Know your rights to the forest | India
Answer the questions:
- What country the video has been filmed in?
- Why are the forests important for the environment?
- What have the people in the area done to protect their forests?
- Why have they succeeded in protecting the forests?
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Background information on the theme
The forests have an important role in climate change mitigation as so-called carbon sinks. Approximately 10% of the worldwide emissions are caused by deforestation.
As a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide. The released carbon dioxide warms the atmosphere, and correspondingly, the carbon that transfers from the atmosphere to forests and trees cools the climate. When a forest begins to disappear permanently, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. In addition, forests are important for the biological diversity and for the function of ecosystems. The current level of logging has led to the habitats and species of forests and wetlands to become endangered as well as to the deterioration of the quality of water bodies.
Forests are threatened in different parts of the world. They vanish quickly especially in the tropics where they are turned into farmlands and pastures. Trees are being logged also for industry's use to become timber products and for paper production. Wood and its by-products can also be used in energy production. However, it is important to consider, that using a growing tree for energy produces even more carbon dioxide per produced energy unit than using fossil fuels. Furthermore, there is an aspiration in bioeconomy to replace disposable plastics with wood products, among others.
Conservation and restoration of forests such as tree planting slows down climate change. However, one should take into consideration that trees grow very slowly, so from the perspective of climate change, planting a seedling will not replace an old and sizeable tree. An old, diverse forest mitigates climate change better than a young, commercial forest.