The knowledge and conscience which we have gained today comes from nature, and primitive forests. Forests are the source of many mysteries and have played an significant role towards the evolution of mankind. If we look back into the evolutionary history of mankind, we will find that every aspect of adaptation and evolution of the primitive life and mankind has been inspired by the forests around. Forests play an important role from birth till death of a human life. They are the avenues which have clues to solve the greatest wonders.
Forests are great teachers and through ages they have taught us humility and respect for each other and also towards the environment. They have inspired to inculcate healthy and happier approaches to lead life. Our brains have evolved in such a manner that even today one finds solace and tranquility in the arms of nature and pristine forests.
People are now slowly transcending towards natural ways of living, to again connect with forests and nature, as they have realised the cacophony of the materialistic world can only provide fulfillment of selfish desires and leave one deserted, eliminating the sense of belongingness. Making unconditional bond with selfless nature and forests helps create oneness with mother Earth.
These selfless forests, who can’t speak for themselves are somehow facing atrocities and wrath of selfish greed mankind. It’s a new normal to come across frequent news of forest fires, illegal mass deforestation, encroachment, poaching, tree felling for expansion of cities. Modern Forestry methods must improvise to combat such issues. While we are busy playing blame games, some wilderness is lost in some corner of Earth, which will take ages to replenish. Words of famous author Leo Tolstoy sometimes echo in my ears ‘How much land do a man need’?
Ever since childhood, I experienced deep-rooted connection with nature, forest and wildlife. I recall, while traveling to my grandparent’s place during summer vacations, the train traversed through dense forests, vast agricultural fields, over the rivers, through the tunnels, into the valleys.
I used to imagine what lied beyond these forests, is there a tiger lurking through the woods or herd of elephants silently waiting to cross the railway tracks, animals in the fields surpassing me, deers in the forest. I used to become wonderstruck and imagined who would have created these picturesque landscape and life with utmost pristine love and perfection.
My encounters with diverse geologic terrains and the complex interaction of climate, soils and rocks, water, animals, (including insects and fungi) and plants as the defining elements of a natural forests inspired me to study Forestry. I learnt that forests are more than just a vast collection of trees. It is a natural, complex ecosystem, made up of a wide variety of trees, that support a considerable range of life forms. Forests and biodiversity are key to all life forms.The rich diversity of life, has immense opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development and adaptive responses.
But to my dismay I realized that millions of hectares of forest is destroyed every year to cater and suffice the ever-increasing selfish and merciless needs of the human population. Present day forests are facing massive degradation. There is decline in the richness and health of the existing forests. Illegal and unsustainable logging and mining, over-harvesting of wood, small-scale farming, hunting, forest fires, and pests and diseases are threat to the present day forests. The ever-increasing demand of human being risked the survival of countless species, jeopardized people’s livelihoods and undermined the vital services that forests provide has posed threat not only to the nature and wildlife but also to the basic humanity and mankind.
Now, when I peep into my memories and try to relate with present earth, I only search for those everlasting moments of happiness, fulfillment and accomplishments which I used to derive from the forests, nature and wildlife during childhood. I return back to reality in despair and the melancholy just to find that how almighty’s ultimate creation ‘Human Beings’ are responsible for the destruction and devastation of almighty’s creation.
The International Day of Forests was established on the 21st day of March, by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. As we celebrate World Forestry Day, we express our deep gratitude and thankfulness towards Forests.
I came across these lines in Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, truly inspiring
The shade of each leaf
The moisture on
Each grain of sand
Every little hill fold
That you see
Gives to the river
That flows into the landmasses
Gives life to all our lands
Happy World Forestry Day!!