A Visit to a Hill Station Essay

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1. The tree, as the central form, represents the forests of this Earth in all their variety and diversity: ranging from boreal coniferous forests to deciduous forests in temperate zones and from the dry savannah forests of the subtropics to the impenetrable jungle of tropical rain forests. 2. The tree trunk supports the rest of the logo – emphasizing that trees are the distinguishing feature of the forest ecosystem and are the basis for many of the pivotal functions that forests fulfill. Indeed forests and their services represent an essential basis for the livelihood of more than a billion and a half people around the world. In many regions, forests are a key basis for sustainable development. The trunk also represents wood, the most environmentally friendly raw material, so relevant for a greener and more sustainable economy. Wood is equally important as a source of energy: In many developing countries wood is the main source of fuel for cooking and heating, and in industrialized countries wood is increasingly used as a clean and renewable source of energy. About 60 percent of the wood removed from forests and trees outside forests is used for energy. 3. We humans may consider ourselves to be at the centre of creation, yet we are also an inextricable part of nature. The varied icons surrounding the human symbol reflect the close link between humans and forests and the many ways people use and benefit from forests. As we use the forests, we also have a duty to conserve them. And for many civilizations, trees and forests are central to cultural and spiritual life, which is what makes us uniquely human. 4. Water Forested watersheds are the reservoirs of the world. Forests have an essential role in stabilizing water supply and ensuring its purity. They protect the soil from erosion and stabilize drainage. They filter sediments and pollutants, influencing water flows and quality. Forests play a central role in local water cycles, absorbing water, storing it and mediating its evaporation. In addition, in many forest regions rivers are vital (and sometimes the only) transport and access routes for local people and products. 5. Forests contribute to human health in many ways. Many forest plants (leaves, bark, seeds and roots) have medicinal properties. Medicinally active ingredients from the forest are not only important to the health of forest-dwelling people; traditional knowledge about their use is often the basis for modern pharmaceutical products used the world over. Forests are also a source of natural and nutritious foods. Walking and exercising in the forest provides mental and physical health benefits, especially for people who live in cities and have little daily contact with nature. Studies have shown that activities in woodland settings can improve mood – depression, anger, tension, confusion and fatigue. These effects may be due not only to physical exercise and breathing fresh air, but also to the aromatic oils released into the air by forest trees (especially conifers). 6. In terms of biodiversity, forests are the richest of terrestrial ecosystems, containing more than 90 percent of the world’s terrestrial species. Tropical forests alone contain some 50 percent of all known vertebrates, 60 percent of plant species and the vast majority of insect species. The immense biodiversity of the forests is a treasure for humankind and all life; it is the basis for many products and environmental services provided by the forests and is thus also of great economic importance. Although different ecosystems have different levels of diversity, the discrepancy often has natural causes; changes in biodiversity occur through time in all communities and ecosystems. Sound planning can ensure that uses of forest biodiversity are compatible with conservation. 7. The vast biodiversity of the forests is a natural habitat – for migratory birds, for example – which must be safeguarded. Until recent decades, the main...
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