“Forests are the world’s air-conditioning system – the ‘lungs’ of the planet – and we are on the verge of switching it off.” – King (formerly Prince) Charles
Forests purify the air, and deforestation is changing our climate while possibly harming living habitats and, ultimately, the environment. Reversing deforestation is complicated, yet the action of planting trees is simple – reforestation is the process of regenerating forests that have been destroyed while replanting the damaged and lost trees. On the flip side of that same coin, the process of afforestation describes the planting and sowing of new seeds for trees to create a new forest…and Oasis Park remains one of the international entities focused on formidable afforestation via its long-term Green Initiative efforts.
Reforestation and afforestation indeed have different purposes and targets, yet both strive toward propagating greenery. Afforestation is an endeavor to forest an area that originally had no tree coverage to create a new green space; reforestation, on the other hand, aims to repopulate an area that has lost its tree population in order to maintain ecological balance. Still, both represent a consequence of deforestation, and are highly recommended for lands exposed to desertification or prone to degradation due to the somewhat rapid evolution of climate change.
The legendary King (previously Prince) Charles was once quoted as saying, “Forests are the ‘lungs’ of the planet,” and he wasn’t wrong in the least – consider the fact that forests consume 20 billion tons of CO2 per year and also enrich the soil with nutrients through their roots and fallen leaves. Moreover, they are the source of basic and supplementary food and income for many people, aside from acting as natural aqueducts that distribute up to 95-percent of the water they absorb.
Finally, forests are home to some 80-percent of the world’s biodiversity habitats, which is why a myriad of environmental enthusiasts and socially-responsible experts have engaged in reforestation projects to fight against climate change, limit desertification, save humanity and the earth and sustain the ecosystem. Restoring forests and generating new plant life is vital to planet- saving efforts and fighting current environmental threats exposing living habitats to danger, since forests sustain the ecosystem balance, prevent soil erosion, maintain the water cycle and support the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Indeed, implementing both processes could be done through a number of methods, starting with spreading awareness and imposing strict rules related to the protection of the lands, their expansion and resources to generate a balanced ecosystem for current and future generations.
What must be understood is that reforestation and afforestation are scientific processes due to the fact they push beyond the boundaries of planting trees; to implement the systems, one should have adequate knowledge of the climate, landform and soil type of the land being planted, since not all species of tree can thrive under the same environmental conditions or in the same area. Oman is known for its wild landscape and its history of desertification for a number of reasons, primarily because of physical and socio-economic factors.
Physical factors that have contributed to desertification in The Sultanate of Oman include but are not limited to:
Socio-economic factors that that have contributed to The Sultanate of Oman’s desertification are difficult to sufficiently evaluate because of the population classification, but the major ones include:
Quite a few reforestation initiatives are planned for a worldwide rollout, with some of these projects to encompass:
Ireland’s Climate Action Plan
Some 8000 hectares are planned to be replanted by 2030.
India’s Guinness World Record Attempt
to plant 50 million trees in 24 hours.
50 Million Trees to be Planted
in Uttar Pradesh, India and in England’s Northern Forest Over the Next 25 years.
China’s Grain for Green Ongoing Initiative
Over 28 million hectares are planned tobe re-timbered.
Africa’s Great Green Wall
Plans to build the largest living structure wall from one end of Africa to the other will slow desertification across 8000 kilometers.
Leading the greenest initiative in the Middle East, this project is in the midst of planning an afforestation program that will ultimately result in 60 million trees being planted over 10 years – expanding an area of 18 square-kilometers to occupy 1200 square-kilometers in the future. This equals one-fifth of the black forest that will contribute to CO2 emission reduction and food production security in Oman.
A Final Analysis: Why Reforestation/Afforestation?
Today, we, as humans, are standing at the threshold of an imminent crisis with global warming, climate change, greenhouse effects and more threatening the earth – and we are seeing this in the form of the planet gradually losing its biodiversity. Reforestation and afforestation are the primary solutions to tackle the consequences of these problems while combating forest degradation.
Alongside checking biodiversity loss, we are being urged to reduce carbon dioxide in the air, and as such, planting trees is the simplest way to rejuvenate the forests’ “lungs” and improve the quality of the air we are all breathing. Fighting global warming, restoring habitats and preventing soil erosion are all proactive reasons to implement reforestation and afforestation processes worldwide.
Trees not only beautify our surroundings, they are also a key for solving many of our most pressing environmental threats, aside from their myriad of benefits in the areas of balancing the ecosystem, fighting deforestation, reducing greenhouse gasses, soaking up carbon dioxide, influencing weather patterns, preventing soil and water erosion and, most of all, keeping us healthy and happy.
The brains behind Oasis Park took the reins and kicked off its plan locally, encouraging people all over the world to contribute to its Green Initiative through rewarding the supporters of the project and adding an incentive for all participants. Known as O! Millionaire, this incentive – in the form of Oman’s first “green draw” – implements a unique ID for each Green Certificate sold, entitling participants to enter this weekly live draw.
You, too, can support Oasis Park by purchasing Green Certificates here.