FORESTS: A PRECIOUS SOURCE OF FOOD AT RISK
Author: Ilaria Giunti
Translation by: Matteo Gaipa
According to recent WWF researches, forests have been an essential role in our nutrition and in biodiversity: indeed 1 million people get food and resources and 80% of biodiversity is preserved by forests. Forests represent wide part of our planet, indeed 30% it is covered by them, although at the beginning of the millennium have been lost 150 million hectares; we don’t have to be scared of this data, because from 1990 to 1999 we lost only 16 million hectares a year , and from 2000 only 13 million hectares a year. This data provide us an important information, an important decrease which might be a beacon of hope for our planet.
WHAT DOES DEFORESTATION AFFECT?
Some of the most affected elements of the deforestation are soil balance, soil enrichment, prime material conservation, a balanced climate, health and food safety.
A DIVERSE PANORAMA
Even if deforestation data is decreasing , they are still worrying. Many governments are planning and activating reforestation projects, especially in Asia, for example in China, India, Vietnam, where forest areas are increased of 4 million hectares per year, with an average increase of forest surface of 2.2 million hectares per year worldwide. On the other hand, in South America countries and Africa, such as Brazil, Tanzania, Nigeria;, Burma, Bolivia and Venezuela have been registered the higher deforestation rates.
Italy doesn’t follow those trends, indeed from 2005 to today, according to data of the Ministry of the Environment , the forest surfacehas increased of 600 thousand hectares. This increase has interested the centre and south Italy, such as Campania, Molise, Abruzzo, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Calabria and Basilicata. In the period 2005-2015 thanks to satellite photos it has been possible to see a progressive increase of the forest surface even though with a slower cadence than the past decades.
REFORESTATION: PRECIOUS COOPERATOR AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
Many countries have started reforestation projects to fight against climate change consequences, such as desertification and draughts. Indeed, forests have a fundamental role for climate mitigation, because theuy absorb co2, and are among the priorities of international climate agreements.
THE GREAT GREEN WALL
This project has been created in 1978, and it is the most important reforestation project of the world; “The Great Green Wall” goal is to contain deforestation consequences made by China in the last decades. According to the last Greenpeace data, only 2% of the Chinese forests have remained untouched, more than one quarter of the Chinese territory is covered by sand and desertification is moving forward very fast. Contain the desertification, is the goal of this project the “Great Green Wall”
This project has been defined an “ecological mismatch”, because they have chose for reforestation long trunk trees, for this reason to reach the goal, 3 years ago the World Bank gave to China a 80 million dollars loan in order to plan flora in place of long trunk trees, because this reforestation choice is counter-productive; indeed, those trees don’t have any success in the arid Chinese territory.