A forest is an area that is covered with trees, plants, and animals. Forests are very important for the survival of animals that support human life. Pakistan is an agricultural country. Pakistan has almost 4.2 million ha of planted trees and agricultural forests. It’s about 4.8% of the total land area. In Pakistan's hilly areas, about 40% forest comprises coniferous and scrub forests. The balance includes irrigated plantations, the riverine forests along major rivers of the Indus plains, mangrove forests of the Indus delta, and trees planted on farmland. Pakistan is comparatively forest poor. With only 0.05 ha per capita against world averages of 1 ha. Forests provide timber, firewood, forage, and many medicinal plant species, and forest increase productivity, and soil fertility. They provide vital coverage to the country’s watershed. One of the important factors is that forests provide recreational facilities. Forest sustains the newspaper industry, paper hardboard, plywood sports goods, and a host of cottage industries. In arid areas forests increase the amount of rainfall. Today all the necessities of human life are directly or indirectly connected with forest wealth. The economic growth of an agricultural country like Pakistan depends on its forest production and its distribution. Trees provide excellent raw materials for industries. The high population rate in Pakistan is 2.61% pushing the figure down and, at present, it is possible to grow as more as we can plants. For this former should encourage planting trees on farmland and wasteland to help ameliorate the situation.
Importance of forests in Pakistan
Forests make possible the survival of living things existing in a region by providing oxygen to them. About 4% of the total area of Pakistan is covered with forests. Mainly forests provide lumbar, paper, fuelwood, latex, and medicines. Forests also provide the environment for the conservation of wildlife. Forest is also called the green gold of the country. Forest importance can be judged by the following facts:
The ecological role of forests
Climatic conductions in our country induced by the use of forests and tree have been aggregated, Pakistan is the most affected region in Asia to which the main concern has been given to cooperation and implementation by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and important activity in desertification control is stabilized sand dunes. This activity has been adopted in West Africa North Africa and in Asia (India, Iran, etc).
- Forests shield many issues which affect climate at the worldwide level as well as regionally and locally.
- Forests are a source of edible products including honey, fungi, meat, mushroom, forage, for
- Forests offer habitat for plants and animals and they affect the level and timing of water flowing out of the forested area as well as rates of soil shape or erosion.
- Forests are one of a number of important elements in the global cycling of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and many other gases which influences the composition of the earth’s atmosphere.
- All over the world, forests have been a source of inspiration for people who live in forests or near them and have known forests, forest woods, or even individual trees as sacred objects.
- Forests provide many ecological and environmental services. In most cases, the forest environment is one component in a complex communication in which factors such as the location area of the forested area, geology, flora, and fauna activities all play a role. Different classification of the significance of forests in problems such as climate change, water flow in streams, or soil erosion is often related to the difficulty of measuring the role of forest ecosystems in the phenomenon in question.
- The global climate differs with changes in the polar ice caps, in external and internal surface temperatures of the waters, by absorption, reflection, and transmission of energy in the form of heat and from the surface of the land. Nearly two-thirds of the surface of the globe is covered by water (oceans) and the polar ice caps, rather than forests and other land features, are the most significant physical features of the globe affecting climate.
- Forest cover disturbs the absorption, reflection, and transmission of light and heat from the surface of the ground, and of water from the forest due to processes of evaporation and transpiration. On a global scale, very large areas of forest appear to have an admirable effect on climate and precipitation, although small areas of the forest do have some effects on the local climate.
- Archaeologically it was believed that the presence of forests plays a vital role in rain or in increasing rainfall. In the last 45 years, it has become possible to say the movements of water vapors and atmospheric gases to develop a clear idea of the role played by forests in moderating or regulating rainfall. In moderate regions and hot regions such as Southeast Asia, the main source of water vapors in the atmosphere is evaporation at the surface of the oceans. In the Amazon Basin, however, nearly fifty percent of water vapor in the region of Manaus and Belem appears to be “recycled” from the forest.
- Forest plays a role in the regulation cycles of water flow. Since factors such as density of foliage, temperature, and the decomposed vegetation layer on the forest floor, absorption of the soils, slope, and geology all infuse the water flow, it is impossible to state definitely that forests increase or decrease the flow of water. It would be to say that forest cover does moderate the effects of factors such as snowmelt, decreasing the livelihood of downstream water flow and increasing the time during which water flow can recharge underground reserves.
- The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says water cycling is the most important environmental service provided by forest areas.
- Water cycling is another important environmental service of forests. One of the probable effects that would result from a significant increase in the extent of cutting of trees in Amazonia and other parts of Brazil would reduce in precipitation, especially during the dry season. The same effects have been intended for the effects of forests on rainfall in the Pakistan subcontinent, and tropical forest defense has been shown to produce drought mitigation and flood mitigation benefits in Indonesia.
- During photosynthesis, plants take carbon dioxide and convert it into carbon and oxygen. Forests have a significant environmental function in fixing and storing C from the atmosphere. Increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere seems to be one of the aspects leading to changes in the climate so there is growing attention to the role of forests as a promising factor in mitigating global climate change.
- Every year as plants grow and rise their biomass, plants absorb C from the atmosphere and store it in plant tissue. This process is called carbon sequestration. Despite constant called carbon sequestration. Despite constant changes in C between forests, soils, and the environment, a large amount is always saved in plants' leaves and woody parts, roots, and soil nutrients. This amount of C is known as the carbon store. Carbon sequestration and storage decrease the rate at which carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere and mitigate global warming. Forests sequester and store more C than any other ecosystem, and create an important natural defense against the change in the climate.
Source of Foreign Exchange
Goods like honey, timber, and oil which are non-wood products also obtained from forests and can be exported to other countries. So it is also a source of foreign exchange.
Source of Raw material
Many industries like furniture, sports goods, and paper industry get their raw material from forests. Forests play a vital role in the establishment of industries.
Source of Employment
Five hundred thousand workers are employed in forestry and related industries like village carpentry, logging, and the manufacture of timber components for the contrition industry.
Source of Fuel
Forests provide 32% of Pakistan’s total energy needs in the form of fuel wood. Forests provide fuel for domestic and industrial utilization. Being cheap its contribution is more as compared to oil and electricity.
As the overpopulation increases day by day the climatic condition of Pakistan is also affecting day by day. Only forests make the climate safe and sound. So population influence can be decreased by increasing forest area.
Source of Government Income
Pakistani government earns a lot of income from the forest. The sale of timber products of forests added to the revenue.
Attraction of Tourists
Hilly areas in Pakistan due to their greenery and bundle of plants attract tourists and earn foreign exchange for the country. All human life directly or indirectly gets benefits from the forest. Besides the greenery and nature of forests, trees are helpful for increasing the economy of a country. Pakistan's annual wood requirement is about 22 million cubic feet in the shape of timber wood but our country is produce only 11 million cubic feet. We have a lack of forest our needs but this can be overcome by Afforestation practice. It is estimated that if we want an afforestation program to overcome or to increase the forest according to our needs then it will require 100 years to raise the present situation.