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Running head: FORESTS TO CURB GLOBAL WARMING 1

FORESTS TO CURB GLOBAL WARMING

(Cyrus Mwangi)

(CyON)
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Abstract

This report serves as a final analysis to the findings of how forests are essential as well as

effective in curbing global warming the worldwide menace. In a proposal written to seek a way

that was best to curb global warming, it was found out that the easiest and readily available

method was to device a plan through which we would use tree planting to create forests which in

turn, would mitigate global warming. This was relative to the findings that stated that trees

absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and in planting forests and maintaining those we

have, would lead to massive absorption of the gas. Consequently, there will be less trapping of

heat in our atmosphere leading to the reduction of excessive global temperatures.

Introduction

As discovered during a recent research, global warming is the planet’s ‘enemy number

one’, yet the people living and depending on it for survival have been increasingly ignorant of

the unsettling fact. In the recent years, most industries have been pressured to reduce carbon

dioxide emissions from their industrial activities. However, as effective this reduction is,

planting forests would be much more effective in retracing the earth back to its more natural

state. It was realized that deforestation of forests especially in the tropical region is much more

destructive in increasing global warming than industrial emissions.

This however, does not mean that the industries should be left to pollute the environment

with impunity. The reason as to why forests are so important in reducing global warming is their

capability to naturally absorb carbon dioxide as part of a plant’s natural processes. It is very

important then that every earth’s inhabitant with the brain capacity of a normal human being

should take the prerogative to mitigate this global menace by refraining from activities that are

destroying the very environment we so desperately depend on for our livelihood. This should not
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even be an optional idea, but each and every one of us who pride themselves to be human, are

required to seriously be committed to the cause of mitigating global warming which is eminent

in causing a lot of natural disasters. The blame can not be placed on any one else but we who

have failed to preserve our natural environment and instead embarked on a destructive path of

the very resources we require for our living.

Problem

Global warming is not an alien term to anybody who has the capability to understand the

English language. However, the issue is not understanding what global warming is but

understanding how it is developed. Another issue would be to understand the factors that cause

global warming as well as the dangers associated in leaving the scenario at status quo. The other

issue develops in what needs to be done to mitigate the main problem and the consequential

troubles that develop from the core problem.

Carbon dioxide is one of the chief gases that cause global warming as well as maintaining

and increasing it to destructive levels. Together with other gases, carbon dioxide build up in the

earths atmosphere traps heat from the sun as well as that generated from the earth by creating a

‘ceiling’ above the lower atmosphere. Heat from the sun enters the earth’s atmosphere but

instead of naturally ‘bouncing’ back into space carbon dioxide traps it inside the lower

atmosphere, subsequently increasing global temperatures- thus the name global warming.

Burning of any matter is bound to emit carbon dioxide and burning of forests to clear land is

even a worse production of carbon dioxide. Therefore, deforestation especially that of tropical

forests that had been increasingly been done via burning, has so far increased carbon dioxide gas

in the atmosphere to alarming levels. This build up of the ominous gas has consequentially led to

increased global temperatures.


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The rate at which tropical forests are being cut down is an alarming one acre per second.

Yet, 15 percent of global warming is contributed by forest degradation especially the

deforestation of tropical forests. The consequences of this adverse deforestation and the resulting

global warming are rather unsettling. These expected consequences include increasingly extreme

weather, adverse spread of communicable diseases, mass species extinction and destructive

coastal flooding that has already been experienced in recent years. The cutting down of forests

reduces the natural reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is absorbed by trees.

Solution

The solution to this menace is simply to preserve the natural state of our natural forests

and to revive our forests via reforestation especially in the tropical areas where vast forests have

been cut down. Protecting the already existing forests is tantamount to double benefit since the

trees we refrain from cutting and burning, will absorb the excess carbon dioxide in the

atmosphere and at the same time prevent increased production of carbon dioxide from the

burning of the forests. Before we begin planting trees, we need to know how they reduce the

carbon dioxide emitted daily by various activities in the world.

During photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and as a result, produce oxygen. This

retaining of carbon dioxide inside the tree enables it to develop its own food for growth. One

would argue that a tree is a living organism and that it is mandatory for all living things to expire.

It is true that a tree will breathe in oxygen during respiration and breathe out carbon dioxide.

However, the carbon dioxide that a tree produces during respiration is very minimal compared to

the carbon dioxide it takes in during photosynthesis. Sadly, on the event that the tree will be cut

down and burned or if it is left there to decay, all the carbon it has stored to enable it grow,

would be released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.


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With these definite consequences, it is therefore essential to preserve our forests and plant

new forests to curb global warming. As mentioned earlier, it is every human being’s duty to

preserve these forests in order to maintain our own survival. Governments, institutions and

people in authority should take the lead in this quest. On research, it was found out that

governments are required to include in their annual monetary budgets enough funding for the

preservation of forests and reforestation if the global warming problem is to be mitigated. By

putting this into consideration, then each country will be performing their own share of reducing

global warming and this will automatically be effective in the whole reduction of global

temperatures. This however, requires a lot of commitment by the particular government that

should ensure that such measures are included in the country’s national laws. Such a move will

cement natural preservation in the country’s inhabitants even for generations to come.

According to Food and Agricultural Organization, its department of forestry assists

governments to create reports that determine the amount of forest cover present in their country.

The forestry department at FAO provides countries with relevant information on how best to

conserve their forests as well as advising and offering these countries with technical support.

However, FAO does not have control over what these countries do with the information or

advice. It is the prerogative of these governments to launch initiatives in their countries that

implement programs to assist in conserving their forests. Conserving of forests is not enough to

mitigate global warming but this practice combined with reforesting and planting of new forests

is the most effective way to eliminate the dangers that may be experienced from excessive global

temperatures.

According to recent findings, if governments motivated the local communities that live in

their countries to embark on the mission to plant trees, then there would be significant change in
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the level of carbon dioxide buildup in our atmosphere once the forests get realized. The

requirement of each member of a community who owns a piece of land to plant trees relative to

the size of their land will subsequently lead to an increase of forest cover in the country. The

resulting global forest cover if all the countries in the world implemented such a strategy would

be impressive and such success would be mirror in the reduction of carbon dioxide levels

globally.

Starting such projects should not be restricted to the government but should extend to the

private sector. Corporation, regardless of whether they are industrial or plainly business oriented

are required to initiate funding projects through which resources to maintain existing forests and

tree planting can be realized. These organizations would provide an effective a helping hand in

this cause of curbing global warming via planting of more forests to replace the depleted ones

and create new ones. According to World Watch analysts, if the global forest cover is increased

by 120 million hectares this would result to storing an estimate of 780 million tons of carbon

within a year.

Alternative Solution (REDD)

An alternative way out to increase forest cover to curb global warming is by adopting the

REDD set of policies supported by the United Nations. The acronym stands for Reducing

Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries. These set of

policies are very effective in global warming reduction as well as offering many other benefits.

This technique efficiently and effectively assists in conservation of tropical forests that are

essential in curbing global warming. Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica are the two developing

countries that initiated the idea of this strategy in 2005 during the global climate negotiations. It
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is a method identified by many developing countries, as an affordable means to mitigate global

warming which they cited would also assist in sustainable development.

REDD states that if tropical countries reduce their general carbon dioxide emissions that

are caused by deforestation at a significant level, then they would be compensated. Satellite

photography would help in the verification of the level of reduction the reduction of these

emissions. Rules have been devised of how much reduction of carbon dioxide emissions will

qualify for financial compensation. However, for developing countries to get attracted and adopt

this strategy, the eventual compensation that they realize from emissions reduction is required to

be higher than the income they would have acquired had they used the land for other purposes.

This alternative solution is a solution with double benefit in that it absorbs the heat-

trapping carbon dioxide thus curbing global warming, but it also assists in the support for

sustainable development that is an essential factor in developing countries. On the other hand,

the costs related to compensation of these countries, is not comparable to the large amounts that

are necessary for mitigating carbon dioxide emissions from our industrial activities and our

modes of transport.

Objective

The prime goal that was anticipated for the research done of embarking on the former

strategy was to implement a way through which the increase of global forest cover would be

realized. This way the forest cover increase would be effective in curbing the increase of global

temperatures. Maintaining the current forest cover would also be realized through implementing

the strategy that was researched on. Owing to the fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide increasing

forest cover would result to the effective reduction of global warming. On the event that there

was global cooperation on these strategies, then the increase of global forests would be
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tantamount to the considerable reduction of carbon dioxide gas build up, subsequently reducing

the increased global temperatures.

As stated above, the main objective of the research is the determination of what best

strategy to use in order to increase global forest cover. Once having determined this, the next

step was to draw up the plan through which we would implement the strategies taking into

consideration the requirements, costs and constraints relative to the strategy. The final step in

achieving our final goals was the implementation of the strategy in strict follow of the research

plan. Therefore, the achievement of our main objective would also achieve the reduction of

carbon dioxide gas build up in our atmosphere, which in turn would eliminate the over-trapping

of the heat in the atmosphere tantamount to curbing global warming.

Resources

The resources that were required to implement this strategy successfully were as follows:

(1) adequate funding as any other resource demands financing. (2) An adequate number of tree

seedlings to initiate the process whether at national or community level. (3) Adequate land to

plant the seedlings, (4) fencing materials for the protection of existing forests and (5) human

labor to perform all the activities that pertain with the process.

Costs

The period by which the entire process would consume was projected at around a total of

two years. This period would be adequate to oversee the success of all activities including the

maturing of the tree seedlings to the level of making a significant change to the levels of carbon

dioxide. It is also dependant on the type of trees that would be chosen and that would be

available for planting. The financial costs would be dependent on the area, cost of land, cost of

seedlings and cost of labor.


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