What Need Does Humanity Have of Forests?

This is one question of vital importance that we must ask ourselves, not as opportunists do but as those who recognize that they are but one part of a much larger ecosystem.

From providing us with the oxygen we breathe to mitigating the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and preventing flooding, forests play a vital role in the continued health and safety of mankind, helping us combat climate change and providing a source of income for many; the ecological, economical, social and health benefits are endless. However, these green saviours of ours face imminent destruction at the merciless hands of fires, pests, droughts, and deforestation.

“The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest each year due to deforestation – about the size of Iceland…”

reports the Food and Agriculture Organization in a 2020 article. If a direct link were made, one would find that these figures equate to disastrous effects on human health everywhere.

Collectively today, we emit around 50 billion tons of CO2e into the atmosphere yearly, more than 40 percent higher than our output in the year 1990. These greenhouse gas emissions are naturally mitigated by trees that absorb them for their own consumption. But the increment in practices of deforestation around the world means that such mitigation is becoming more and more impossible to maintain, exposing us to harm.

The 21st of March marks this year’s International Day of Forests (IDF) and the theme for the memorable event is ‘Forests and health’. More now than ever is the time for us to pay attention to the outcry of the forests and understand its crucial part in the health of billions of people. It is to this end that, in commemoration of IDF, The Lush Culture (TLC) set out on a community outreach project to sensitize the major players in issues of forestation; farmers; as well as hear their opinions of the matter.

The project, which was carried out around Owode farm village located in the Southwestern state of Oyo, Nigeria, reached out to a total of 10 farmers on the concept of sustainable climate-smart agricultural practices. The possibility of coexistence between farm crops and trees was the major discourse upon which questions were found. Questions arose about balancing tree planting and crop planting while simultaneously ensuring that immediate basic needs (food, shelter, and individual health) are not obstructed and large-scale future needs (resilient habitats, sustainable environment, and planetary health) are secured. All of the farmers the project reached out to had their opinions to give about the current situation and suggestions to make for a way forward.

According to some of them, “such coexistence could be made possible with a practical knowledge of what trees to plant and where to plant them because that matters a lot”. This favourable response was birthed on a balance of fact and experience. The discourse with the farmers turned out to be a highly beneficial one, to both parties. All in all, it is important that we all adopt and apply such practices of planting trees rather than cutting them down to ensure the continued survival of the forests and of the human race.

The Executive Director of TLC, Mr. Emmanuel Ojekunle, brought the project to a close on this note, saying “Ultimately when we cut down the trees without giving back, we are the ones who end up bleeding”. The more we need to take, the more we need to give back. Humanity’s problem lies in our aggressive practices of taking and not giving back; this, of course, results in the depletion of much-needed forests.

In conclusion, this project proved to be a success as TLC was able to determine the motives behind the agricultural practices of farmers and also enlighten them on how to ensure those practices could be remodeled into climate-smart ones; one solid step out of many in the ultimate goal of cultivating the green way of life on a global scale.

Okikiolamilekan Bamgboye

Content Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CMCI Building, Agaloke Estate, Apata, Ibadan, Nigeria. | Phone: tel: +2349045014202 | Email: info@thelushculture.org.ng

© 2023 The Lush Culture | Powered by TLC IT Team