A number of forest problems are currently increasingly worrying. Starting from the increasing logging of forests to forest fires in several areas in Indonesia. The solution to this problem is complex. However, we as citizens can contribute together in protecting the forests in this country.
One of them is to follow the movement of planting trees. Even though it looks like a small step, this can still have a positive effect in the future if we do it together from now on. Let’s not ignore the sustainability of the forest, as the forest plays an important role in human survival.
Supporting Human Health
Forests provide a variety of resources for humans including fresh air, clean water, and nutritious food. Many also mention that the forest is a place for physical recreation and excellent mental health.
However, what is also important from forests for human health is that they are a vital source of medicine. The United Nations estimates that at least 25% of all medicines available in developed countries are plant-based, while in developing countries it is up to 80%.
Not only that, the forest also functions as a provider of clean water and a good source of food to support health. Not to mention, carbon dioxide levels which are bad for our health can be reduced thanks to the presence of forests.
Making the Earth Cooler
According to the World Economy Forum, about 10 million hectares of forest, the size of Iceland, worldwide are lost each year between 2015-2020. This is what then causes global warming, heat waves, or higher air temperatures.
Therefore, we need to jointly manage and restore forests, so that the earth can be cooler again. In addition, healthy forests can also overcome the greenhouse effect which is one of the factors of global warming.
Protecting Us from Natural Disasters
Forests function as water catchment areas that can prevent flooding. In addition, forests can reduce the risk of soil erosion and landslides. So, even if the rainfall is high, the danger of flooding can be reduced as long as there is a well-managed forest.
Meanwhile, a number of data from around the world stated that most of the floods in an area are caused by large-scale deforestation. This condition will have an impact on the loss of residential land, the destruction of animal habitats, and the occurrence of severe landslides.
Reducing Infectious Disease Rates
Citing Healthline, a 2021 report from the Harvard Global Health Institute, land use change is a major cause of diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, known as zoonotic diseases.
Furthermore, a 2019 case study in Indonesia strengthened the link between malaria and deforestation when it was found that just 1 percent of forest loss increased malaria cases by 10 percent.
According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, 1 out of every 3 or 31 percent of new and emerging disease outbreaks, such as Zika, Ebola and Nipah, are linked to deforestation.
In addition, the report notes that climate change is causing changes in patterns of transmission of infectious diseases, potentially accelerating outbreaks of Zika, Malaria, and Dengue Fever. Experts also predict that new diseases will emerge if deforestation is not tackled immediately.