Forests are one of the most important natural resources that have been gifted to mankind for their sustained existence on earth. Without question, they provide us with huge amounts of tangible and intangible benefits, without which indeed, all life, less to say human life, would fall under the risk of extinction. Hence, it is vital for us to realize this importance of forest cover, conserve them, and ultimately work towards a sustainable way to maintain our forests and meet our needs at the same time.
In this paper, I have focused initially on the barbaric behavior of us human beings towards forests, and how they have been and are still being massacred around the globe to meet our ever increasing and limitless wants and needs. I have also focused on why some of our conservation strategies and efforts are not working out the way they were supposed to be. In doing so, I have tried to prove that countries like Bangladesh, who are still striving to develop should focus on forest conservation. My hypothesis is that Bangladesh has the capability to both conserve its forest resources and grow economically at the same time, and create means for poverty elevation by conserving.
In the second portion I have focused on a more comprehensive way to sustainable forest conservation, backing up my statements by expert opinions and case studies, and at the end a bit of focus was put on biodiversity importance and its conservation practices and strategies. I have also mentioned some economic, social and policy instruments that can be implemented in order to conserve forests better.
I have used some primary data, from specific experts on forests, but my main data sources are secondary sources, mainly the Internet and books. The full list of references is given in the work-cited portion at the end of the paper. From the very beginning of civilization, human beings have depended heavily on forests for their survival. Cradles of civilization, places of beauty, sources of spiritual inspiration, and treasure houses of natural riches, forests are closely linked with the physical, economic, and spiritual well being of people. Man has depended on forests for lumber and furniture, medicine and cosmetics, firewood and food, drinking water and fresh air, respite and recreation. Despite their central role in the well being of people, forests are threatened by human actions on a scale and pace far beyond nature's capacity to adapt.
Forests are being destroyed around the globe at a scale, which has already passed the “alarming” stage. Reasons such as land shortage, urbanization, agriculture, excessive and unsustainable timber extraction have led to cutting down of miles upon miles of pristine forest land. In 2002 alone, 10,000 square miles in Brazil's Amazon region were deforested due to logging, ranching, farming, and infrastructure development. In Africa's Congo Basin, roads built into legally protected areas like national parks by illegal loggers provided access for bush meat poachers and contributed to an increase in forest fires. (Overview).
Although recently, the importance of forests has been realized to a degree, enough importance has not yet been put into the conservation sector so as to actually retain the remaining percentage of forest cover the world has left. In this paper I have discussed just how much importance needs to be put on conservation of forests, why this needs to be done, how it can be done in a systematic, sustainable way, and what the aftermaths of not doing so may be.
For clarification purposes, a full list of definitions are given below so that the terms discussed in this paper are clear and not confused with other related terms. FOREST:
The word “forests” originated from the Greek word “foris”, which means “out of doors”. Generally a large uncultivated area of land bearing trees and undergrowth is termed as a forest. Wild animals are also associated with this term,...