Environmental Advocacy | Community Capacity Building | Geospatial Researching. Motto: Greening the Environment and Empowering the People

STEi Foundation

How Forestry benefits us

  • They give us medicine.
    Forests provide a wealth of natural medicines and increasingly inspire synthetic spin-offs. The asthma drug theophylline comes from cacao trees, for example, while a compound in eastern red cedar needles has been found to fight MRSA, a type of staph infection that resists many antibiotic drugs. About 70 percent of all known plants with cancer-fighting properties occur only in rain forests.
  • They help us make things.
    Where would humans be without timber and resin? We’ve long used these renewable resources to make everything from paper and furniture to homes and clothing, but we also have a history of getting carried away, leading to overuse and deforestation. Thanks to the growth of tree farming and sustainable forestry, though, it’s becoming easier to find responsibly sourced tree products.
  • They create jobs.
    More than 1.6 billion people rely on forests to some extent for their livelihoods, according to the U.N., and 10 million are directly employed in forest management or conservation. Forests contribute about 1 percent of the global gross domestic product through timber production and non-timber products, the latter of which alone support up to 80 percent of the population in many developing countries.
  • Forestry create majesty.
    Natural beauty may be the most obvious and yet least tangible benefit a forest offers. The abstract blend of shade, greenery, activity and tranquility can yield concrete advantages for people, however, like convincing us to appreciate and preserve old-growth forests for future generations.

Importance of forestry

  • Forestry clean up dirty soil.
    In addition to holding soil in place, forests may also use phytoremediation to clean out certain pollutants. Trees can either sequester the toxins away or degrade them to be less dangerous. This is a helpful skill, letting trees absorb sewage overflows, roadside spills or contaminated runoff.
  • They clean up dirty air.
    We herald houseplants for purifying the air, but don’t forget forests. They can clean up air pollution on a much larger scale, and not just the aforementioned CO2. Trees catch and soak in a wide range of airborne pollutants, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
  • They muffle noise pollution.
    Sound fades in forests, making trees a popular natural noise barrier. The muffling effect is largely due to rustling leaves — plus other woodland white noise, like bird songs — and just a few well-placed trees can cut background sound by 5 to 10 decibels, or about 50 percent as heard by human ears.
  • They feed us.
    Not only do trees provide fruits, nuts, seeds and sap, but they also enable a cornucopia near the forest floor, from edible mushrooms, berries and beetles to larger game like deer, turkeys, rabbits and fish

More Importance of Forestry

  • They pay it forward.
    On top of flood control, soaking up surface runoff also protects ecosystems downstream. Modern stormwater increasingly carries toxic chemicals, from gasoline and lawn fertilizer to pesticides and pig manure, that accumulate through watersheds and eventually create low-oxygen “dead zones.”
  • They refill aquifers.
    Forests are like giant sponges, catching runoff rather than letting it roll across the surface, but they can’t absorb all of it. Water that gets past their roots trickles down into aquifers, replenishing groundwater supplies that are important for drinking, sanitation and irrigation around the world.
  • They block wind.
    Farming near a forest has lots of benefits, like bats and songbirds that eat insects or owls and foxes that eat rats. But groups of trees can also serve as a windbreak, providing a buffer for wind-sensitive crops. And beyond protecting those plants, less wind also makes it easier for bees to pollinate them.
  • They keep dirt in its place.
    A forest’s root network stabilizes huge amounts of soil, bracing the entire ecosystem’s foundation against erosion by wind or water. Not only does deforestation disrupt all that, but the ensuing soil erosion can trigger new, life-threatening problems like landslides and dust storms.

Importance of Forestry

  • They keep us cool.
    By growing a canopy to hog sunlight, trees also create vital oases of shade on the ground. Urban trees help buildings stay cool, reducing the need for electric fans or air conditioners, while large forests can tackle daunting tasks like curbing a city’s “heat island” effect or regulating regional temperatures.
  • They keep Earth cool.
    Trees also have another way to beat the heat: absorb CO2 that fuels global warming. Plants always need some CO2 for photosynthesis, but Earth’s air is now so thick with extra emissions that forests fight global warming just by breathing. CO2 is stored in wood, leaves and soil, often for centuries.
  • They make it rain.
    Large forests can influence regional weather patterns and even create their own microclimates. The Amazon, for example, generates atmospheric conditions that not only promote regular rainfall there and in nearby farmland, but potentially as far away as the Great Plains of North America.
  • They fight flooding.
    Tree roots are key allies in heavy rain, especially for low-lying areas like river plains. They help the ground absorb more of a flash flood, reducing soil loss and property damage by slowing the flow.

World Forestry Day

Forests cover a third of all land on Earth, providing vital organic infrastructure for some of the planet’s densest, most diverse collections of life. They support countless species as well as 1.6 billion human livelihoods, yet humans are also responsible for widespread deforestation, clearing millions of forested acres every year.
The United Nations declared March 21 the International Day of Forests in late 2012, part of a global effort to publicize both the value and plight of woodlands around the world. It was first celebrated March 21, 2013, nestling in between the U.N.’s International Day of Happiness on March 20 and World Water Day March 22. (It’s also near tree-centric Tu B’Shevat and Arbor Day in April).
In honor of this seasonal focus on trees and forests, here’s a list of 21 reasons why they’re important:

  1. They help us breathe.
    Forests pump out oxygen we need to live and absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale (or emit). A single mature, leafy tree is estimated to produce a day’s supply of oxygenfor anywhere from two to 10 people. Phytoplankton are more prolific, providing half of Earth’s oxygen, but forests are still a key source of quality air.
  2. They’re more than just trees.
    Nearly half of all known species live in forests, including 80 percent of biodiversity on land. That variety is especially rich in tropical rain forests, from rare parrots to endangered apes, but forests teem with life around the planet: Bugs and worms work nutrients into soil, bees and birds spread pollen and seeds, and keystone species like wolves and big cats keep hungry herbivores in check.
  3. People live there, too.
    Some 300 million people live in forests worldwide, including an estimated 60 million indigenous people whose survival depends almost entirely on native woods. Many millions more live along or near forest fringes, but even just a scattering of urban trees can raise property values and lower crime.

RE-GREEN, GREAT CONTINENT, RE-GREEN!

A poem by Mrs. Priscilla Heita,
Country Director of STEi Foundation, Namibia
On the occasion of World Forestry Day
21 March, 2019

Africa, our green continent
Africa, which attracted the grin of envy from scorched climes
Africa, which embraced the divine command
“Let the earth bring forth trees and grass”

O! Our dear Africa
What happened to your lush green
What happened to your vegetation
What happened to the freshness of your breath

Whither thine trees that provided the protective shade
Whither thine enviable rich soil that sprouted life
Whither thine pride as the continent of food security
Wither from, thine new coat of the continent of starvation

O! Our dear Africa
Your bowel of clean and pure Oxygen is now polluted
Your reservoir of streams and springs of life are now poisoned
Your forests of healing herbs now replaced with killing chemicals

And our dear Africa weeps in supplication:
Bring back the trees to shade the parched earth
Bring back the plants to filter the air
Bring back the greenery via gardens and parks

Africa beckons to Africans
To plant trees
To restore the green
To reclaim our purity
And reinvent life, our lives.

World Forestry Day

Today is International Day of Forests, otherwise known as World Forestry Day. World Forestry Day which is celebrated worldwide on every 21st day of March; is a United Nations environmental activity that is jointly championed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). The overall objective of World Forestry Day is to increase public awareness on the significance, values and contributions of forest to local, national and international communities. The theme for the 2019 celebration is: Forests and Education.

Based on the foregoing, from across Africa, STEi Foundation members will carryout series of activities, including:

  1. Forestry career talks in secondary schools
  2. Eco- tour by our GreenTeens in Secondary schools
  3. Tree planting campaigns by some of our GreenKids in primary schools and GreenTeens
  4. News commentary and media sensitization on Forest and Education at some selected public radio stations in Benue and Anambra States of Nigeria, between 21 and 25 March, 2019.
  5. Community forestry education in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Happy outing to all members and participants.

And Happy celebrations from STEi Foundation.

STEi Foundation – Greening the environment and empowering the people.

Signed:

JAOgbodo
Founder and Chief Executive Director
STEi Foundation

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