Forests are essential for sustaining life on earth, providing us the necessities to survive. This was stated in a press release by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT).
The release added, “Forests especially the tropical rainforests are rich in biodiversity, such as that they house many species of plants, animals and a variety of microorganisms. Forests are known to have complex ecosystems that are interlinked between one and another which make them able to host significant amount of the earth’s biodiversity and genetic resources.
“Forests provide numerous goods and services that benefits us socially, environmentally and economically or also known as the ‘forest ecosystem services’. They provide us the sustenance for our daily livelihood such source for food that we consume and the timber from trees for building construction and furniture making. Some plant species are traditionally used for medicine and with the advancement of scientific research and technologies, most of our modern medicines are known to be derived from the forests. These can be the source of income for the people and perhaps significantly contributing to a country’s economic growth.
“In terms of services specific to the environment, forests play important role in climate change mitigation and of course, carbon sink. They absorb carbon dioxide and storing them in their wood, leaves and soil, as well as producing oxygen for us to breathe.
“They also play as important function in maintaining the water cycle by absorbing water from the soil through their roots and returning it to the atmosphere. The variety of trees that make up the forests stabilise the soil and protect them from erosion that may cause other detrimental environmental impacts such as landslides, flashfloods and sedimentation.
“Forests can be the perfect place for us to heal and relax. Enjoying nature by simply walking along a forest trail can have a positive psychological impact to our mental and physical health.
“Now that we know the importance of forests, it is crucial that the forests are to be safeguarded so that they can continue to function and provides us the necessary services for our livelihood. Their sustainable management and utilisation are important so that the forests can be present for the current and future generations. It is for us to instil the sense of responsibility and to act upon in their protection and conservation.