Reforestation Will Solve Many Environmental Problems
Recently, floods caused great damage in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and in many other parts of India. This is partly because of the rise in rampant illegal construction in the recent past. Reforestation is an answer to many of these problems. Reforestation is the process of replanting areas of forests, especially after clear-cutting. Elementary geography tells us that the roots of trees hold the soil, and prevent erosion. But rapid urbanisation has led to rampant construction of hotels and rest houses along riverbanks. Private organisations and government agencies share the blame equally.
Unprecedented rainfall has wreaked havoc throughout India in the recent past. There are, of course, many other factors that are a matter of concern, like land slide, washing away of the riverbanks and the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Large-scale deforestation has led to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions.
In India, 31.2 per cent of the people live in urban areas, and the number of people who migrate to urban areas is rising. In the next 15 years, the rate of urbanisation is likely to rise to 50 per cent, if urbanisation continues at a faster pace. In order to meet the residential needs of India's ever-growing urban population, developers have been clearing forests for construction.
Reforestation is the need of the hour. Reforestation will lead to a more stable climate, and control drought. India has faced droughts many times in the past.
Forests act as the carbon sink. According to newspaper reports, the forest cover of India accounts for 21.34 per cent of the total land area of the country. The forest cover neutralises 11.25 per cent of the India's total carbon emissions. From the extreme natural calamities India is facing right now, large-scale reforestation seems to be long overdue. Reforestation is also a good way to maintain forests. Well-maintained forests confer direct and indirect benefits on the society. Reforestation also includes planting trees along highways and major roads in India to provide shade and well-needed respite to the travellers. This will beautify streets, and offer comfort during summer.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest intends to facilitate the practice of having forestland within the jurisdictions of municipal corporations. In order to allow 200 municipal corporations in India to create forestland within their jurisdictions, the environment ministry will be providing a fund of Rs 2 crore. This will later be raised to Rs 4 crore.