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The importance of forests

 

Man has been cutting down forests indiscriminately and today the trend is not only to save natural forests but to create artificial ones. Deserts are made to bloom! The Imperial Valley of the Sonoran desert in southern California has been converted into a green patch which yields crops all the year round. Forests are not to be considered merely as a direct source of wealth; they are to be considered in relation to the national economy and geography.

Forests serve many purposes. They hold together the soil and prevent or minimize soil erosion. The oxygen in the air is replenished by forests and plankton in the sea. Trees and plants, during photosynthesis, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Scientists fear that if forests are destroyed indiscriminately, there will be an increase in carbon dioxide and eventually the sun's rays will become hotter, the polar caps will melt and the ocean level rise and submerge much of our land. Vegetable mould that forests supply increases the fertility of the soil. Forests influence climate. The roots suck up sub-soil water and it is expelled as moisture by foliage. Forests provide sanctuary for animals and birds. It is to he remembered that the rich and varied wild life vanishes in proportion to the forest we destroy.

Industries like paper, rayon. strawboards, matches, insulation boards and wood-panel products are dependent on forests. Indian forests are said to yield 2,500 species of wood, about 18% of which are commercially valuable. Forests are a source of essential oil and medicinal herbs. The lignin and cellulose found in wood are chemically treated to produce valuable drugs like sulfonamide and chloroform. Spruce and fur are used for making airplane and glider parts. Ash and mulberry woods are used for making many sports goods.

Governments all over the world have taken steps to conserve forests: President Franklin Roosevelt of the USA, alarmed by the massive destruction of forests by man, created a conservation corps of two million men to plant trees, dig lakes and build forest roads and in the course of ten years saved the country's forests. Today the trend is not only to save the existing forests but to create artificial ones. Israel is the classic example of a country where a desert has been converted into a garden. The success of this experiment shows that land can be reclaimed and thus increase the food supply of the world. It stands to Israel's credit that within twenty-five years it has doubled the area of its arable land.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
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High School English essays 1

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