our thoughts are kept by our personal life. 
The world outside there is strong enough and it doesn’t need us. Well that’s not true. Mother nature needs us to pay attention and to protect her.
We all can do simple stuff to save the Earth. The essential factor to make a change is awareness. Awareness of the forests protection emergency, but also of the key role played by our behavior.
So, here it is:
Forests are made of trees. Trees produce oxygen, an essential gas for our survival. More precisely by taking in CO2 and releasing O2, they clean the air, so we, as people, and the animals can breathe.
Another important thing they do is cooling the earth’s temperature, by giving shade and recycling water. Trees absorb water from the soil for nourishment and when the sun shines, water is released from the leaves and absorbed back into the atmosphere. When the sun’s energy removes water from the earth’s surface, the water collects into clouds and when the clouds are heavy enough, they release rain back to the earth.
Furthermore, trees provide food, like fruits and nuts. But also medicine, in fact, illnesses such as cancer and malaria are treated with drugs made in part from plants.
How not to mention the biodiversity living in forests. More than 10 million different species of animals, plants and other organisms inhabit the Earth and almost half of them live in forests, including 80% of biodiversity on land.
And now, the equilibrium of the ecosystems is changing, because of us.
Deforestation is about cutting away trees, but it does not affect only them. In fact, this process makes the entire ecosystem fall apart, with dramatic consequences for everybody.
The individual behavior is crucial and it can make an impact. The first thing to keep in mind is to recycle more and to re-use items. But, surfing the internet, I found a better way to explain what we all can do to protect forests, which is called TREES.
T for teach others about the importance of the environment
R for restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees where forests have been cut down
E for encourage people to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment
E for establish parks to protect rainforests and wildlife
S for support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment
As reported by the FAO for the international day of forests 2014 “Forests are part of our life. They protect us as we grow, they clean the air we breathe, they give us food, water and health. They provide shelter, employment and income. Look around, can you imagine your life without them? Sustain them, they are our future.”

Jona Shehu