In the world, forests have undergone extensive deforestation processes. Factors such as the empowerment of land for agriculture and/or livestock, urban expansion, forest fires, natural resources exploitation, among others, are causes of the decline and deterioration of forested areas.
Forests regulate the water cycle: they intercept and retain rainwater preventing its loss. The water evaporated from the forests constitutes new events of precipitation in the atmosphere and generates recycling. Forests act as true filters within the hydrographic basins, purifying the water that originates from the slopes and fills rivers and lakes.
The process of the formation of 30 cm of soil can take between 1,000 and 10,000 years to complete. However, erosion can cause its complete loss in just one rainy season. Forests are a protective barrier against erosion. In addition, the roots of the trees form true networks of support for the soil, and when the trees lose their leaves, they form an organic blanket that nourishes the soil and makes it more fertile.
22% of the known fauna is in danger of extinction. Forests offer a high variety of habitats (food and shelter) for the planet’s biodiversity. As the forest grows and presents a wider variety of vegetation (trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, etc.), its capacity to house a greater number and types of species of flora and fauna increases. When the forest is destroyed or intervened, processes of habitat fragmentation and/or disappearance are generated, triggering a significant loss of the biodiversity of our planet.
Forests act as carbon sinks. They absorb CO2, the main gas responsible for the greenhouse effect and warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, to carry out their photosynthesis process. Through their leaves, they release oxygen and water, increasing the environmental humidity and cushioning the air temperature. Under the treetops, the temperature drops considerably, avoiding an excessive influence of solar radiation on the flora, fauna, and soil.
Forests provide goods and services that widely benefit the world’s population. They are a source of food and energy. They supply the population with clean water. They capture polluting particles, purifying the air we breathe. They are the daily sustenance of many people and a fundamental part of the different cultures and identities that coexist on our planet.