There’s something about being in the woods. The fresh air, hearing the birds, being surrounded by greenery and life. It’s peaceful; it’s tranquil. The forests are the birthplace of humans; they’ve provided shelter and nourishment to humans for thousands of years. In many ways, it’s where we all feel at home. Perhaps not permanently, but even the most gung-ho city lover finds themselves longing for the tranquility of nature every now and then.
There is a great need to promote the health of our forests. They provide us with many benefits, which foster life and create nourishment. They are also invaluable sources of fuel and resources, such as timber, which is necessary for so many practical purposes, from making paper to home building. In fact, it is estimated that 1% of the global economy is directly related to forestry. This makes forests an invaluable resource, although one that is being over-utilized. But, it does not have to be this way. On a related note, the demand for timber products has been shown to be directly correlated to the global population, and is predicted to continue to increase strongly into the future. This makes timber an incredibly smart investment to make now, as the demand will continue to rise while the supply, unfortunately, will continue to fall.
One of the greatest benefits of forests is that they provide abundant means for family activities. I know that some of my favorite memories as a child were camping in the woods with my family. Being in nature was such an amazing opportunity for me as a young person; it allowed me to explore, to learn and to grow, and in ways that I never would have had in the city. Activities like hiking and fishing were enjoyable and unique. Tubing down rivers in the beauty of nature were well received by me and my siblings. And things like building a fire instilled in me a sense of confidence that I could create something useful and necessary.
The time I spent in the woods as a child taught me so much, and helped me to grow close to my family as well. These are the kinds of experiences that I one day want my children, and future generations beyond them, to be able to experience. However, this will not be possible if the current trend of deforestation continues unabated as it is currently. The amount of forest land that exists all over the world is decreasing, and this makes it harder and harder for future generations to be able to have the types of experiences I did, and many of you reading this did, as children.
Again, this is why it’s so important to protect the health of our forests, and even more important to replant areas that have been depleted of trees. We need to leave a heritage for future generations. All of the amazing things that we have been able to grow up doing in the forests will not be available to future generations if we keep cutting down trees and clearing forest land the way we are currently.
This heritage will not be able to be passed down if forestry projects aren’t supported. Forests are being cut down significantly faster than they are able to regrow naturally. Even with the meager efforts of some to replant forests, only 7% of all privately held forests worldwide are replanted, it simply isn’t enough. If nothing changes, we may not have much of a heritage to pass down. We need to increase efforts to plant more trees, so as to preserve our heritage that we one day want to pass down to coming generations.
Finally, protection and revitalization of forests provides essential, practical benefits to all. Forests serve many pragmatic functions. Tree roots hold soil in place, and help to stop flooding and erosion of soil. The roots of forests also help to draw water into the soil, and whatever water is not absorbed by the roots themselves can flow further down and replenish aquifers, which provide clean drinking water for many. Forests can also influence weather, creating atmospheric conditions that induce rainfall. Thus, forests can help to grow other plants, such as the crops which feed all of us.
Forests provide yet another benefit to us. They produce the oxygen that we breath. They purify the air in which we breath every day. Air pollutants, such as car exhaust fumes which dirty our air, are taken in by forests and used to create fresh, new oxygen. Have you ever driven out in into the woods, gotten out of the car, and taken in a deep breath, only to exclaim afterwards, “Ah, take in that fresh, forest air?” This is more than just a cultural statement, but a factual one as well. The forest air really is different than the air in the cities. It’s cleaner and purer. It is so important that we continue to have healthy forests, for our own health needs.
All of this leads to the need for more forestry projects to be supported. We need to make sure that we are doing our best to protect the longevity of the forests, and supporting projects that promote reforestation is a great way to do this. Teak is an excellent project to support. Literally the point of the investment is to plant trees, and keep planting those trees over and over again. Investing in a teak plantation certainly won’t solve the world’s forestry problems, but it is a step in the right direction. Investing in a teak plantation brings us one step closer to preserving that all important heritage that can be passed down to future generations.