Not only theordinary people and the communities but the entire world recognizes the amazonrainforest as a server for biological services. It is the one and only rainforestthat we have left in context of size and variety.
But, unfortunately as forestsburn down and global warming degrades the influence of amazon deforestation to graduallyundo the fragile ecological processes that have been refined over billions ofyears.As amazonrainforest biome gradually shrinks in size so does the richness of wild lifefound in its forest. The potential use of plants and animals that stayundiscovered due to this shrinking. Amazon rainforest not only provides a homebut also supports a large variety of animal and plant species. About half ofthe total ten million discovered species on the planet are found in tropical rainforests.About 30% of the total world species are found in the Amazon. The Amazon is actuallyhome to more species than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the Earth.
Due toincreasing pressure from environmental groups governments of countries housingtropical rainforests are bound to save tropical rainforests. However,governments with a more commercial intent win over the pressure from theenvironmental groups and thus continue destroying tropical rainforests. A new ‘debt-for-nature’approach has further destroyed these gifts of nature. Small, poor or developingcountries use their tropical rainforests for money. They put a price on the conservationof these natural resources. They stop deforestation and are given enough moneyto pay off their debts. Tropical rainforests are also being marketed in carbonemissions trading.
Rainforests are a great source of carbon dioxide and are boughtas a trade-off by developed countries for their own carbon emissions.The Amazonis an unbelievable place with even more unbelievable resources for our planet, ourhome. The Amazon produces fresh air and fresh water for us. Around 20% of ourplanet’s oxygen and around 60% of the world’s fresh water is produced by thismiracle of nature. This is why the Amazon is also known as the “lungs of theworld”. Global warming will reach analarming level if the Amazon ceases to exist.
It regulates the planet’stemperature as it controls about 17% of the world’s carbon produced. A sum ofapproximately one billion tons of carbon dioxide is absorbed by the Amazon. Thisis only one third of the carbon dioxide it used to absorb in its golden time: beforehumans started destroying it. This absorbed carbon dioxide will only decreaseover time and bring changes in climate and weather around the world. 760,000square kilometers of the forest were lost by 2014. By 2025, it is projectedthat 40% of the forest will be destroyed.Theprotected area network throughout the amazon might be expanded and is underfocus.
Merry (Research associate professor in department of Forest Resources)says that there is no doubt that the Amazon rainforests and people and animalsthat purely depend upon it continue to be under monstrous pressure. Thecommunities have stronger interest since they depend on them for theirlivelihood and culture. This is another reason people around the world shouldsave the Amazon rainforests.NATIONAL: Why isbiodiversity so important and worthy of protection in our country?Biodiversityis rich in Pakistan, chiefly in the arid and semi-arid regions which coveralmost 80% of the total land area. Rapid human population growth isaccumulating pressure on the country’s natural resources. Over exploitation hasendangered many species of plants and animals in our country.
Pakistan is anactive participant in many international environmental organizations and ismaking concerned efforts to conserve its biodiversity in all ecologicalregions. It is planned that all concerned investors including governmentagencies, NGOs and local communities work together as allies to preservebiodiversity.Thegovernment of Pakistan is focusing on conservation of its biodiversity. Thenational conservation strategy (NCS) was accepted by World Bank in 1992. Thereare 14 core programs many of which are:· soil conservation,· watershed development,· wood production,· and biodiversity issues.
The Khyberand Baluchistan Provincial conservation policies have been finished andstrategies for northern area is under preparation. At least two district levelconservation plans are also being introduced. These strategies deal withbiodiversity much more explicitly at the local level. In addition, theBiodiversity Action Plan (BAP) was accepted in 1999 and due recognition hasbeen given to all ecological regions of the country especially arid andsemi-arid regions of the where there is more pressure on natural resources bythe natives. All the provinces have adopted some measures against the threatsand to improve biodiversity conservation. The Sarhad Provincial ConservationStrategy (SPCS) presents a chapter on biological diversity, parks and protectedareas.Forconservation of biodiversity the government of Pakistan has taken number ofactions. This includes wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and game reserves.
These projects cover an area of about 9.17 million hectares. However most ofthese protected areas (Pas) were elected through legislation in the 1960s and1970s and were too small to be effective. Another way of promoting biodiversityconservation in Pakistan is through the development of a 25 hectare mangroveplantation along the Karachi coast. The area selected for this purpose ishighly populated and has become highly degraded over a period of time due toover exploitation and neglect. Conserving biodiversity by creating a green belt.
The plantation will also establish a barrier to protect native people fromcoastal disasters.IUCINPakistan and Barclays Bank have formed partnership on the agreement on 23rdSeptember 2010 with the aim to encourage the incorporation of biodiversityconservation and social parity considerations into the business decision. Thereare also multiple NGOs working in Pakistan for the preservation ofbiodiversity. These NGOs are particularly prominent in northern areas ofPakistan where Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) introduced communitymobilization and organization.
Basic social infrastructure to develop communitybased conservation programs is provided through several conservation NGOs.PakistanEnvironmental Protection Agency (PEPA) is an attached agency of Ministry ofEnvironment under Pakistan Environmental Protection of 1997. PEPA hasresponsibility of executing, enforcing and regulating the protection ofenvironment in the country. This newly established organization (NBC) servesall aspects of biodiversity. Each spring, city officials across Pakistan posefor local newspaper photographers with saplings in their hands. Foreign leadershave been asked to lend a hand who have in return planted a tree on a hill inIslamabad.
In 2009 Pakistan took tree planting to a Guinness World Record Levelwhen more than half a million trees were planted during one day.The ministerof Punjab Shahbaz Sharif says that the new forest policy is started to lift thelogging ban and limit timber harvesting to well stock forests. Ejaz Ahmad theDeputy Director of WWF Pakistan said that the forest program was developed inconsultation with all stakeholders from minister to communities and NGOs andwas endorsed by all provinces giving it a better chance of success. Pakistanrecently won $3.8 million Readiness Fund of the Forest Carbon PartnershipFacility (FCPF) to overcome tropical deforestation. LOCAL: To whatextent can local communities minimize the effect of deforestation?Lahore wasonce known for its gardens and greenery all around.
There were emptier andwider streets; there were more trees and less tall buildings. In the past itwas an easy job since the water was only 35ft under the ground and could beeasily extracted but if we look today it is 200ft deep and is available inplastic bottles. There are hardly any ring-necked parrots flying in Lahore andfruit trees like black plum, guava and mango are decreasing. Lahore has nowtransformed into a concrete jungle: with thousands of development projects,hundreds of factories injecting harmful gases which do not factor inenvironmental concerns, and bridges, flyovers, brand new housing schemes andlarge shopping malls are developing everywhere in Lahore.”Lahore isgoing through a severe environmental crisis” says Hammad Naqvi Khan, thedirector-general of the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan). Acrowded urban city like Lahore cannot go through very quick and maintainabledevelopment, which puts tremendous force on existing natural resources, andcauses in water problems.
One Lahori conveyed his feelings on the current conditionof Lahore. He says that Lahore is now known for its maze of underpasses andflyovers. He feels that the development projects especially road widening hastaken a clang on the city’s tree cover. The reduction of tree cover around thecanal has removed the habitat of many species such as cats, dogs, small Indianmongoose, Indian monitor lizards, butterflies, honey bees, fireflies, and greyhornbills, green pigeons, ring-necked parakeets, white Kingfishers and purplesunbirds.By plantingmore plantations, the government could easily conserve the losses of urban forests.
Trees like orange, black plum, gum berry, apple and mulberry are excellent optionsbecause unlike other species of trees these plants are definite to thrive inany conditions. In order to justify their unsustainable development methods andto balance out the losses the government has argued that many trees would beplanted. Thus, thelocal communities of Lahore should be concerned and to combat deforestation onecan at least plant a tree. This small step can lead to fifty or more giantleaps towards a local campaign against deforestation.
Secondly, the localcommunities must maximize their usage of recycled materials. Moreover, thelocal ones must condemn the usage of firewood to heat up fireplaces because ittakes few hours to burn the firewood but takes years to grow a single tree. Bydoing this, one could cause ample amount of positive impact on the environment.In addition to that, the local communities must protest on governmental corruptions.Corrupt governments are often paid off by illegal logging companies to ignoretheir activities. Thus, by protesting the corruption would reduce to a much lesserextent which would ultimately reduce deforestation.
Lastly, local people mustgreatly support afforestation programs like the Green Pakistan Programme in whichit was decided to plant hundred million trees. By supporting such programs, thegovernment would be encouraged ultimately to launch more programs of this type.Thus, it would be an ultimate result of reduction of deforestation in not onlylocal areas or cities but in entire country as well.PERSONAL:On apersonal level this research has affected me in a positive way.
I learnt thatecosystem could still be boosted up as we have to just play our precious roleby managing our environment. This would not only give us positive results inour society but greater diversity would come into form which would definitelyensure natural sustainability for all life forms.To preserve our precious biodiversity I wouldfund and distribute funding tickets to my peers and to my family members fornational parks and wildlife refuge. It would be the best strategy to conservebiodiversity. On the other hand to combat such problems I and my relativeswould plant trees and plants in our neighborhood.
We would recycle and buyrecycled products which would minimize the negative effects on biodiversity.