Pro­tect earth for com­ing gen­er­a­tions

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

WAJEEHA AH­SAN ‘We’re the first gen­er­a­tion to feel im­pact of cli­mate change and the last gen­er­a­tion that can do some­thing about it.’ – Jay Inslee Na­ture gave us green colour and associated it with growth, har­mony, fresh­ness, safety, fer­til­ity and en­vi­ron­ment. The green­ery of plants is go­ing to be ex­tinct if each in­di­vid­ual of planet earth does not re­al­ize that it is his/her re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­serve the plants for the next gen­er­a­tion.

Oth­er­wise, our next gen­er­a­tion will be be­reaved of the beauty of mead­ows, forests, or­chards and spin­neys. Yes, I am talk­ing about de­for­esta­tion. It is clear­ing Earth’s forests on a mas­sive scale, of­ten re­sult­ing in dam­age to the qual­ity of land. Forests still cover about 30 per­cent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each and ev­ery year. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports of Na­tional Geo­graphic the world’s rain forests could com­pletely van­ish in a hun­dred years at the cur­rent rate of de­for­esta­tion.

Ev­ery year trees are cut down from the land, which is 17 times the area of Karachi. The global tree count has fallen by 46% since the be­gin­ning of hu­man civ­i­liza­tion. The rate of de­for­esta­tion, how­ever, has re­cently ac­cel­er­ated to an alarm­ing level due to the penu­ri­ous eco­nomic con­di­tions in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and in­creas­ing de­mands for wood sup­plies from the de­vel­oped na­tions. Trop­i­cal rain­forests in the world ini­tially cov­ered 15 mil­lion square km, but have been re­duced to 7.5 mil­lion square km. De­struc­tion of these forests is fa­tal to us be­cause they play in­flu­en­tial and in­dis­pens­able roles on the earth.

Trees main­tain the so­lar ra­di­a­tion bal­ance by ab­sorb­ing albedo from the sun. Ap­prox­i­mately 40% of the Oxy­gen is provided by the rain­forests in the world. Trees de­crease the level of car­bon diox­ide in the at­mos­phere. In other words, the de­for­esta­tion con­trib­utes to the green­house ef­fect and global warm­ing. The burn­ing of the trees con­trib­ute to the in­crease of CO level in the at­mos­phere.

Work­ing on new cre­ative ideas also works in the well-be­ing of forth­com­ing gen­er­a­tions. A new idea is ris­ing in Syd­ney, Australia is Green Public Places. Since 2011 re­search by Planet Ark and spon­sored by Toy­ota has rec­og­nized the nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits of public spa­ces on our health and well-be­ing. Trees per­form a range of ecosys­tem func­tions such as pro­vid­ing shade and pu­ri­fy­ing the air. Tree plan­ta­tion has the po­ten­tial to make only a limited con­tri­bu­tion to re­duc­ing CO2 lev­els in the at­mos­phere. The point to re­al­ize is, we are the first gen­er­a­tion that is fac­ing a cli­mate change, and the last gen­er­a­tion that can do some­thing about it. —Via email

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