How Forests Are Useful To Us?
Why forests are important for people – Have you had breakfast today? Sat on a chair? Written in a notebook? Blown your nose into a tissue? Forest products are a vital part of our daily lives in more ways than we can imagine, from obvious paper and wood products, to the by-products used in medicines, cosmetics and detergents.
Over 1.6 billion people depend on forests for food or fuel, and some 70 million people worldwide – including many Indigenous communities – call forests home. Forests provide us with oxygen, shelter, jobs, water, nourishment and fuel. With so many people dependent on forests, the fate of our forests may determine our own fate as well.
Forests help prevent erosion and enrich and conserve soil, helping to protect communities from landslides and floods and producing the rich topsoil needed to grow plants and crops. Forests also play an important role in the global water cycle, moving water across the earth by releasing water vapor and capturing rainfall.
- They also filter out pollution and chemicals, improving the quality of water available for human use.
- The destruction of forests has a knock-on effect on agriculture and can affect the production of the food we eat.
- Human health is inextricably linked to forest health.
- Deforestation has serious consequences on the health of people directly dependent on forests, as well as those living in cities and towns, as it increases the risk of diseases crossing over from animals to humans.
Meanwhile, time spent in forests has been shown to have a positive benefit on conditions including cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes and mental health.
- 1 Why are forests affected by wars?
- 2 Why do people destroy forests?
- 2.1 How will you relate life to a tree?
- 2.2 Why is it dark inside a forest?
- 2.3 What are the results of deforestation?
- 2.4 What are the benefits of forest in Pakistan?
- 3 Why are forests important in Bangladesh?
Why are forests so useful?
Overview. Forests are vital to life on Earth. They purify the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, prevent erosion, and act as an important buffer against climate change.
Why is deforestation bad?
Learn the effects of deforestation Forest destruction is a crisis for the whole planet. Find out how we can all fight to save our forests. That’s every two seconds, every single day. And we’re not including commercially grown trees and plantations. We mean natural, noisy forests that were full of life, and home to threatened species such as orangutans and jaguars.
There’s only about half the number of trees on the planet today that there were when humans first evolved. And the fastest rate of forest destruction has been in the past couple of centuries. Up to 15 billion trees are now being cut down every year across the world. It’s just not sustainable, or very smart – for wildlife, for people, or for the climate.
We’re fighting hard to stop forest destruction. Years of committed work by environmental campaigners, politicians and businesses is starting to pay off, but there’s lots more to do. And we urgently need your help. Deforestation affects us all, whether we realise it or not.
As well as being stunningly beautiful, forests are vital for the health of our planet. They provide food and shelter for so much of life on Earth – from fungi and insects to tigers and elephants. More than half the world’s land-based plants and animals, and three-quarters of all birds, live in and around forests.
Forests have a big influence on rainfall patterns, water and soil quality and flood prevention too. Millions of people rely directly on forests as their home or for making a living. But the risks from deforestation go even wider. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide.
- If forests are cleared, or even disturbed, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
- Forest loss and damage is the cause of around 10% of global warming.
- There’s simply no way we can fight the climate crisis if we don’t stop deforestation. We need to protect forests now more than ever.
Most deforestation is carried out to clear land for food production. This is not a new thing – for instance in the UK we largely cleared our natural forests centuries ago to create more agricultural land. But now we know the wider damage deforestation can do – and especially at the alarming pace and scale of destruction happening around the world.
The majority of the deforestation is linked to meat, soya and palm oil. Huge swathes of tropical forest are removed so the land can be used for growing soya to feed farm animals like pigs and poultry. All to meet the insatiable global demand for cheap meat. Even though the damage is mainly done to tropical forests, the causes can be linked to eating habits all around the world – including here in the UK.
Our footprint is mainly linked to soya grown to feed British reared animals. So the chicken and bacon in our shops may well be unwittingly contributing to global deforestation. We help reduce forest damage in a number of ways. We’re known for our work with industry and the public to promote more sustainable use of the world’s forests.
- We co-founded the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whose tick logo on wood and paper products helps shoppers identify and support sustainable forest management.
- And we were founder members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), who’ve improved and expanded the sources of responsibly-produced palm oil.
Plus we helped bring in legislation to prevent illegal timber being sold in the UK. In 2014, dozens of high-profile firms signed up to our Forest Campaign, including Argos, B&Q, Carillion, M&S, Penguin Random House and Sainsbury’s. They all pledged their wood and paper would be legally and sustainably sourced by 2020.
We’ve had our successes, but the challenges keep growing too. We helped reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 75% between 2004 and 2012. But since then deforestation has been on the increase, with the highest rate of deforestation in a decade recorded in 2018. In an emergency response to the scale and intensity of the current Amazon fires, we’ve also launched an appeal to support our local WWF Amazon teams working with local organisations to carry out urgent work on the ground.
Our focus right now, based on, is with 11 ‘deforestation fronts’ around the world – particularly precious and vulnerable forests where we can predict and prevent the worst damage over the coming years. It includes forests in Africa, Australia, Latin America and South-east Asia.
We’re initiating new projects, supporting existing ones and bringing the right funding to the right action in the right place. Our ambitious plans aren’t just aimed at preventing destruction, but also at ‘reforesting’ – restoring or replanting forests that have been damaged or lost. We’ve linked up with two other conservation charities, BirdLife and WCS, for the project – making a bold commitment to forest protection and restoration.
This project will restore 5.2 million hectares of forest in Tanzania by 2030. There are lots of things we can all do, right now, to protect the world’s forests. For instance, choose recycled paper products and look for the FSC ‘tick-tree’ logo when you’re shopping.
But your diet has the biggest impact. If you haven’t already, think about moderating the amount of meat you eat, perhaps considering it a weekend treat. And experiment with plant-based ingredients instead – there are plenty of new, innovative alternatives on offer now. Also, make sure any palm oil in the products you buy is sustainably sourced – it may say RSPO on the label.
And of course you can help by being part of our global campaign to stop deforestation and restore our forests and jungles. : Learn the effects of deforestation
Why are forests affected by wars?
Forests are affected by wars and this often leads to deforestation. Forests during wars are freely cut to meet the needs of war. Forests are an important resource and hence during wars they are destroyed by their own country under the ‘a scorched earth policy’. This prevents the enemy from using this resource.
Why are forests important for mitigating climate change?
How Forests Offset Climate Change and Its Impacts – A view from the top. Photo credit: Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Service Forester Forests help to slow the rate of climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. This is a direct effect, as the primary driver of climate change is the over-abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Healthy functioning forests help to absorb rainwater and slow its aboveground movement, which is crucial to preserving soil integrity, protecting water quality, and reducing flood intensity. Forests and trees regulate temperature across the urban to rural landscape. This decreases the amount of energy required and carbon emitted to cool indoor spaces. Many harmful airborne pollutants are associated with climate change, and healthy forests remove them from the air. The same is true for waterborne pollutants. Furthermore, forests add oxygen to the air.
Bioaccumulation: When contaminants are present in a medium, such as air or water, they are absorbed by the organisms which inhabit that medium. When the contaminated organisms are then consumed by another organism, the contaminants move into it. As you move up the food chain, the levels of contamination become higher and can reach dangerous levels in the upper-level predators, even if the levels in the medium itself are small. By removing contaminants from both air and water, healthy forests minimize potential for this dangerous bioaccumulation to occur.
Forests are home to countless species across the living spectrum, and they all have intrinsic value to society. Some have functional value as well, and may be more important as climate change continues. Forests provide resources which support human life. These resources are renewable, and the products they create have smaller environmental footprints than their counterparts.
Back to Climate Change and Connecticut Forests for more information Content last updated in April 2022.
Why are trees so important?
Trees play an especially important role in enhancing our quality of life in the urban environment and this is acknowledged in the Governments Sustainable Development Strategy. They screen unsightly structures and activities, give privacy and soften the hard lines of buildings.
- Trees also bring colour and contrasts into the urban environment.
- Not only do trees have a visual quality, but they also enhance the environment in less obvious ways.
- Trees improve air quality by acting as natural air filters removing dust, smoke and fumes from the atmosphere by trapping them on their leaves, branches and trunks.
Just 1 hectare of beech woodland can extract 4 tonnes of dust per year from the atmosphere. Trees reduce the ‘Greenhouse’ effect by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. Each year a mature tree produces enough oxygen for 10 people.
Trees are also an effective sound barrier and can limit noise pollution. Recent research shows that trees also help reduce the stress of modern life. Trees in themselves benefit the environment and the landscape, but they are also an integral part of the ecosystem providing benefits to wildlife and biodiversity.
Trees, especially older or veteran trees and those in groups or woodlands, provide habitats for native ground flora such as bluebells and fauna, particularly bats, red squirrels and invertebrates. The planting of trees and the care and preservation of mature trees can go a long way to making Trafford a great place to live, work learn and relax.
Why are forests called green lungs?
The plants help to provide oxygen to animals for respiration. They also maintain the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That is why forests are called green lungs.
Why we shouldn’t cut the trees?
The ecological balance will get disturbed, resulting in more frequent floods and droughts. The topmost fertile layer will be lost, resulting in reduced fertility and desertification with time.
Why do people cut trees?
So, to take care of forests and towns, to keep people safe, and to get wood, people cut some trees down. We may not want to, but sometimes we need to. Some trees have defects or become damaged. Defective and damaged trees can be dangerous.
How many trees are in the world?
How Many Trees on Earth? There are an estimated 3.04 trillion trees on the planet.
Why are forests so peaceful?
“There is something truly special about spending time in the forest. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was frightened, angry and terrified my life as I knew it would end right there. But over time, I became used to new ways of doing things.
Going to the forest helped me to heal. The combination of sounds, smells and abundance of life doesn’t exist anywhere else. I’d be lost if it wasn’t for the woods.” Penny Thomas – Stories like Penny’s are far from uncommon. As part of the Forestry Commission’s centenary in 2019, we asked people how woodlands make them feel.
We were blown away by the response. A great number talked about experiencing a sense of freedom. Others reminisced about childhood memories. Almost everyone mentioned feeling relaxed and stress-free. How we feel after visiting the forest is unique – and the science backs that up.
- The forest is my sacred space.
- I feel connection between myself and all living things around me.
- I am centred and calm, part of everything and yet detached from the chaos of modern life.” ~ Sharon, a forest wanderer “I visit the forest with my daughter.
- She has adventures and realises the value of the wilderness, getting mucky, pond dipping and exercising while we are having fun.
It’s all of our happy place. We feel closer as a family.” ~ Rebecca, Dalby Forest “I have a hearing condition that causes sensory overlaoding anxiety. When the world fills my head, I escape to the forest. The forest makes me feel rejuvenated and connected to everything that is good, balanced and part of the cycle of life.” ~ Ali, Wendover Woods “Time is suspended and serene in a forest.
- It gives you time to appreciate the beauty and wildness that engulfs you.” ~ Francisco, a forest wanderer Spending time in forests reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, which makes us feel calm and relaxed.
- This also lessens the prospect of experiencing high blood pressure, skin conditions and problems with the heart.
Dr Alan Kellas is a psychiatrist interested in nature-based approaches to mental health.
Why do people destroy forests?
Why has humanity destroyed such vast forests? And how can we bring this to an end? April 20, 2022 For thousands of years humans have destroyed forests. At the end of the last great ice age, an estimated 57% of the world’s habitable land was forested.1 Since then, people in all regions of the world have burned and cut down forests.
We need wood for many purposes: as construction material for houses or ships, to turn it into paper, and – most importantly – as a source of energy. Burning wood is a major source of energy where there are trees but no modern energy sources available. Still today about half of extracted wood globally is used to produce energy, mostly for cooking and heating in poor households that lack alternatives.2
By far, the most important driver of the destruction of forests is agriculture. Humanity cuts down forests primarily to make space for fields to grow crops and pastures to raise livestock. We also cut down forests to make space for settlements or mining, but these are small in comparison to farming.
The land use for farming did not only come at the expense of the world’s forests, but also led to the huge decline of the world’s other wild spaces, the shrub- and grasslands. The chart shows this too. In many countries forests continue to be destroyed. The series of charts shows this. In all of these countries the forest cover today is lower than three decades ago.3 Most of the forests that are destroyed today are in the tropics, some of the most biodiverse regions on our planet. Why is this happening? The following chart shows what is driving the ongoing destruction of the world’s largest tropical forest: the Amazon. Most of the destruction of tropical forests is due to consumers in the region, but about 12% of the deforestation in the tropics is driven by demand from high-income countries. Beef-eaters around the world are contributing to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.6 This huge impact of meat consumption on deforestation is also visible in the first chart that showed the history over the last 10 millennia – 31% of the world’s habitable land is now grazing land for livestock.
This is an extremely large part of the world; taken together it is as large as all of the Americas, from Alaska in the North down to Tierra del Fuego in the South. Meat consumption is such a large driver of deforestation because it is a very inefficient way to produce food. The land use of meat production is much higher than plant-based foods.
Reducing meat consumption is therefore a way to increase the agricultural output per land area. A shift away from the land-intensive production of meat, especially beef, would be a major way to make progress and end deforestation. One possible way to get there is to make clear how large the environmental impact of meat production is.
When did forest suffer the most?
Answer: Forests suffers the most during forest fire, it’s cutting down, loss of leaves due to unusual reasons, rotting away of roots, etc.
How have human activities impacted the forests?
Human impacts on genetic diversity in forest ecosystems | US Forest Service Research and Development Humans have converted forest to agricultural and urban uses, exploited species, fragmented wildlands, changed the demographic structure of forests, altered habitat, degraded the environment with atmospheric and soil pollutants, introduced exotic pests and competitors, and domesticated favored species.
None of they activities is new; perhaps with the exception of atmospheric poilution, they date back to prehistory. All have impacted genetic diversity (i.e., species diversity and genetic diversity within species) by their influence on the evolutionary processes of extinction, selection, drift, gene flow, and mutation, sometimes increasing diversity, as in the case of domestication, but often reducing it.
Even in the absence of changes in diversity, mating systems were altered, changing the genetic structure of populations. Demographic changes (i.e., conversion of old-growth to younger, even-aged stands) influenced selection by increasing the incidence of disease.
- Introduction of exotic diseases, insects, mammalian herbivores, and competing vegetation has had the best-documented effects on genetic diversity, reducing both species diversity and intraspecific diversity.
- Deforestation has operated on a vast scale to reduce diversity by direct elimination of locally-adapted populations.
Atmospheric pollution and global warming will be a major threat in the near future, particularly because forests are fragmented and migration is impeded. Past impacts can be estimated with reference to expert knowledge, but hard data are often lacking.
How save trees save life?
Save Trees Paragraph – 2 (150 Words) – Trees are a natural resource. They are a treasure and we must protect them. Trees help in maintaining the ecological balance of ecosystems on earth. If we destroy trees we destroy ourselves. In the process of photosynthesis in trees, carbon dioxide is used up and oxygen is released into the air.
This helps in keeping a constant and abundant supply of oxygen in the air, and helps life forms to breathe. If there is no oxygen to breathe in we cannot live. So our life depends on trees. Trees also keep down the heat on Earth. If there are no trees the heat on the planet will be intolerable. Besides, due to large amounts of heat created due to factors such as the smoke generated from industries and vehicular traffic there is global warming resulting in climate change.
Trees can help in solving this big crisis. Trees should therefore be saved.
What are the value of trees?
Trees are an Investment Almost everyone knows that trees and other living plants are valuable. They beautify our surroundings, purify our air, act as sound barriers, manufacture precious oxygen, and help us save energy through their cooling shade in summer and their wind reduction in winter.
Tree size – Sometimes the size and age of a tree are such that it cannot be replaced. Trees that are too large to be replaced should be assessed by professionals who use a specialized appraisal formula. Species of Tree – Trees that are hardy, durable, highly adaptable and free from objectionable characteristics such as pods or nuts which add to the debris are most valuable and require less maintenance. Condition of the tree – A well-cared-for tree with healthy roots, trunk, branches and buds will have a higher value. Location of the tree – One tree standing alone will often have a higher value than a tree in a group. A tree near your house, or one which is a focal point in your landscape, tends to have more value.
© 2007 International Society of Arboriculture. Parks and Recreation 2450 McDougall Street Windsor, Ontario, Canada N8X 3N6 Telephone: For general information, call 311, Email: [email protected]
How will you relate life to a tree?
The Symbiotic Relationship Between People and Trees – Trees and people have an interdependent relationship. One example is we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees, on the other hand, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
Why is it dark inside a forest?
Forests have trees that are of different heights. Tall trees and their widely spread bracnhes form a layer known as canopy. Canopy blocks a lot of sunshine and prevents it from reaching the other layers of plants below. This makes the forest look dark even during the day.
What are the results of deforestation?
Cutting down the trees will result in the loss of habitat for the wild animals and make the soil loose and hence cause soil erosion. They cause increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which in turn causes climate change.
Which country is called lungs of world?
Why is the evergreen forest of brazil called lungs of the earth?
Why should we plant trees around our houses?
Trees give off oxygen that we need to breathe. Trees reduce the amount of storm water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding. Many species of wildlife depend on trees for habitat. Trees provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and mammals.
How can you say forests are lungs of our earth?
Tropical rainforests are often called the “lungs of the planet” because they generally draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. But the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb, or produce, varies hugely with year-to-year variations in the climate. A new paper published this week in the journal Nature shows that these variations reveal how vulnerable the rainforest is to climate change.
Dr Chris Huntingford, a climate modeller with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) joined a team of scientists from the University of Exeter and the Met Office Hadley Centre to carry out the study. The study reveals a new way to find out how sensitive biological systems are to changes in climate.
The key was to learn how to read the year-to-year variations in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The paper’s lead author, Professor Peter Cox of the University of Exeter, explained that scientists have been struggling for more than a decade to answer the question of whether the Amazon forest will die back under climate change.
- He said, “Our study indicates that the risk is low if climate change is associated with increased plant growth under elevated carbon dioxide.
- But if this effect declines, or climate warming occurs due to something other than a carbon dioxide increase, we expect to see a significant release of carbon from tropical ecosystems.” Carbon dioxide increases each year as a result of burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
But the amount it goes up from one year to the next depends on whether tropical forests are absorbing carbon dioxide or releasing it – and this in turn depends on whether the tropical climate was warmer and dryer than usual, or wetter and cooler. So the trace of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere holds a record of how the lungs of the planet respond when the climate warms or cools.
- The team studied how these year-to-year variations in carbon dioxide concentration relate to long-term changes in the amount of carbon stored in tropical rainforests.
- They found that climate models that predicted tropical forest dieback under climate change also had a very large year-to-year variation in carbon dioxide concentration, while models in which the rainforest was more robust to climate change had more realistic year-to-year variation in carbon dioxide concentration.
By combining this relationship with the year-to-year variation in carbon dioxide as seen in the real world, the team were able to determine that about 50 billion tonnes of carbon would be released for each degree Celsius of warming in the tropics. Peter Cox said the findings were initially a relief: “Fortunately, this carbon release is counteracted by the positive effects of carbon dioxide fertilisation on plant growth under most scenarios of the 21st century, so that overall forests are expected to continue to accumulate carbon.” The researchers are certain, however, that tropical forests will suffer under climate change if carbon dioxide doesn’t fertilise tree growth as strongly as climate models suggest, saying that the long-term health of tropical forests depends on their ability to withstand multiple pressures from changing climate and deforestation.
What are the benefits of forest in Pakistan?
Protected Benefits – The protective functions imply such important features as impact on climate, and physiographic features of the country, conservation of soil and water, regulation of stream flow and prevention of such calamities as floods, lands slides, siltation of dams and change in the course of rivers.
Why are forests important in Bangladesh?
Why knowledge about forests is important for Bangladesh Every year international day of forest is observed in 21st March to aware mass people on forest ecosystem. This year the theme of forest day is “forests and education”. The economic value of carbon sequestration becomes increasingly recognized and qualified in the global marketplace.
In order to estimate the valuation of ecosystem services and livelihood, it is necessary to identify a set of indicators that allow them to measure the contribution of these benefits in economic terms. Economic contributions are – food security, human health amelioration, sustainable livelihoods, disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation.
Also, average protein take per person from food resources from forests can be used as indicators. It reduces and mitigates natural disaster. Coastal forests are protecting life and properties from devastating cyclones, landslide, wind and surges; mitigating floods and droughts of the locality.
- In Bangladesh, hilly people depends on completely on natural flows of streams originated in forests for their water, values of such ecosystem is the construction for structures made for supplying water to city dwellers.
- After all, healthy forest ecosystem clean the water we drink and produce the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the medicine that cure and protect us and the materials that form our shelter and clothing.
But, the land use pattern of Bangladesh is changing very rapidly due to alterations in physiographic and socio-economic conditions, climatic change adaptation and population growth. Forests cover 31% of the worlds land surface. Estimated 25% area of any country should be covered with trees and forest, for many reasons like production of wood, elimination of pollution, green natural environment, healthy air and many others.
- Bangladesh has 15% of the landmass designated as forests.
- Sustainable management of forest has been recognized in the earth summit at Rio and it has been stressed the need for enhancing the tree cover to 33% by 2012 to combat the global warming.
- Understanding the importance of forest conservation in adapting to climate change, the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has agreed to start the global reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Conference of parties (COP-10) raised concern about the biodiversity that is not achieved and a short new plan ‘strategic plan for Biodiversity 2011-20′ has come to be achieved by 2020. We the Bangladeshis have been experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change which are particularly responsible for most of the rural to urban migration, environmental deterioration, and food insecurity in our country.
But the crises are also closely related to land encroachment in forest, alien species cultivation in forest, clash in Char-land, river encroachment, deforestation, trafficking of wildlife and violation of eco-industrial laws. Loss of forest impedes evapotranspiration cycle, resulting in less rainfall and causing drier conditions over broad surrounding areas, sometimes leading to draught, increased flooding and erosion of sediment into rivers, disrupting river ecosystems.
All forests contain large amounts of carbon. When they are destroyed, the burning or decomposition of forest matter releases this carbon into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a green house gas, absorbing solar heat within the atmosphere.
In order to safeguard the remaining forests and increasing forest cover in Bangladesh the national forest policy, 1994 evidently envisages three outstanding courses of action: firstly, afforestation of marginal land all over the country involving the NGOs and participation of local people; secondly, all state owned forests of natural origin and the plantations of the hill and sal forest will be used for producing forest resources, conserving soil and water resources and maintaining the biodiversity; thirdly, because of the scarcity of forest land, state-owned reserved forest cannot be used for non-forestry purposes without the permission of the head of the government.
Wildlife effectively encompasses all forms of life, whether plant or animal which are found wild in nature and also include marine, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. Wildlife conservation is the endeavour to protect the endangered animal and plant species, along with their natural habitat which has been advocated through the years by many government and NGOs worldwide.
- World Wildlife Day is observed to make aware mass people on wildlife biodiversity and their security for sustainable development.
- Different animal body parts, ranging from tiger skins and bones to tusks of African elephants, remains in the seizure list in the last five years globally.
- Recovery of tiger skins from areas close to the Sunderbans has also been reported in the recent past.
In 2012, RAB rescued three tiger cubs from a poacher’s residence in the capital. Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan in 2012 launched a project named Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection (SRCWP) to conserve wildlife and tackle poaching.
- A growing number of seizure of wild animals and birds over the last five years shows that poachers and smugglers are using Bangladesh as a route for wildlife trafficking.
- The Department of Forest (DoF) and law enforcement agencies recovered 21,506 live wild birds and animals, including tiger and bear cubs, during the period.
A variety of animal body parts – from tiger skins and bones to tusks of African elephants – are also on the seizure list. According to wildlife officials, traffickers are active in smuggling out tiger skins and bones through Bangladesh, as those have huge demands on the global market, especially in China.
Some of the seized wild animals and birds were meant for local trade, while the others were for trafficking to different countries, mainly in Southeast Asia. Wildlife traffickers are illegally bringing wild birds and animals mainly from India to smuggle those out via Shahjalal International Airport in the capital.
Smugglers prefer Shahjalal airport because of lax monitoring, and the fact that they can bribe a section of corrupt officials to allow them to run the illegal trade. In general, wildlife trafficking poses serious threats to the survival of endangered animals in the Sunderbans.
In the last five years, the DoF and law enforcers recovered three tiger cubs, 12 tiger skins, and teeth and bones. China is the destination of tiger bones since Chinese people use those to make medicine.”Almost two-thirds of the 21,506 wild birds and animals seized since 2010 are turtles and tortoises.
Law enforcers seized 12 illegal consignments of turtles at the airport and 20 more at different points of Bangladesh-India border. Through Interpol estimation, illegal wildlife trade worldwide now accounts for around $10-20 billion a year. According to several Malaysian online pet shops, a tortoise is sold from Tk 5,000 (280 RM) to Tk 13,500 (750 RM), while a pair could cost up to Tk 70,000 (3,888 RM).
The initiatives to curb illegal wildlife trade in Bangladesh remains blunted as the records still show high figures of wild animals and bird being seized by law enforcement agencies over the last five years. A total of 37,039 wild animals and birds were seized and rescued by the law enforcement agencies from June 2012 to November 2016, according to the Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU).
Of the total seizure, highest 19,359 were reptiles while 16,979 birds. A total of 374 wildlife offenses were recorded in those five years and only 566 offenders, mostly small traffickers, were taken in custody. Due to the current demand of the wildlife resources and the impact of human activities on forest change, monitoring of the forest resources is essential in providing data for making policy decisions and generating management plans to enhance sustainable development; biodiversity and wildlife based campaign is urgent to uphold the critical issues of wildlife security.
|The writer is an Environmental Analyst & Associate Member of Bangladesh Economic Association|
Why knowledge about forests is important for Bangladesh