Caring for Mother Nature
One notable person in the field of environmental conservation and sustainable development is the late founder of Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai. She was in deep love with Mother Nature and she viewed trees to be sacred. When she found the Green Belt Movement way back in the 70s, she wanted the environmental non-governmental organization that she had found to play a crucial in mobilizing people to increase the forest cover by planting more trees as well as to create more awareness on the need for sustainable development.
The NGO became a vehicle which she exclusively used to educate people on the importance of a good forest cover in relation to climate change. Her interest at heart was to ensure that people do not die from hunger as a result of agricultural failure which was imminent, as the forest cover of her country Kenya was dwindling due to human encroachment and grabbing of public land, and according to her, this would cause desertification.
However this didn’t come without challenges; the more popular the NGO grew, the more the challenges widened. This was because the NGO was at the forefront of condemning illegal encroachment of humankind into forest-gazetted zones in Kenya. This didn’t augur with the corrupt government regime in Kenya at that time because the government was accustomed to dishing public land, recreational grounds and forested areas to their cronies, while top officials were notable grabbers of some of these lands.
As animosity grew between her and the government regime because of her vehement opposition of the land grabbing, she found herself locking horns with the government and specifically the president of Kenya at that time, and that led her to getting harassed and even thrown to police cells in several instances. But she never gave up. At one time during her tussles with the government, she even claimed that she didn’t have any outrage for the government because the leaders didn’t know what they were doing.
Despite all the persecutions, duress and pain, she stood her ground on caring for forest protection which was facing extinction anytime soon if the government was allowed to carry on with its massive destruction of these areas. That won her the heart of various international bodies, which funded and applauded her for a noble cause. It is through these struggles as an environmental activist that saw her become the first African lady to win the coveted Noble Peace Prize for her fight for sustainable environment. There are several other awards that she too earned. Her efforts clearly depict to humans the need to protect our forest covers.
Reasons to Conserve Forests
Human activities in the recent past have diminished a large cover of forests in most places of the world. As much as some of these activities are as a result of greed, such as illegal logging or developing private structures in forested areas, there are some which may be purely coincidental.
Such cases include where some indigenous families have lived in forests for ages and still live there. However, there is need for each nation to develop policies which will help in protection of these areas and restrict illegal activities which are making forests extinct. Awareness of conservation and calls for people to plant a tree where one has been fallen can help increase the forests covers. People need to be made aware of the need to have a good forest cover.
They are Home to many Species.
There is no doubt that Mother Nature (forests and trees in general) have been home to millions of other species which nest there. People need to be made aware that forests are not just trees, but a source of livelihood and home to even some endangered species which seek refuge here far away from human activities. Some of these species such as bees play an important role in agriculture when it comes to pollination. Simply in a way or another they also help humans and we in turn should show favor by protecting their habitats.
Humankind and Trees are Symbiotic.
Humans breathe in oxygen which is produced by trees and breathe out carbon dioxide which is used by trees. We all benefit. A dwindling forest cover means that carbon dioxide saturation in the air will be too much. What this means to us is that the atmosphere will be polluted and we won’t be at a position to enjoy some cool fresh air.
More saturation of carbon dioxide in itself might induce perils which might be catastrophic to humans such as acid rain. To emphasis more on over saturation of carbon dioxide, I will touch on one monstrous peril which is facing us today-global warming. Carbon dioxide saturation makes the atmosphere to become warmer than usual and this is a leading cause of climatic change such as desertification. We don’t want to have to endure such perils because of cutting trees which can help conserve carbon in them even after they are dead.
We actually need large forest covers which can be able to influence rain which will enable the agricultural sector to flourish especially for the poor people in the society who rely on agriculture for most of their needs. These may be just a few key points, but in general, trees have more benefits to us and thus there is need to protect them.