Afforestation in Bangladesh
Afforestation means the preservation of forests and the creation of more forests by planting more and more trees. Trees are our best friends. Trees give us food and shelter. Forests play a vital role in our economic development. Afforestation is needed because forests have a great influence on the climatic condition of a country and trees maintain ecological balance. Forests exert much influence upon the climatic condition of a country. So our forests and trees are deeply interlinked with the overall development of our country. Trees are called the oxygen factory. They produce oxygen and we can not live without it. They save the topsoil from erosion. They also make our land fertile. They are, in fact, part and parcel of our life. Moreover, trees absorb carbon di-oxygen that it exhaled by human beings. But because of deforestation, the heat in the atmosphere is increasing.
Bangladesh is a lower riparian country. There is ample scope for afforestation in our country. Lands in the upper valley of a river are more suitable for the growth and development of forests. As a result, we are not blessed with rich forest resources. Fallow lands, slopes of mountains, both the sides of roads and high-ways, sea-beaches can be brought under the afforestation program. Still, we have got some notable forest areas like Bhawal, Madhupur, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and the famous Sundarbans. These forest areas are abundant with Sundari, Garan, Ghewa, Kaora, etc.
Shady trees and fruit trees should be planted by the sides of roads and highways. Trees give us various kinds of delicious and sweet fruits and these fruits also, to some extent, satisfy our requirement for food. Fruits also provide us with vitamins. Fruit trees like mango, jack-fruit, coconut, blackberry, guava, etc supply us with delicious and juicy fruits. Trees are the factories of oxygen. Trees supply oxygen for our survival. They inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen which helps human beings and other animals to survive in this world. A country needs 25% of its forests, but we have only 16% of the forest.
There is ample scope for afforestation and plantation in our country. Coastal areas and low– lying areas can be brought under the scheme of afforestation with a special type of trees suited tot he soil. Shady trees, wood-trees, and fruit trees should be planted by the side of roads, railways, and highways. Trees may be planted around the banks of ponds, canals, lakes and big ‘dighis’.
The months of June and July are the proper time for planting trees. “Tree-plantation week” should be observed more effectively so that awareness about trees and about the utility of tree plantation can be raised. Illiterate people of the villages do not know the utility and importance of trees and forests. Motivation, in this case, maybe a fruitful attempt. A court should have, at least, 25% forest area of the total land. But we have only 9% forest area of total land. If we can not increase our forest area, we shall not be able to maintain our ecological balance. The rural and illiterate people should be motivated to planting more trees and at the same time, they should be discouraged to cut trees. The amount of carbon dioxide will increase. So we should make all-out efforts for afforestation to prevent the dissertation and ensure a healthy environment. Afforestation programs should be made successful by our concerted efforts.