Reforesting the Earth is possible. Clearly, tree-planting must be made a way of life.
Destruction of forests creates numerous environmental catastrophes, including altering local rainfall patterns, accelerating soil erosion, causing the flooding of rivers, and threatening millions of species of plants, animals and insects with extinction.
The main causes of deforestation are: expansion of agricultural and industrial needs, population growth, poverty, consumer demand and landlessness.
Despite increased public awareness and a large number of initiatives, deforestation is still continuing in most of Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. During 1980-90 alone, the Latin American region lost 62 million hectares (6.0 per cent) of its natural forest, which was the largest loss in the world during those years, with a further 5.8 million hectares a year lost during 1990-95. (source:UNEP)
Approximately 45% of India's land is degraded primarily due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, mining and excessive groundwater extraction. More than 2/3rds of this can be regenerated.
India has the 10th largest forest cover in the world at 68 million hectares. The government’s National Action Plan on climate change involves expanding forest cover from the current 23% to 33% of India's territory, and to afforest 6 million hectares of degraded forest land.
India has rich biodiversity - more than 45,000 plant and 91,000 animal species. However there are rapid loss trends – 10% flora and fauna are on the threatened list and many are on the verge of extinction.
Just to make up for the loss of trees in the last decade, the world would need to plant trees over an area of 130 million hectares, an area as large as Peru. This would entail planting 14 billion trees every year for 10 consecutive years, i.e. 2 saplings for every person on Earth (source: UNEP)