Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Victoria's Green Matters - 23rd Feb 2011
For those of us who only use forests for leisure pursuits, it was unthinkable that this part of our country could have been removed. For those who work with the forests, no doubt they would have feared losing their jobs in this depressing economic climate.
There obviously has to be commercial forestry in our country to raise money to help pay for the upkeep of the less profitable but culturally important woodland that we like to visit. In fact, we need to plant more trees and provide many more forests near to towns and cities for people to enjoy.
Forests are ‘carbon sinks’. Trees are the best thing we have to soak up the carbon emissions we create from our every day lives and which are causing the climate to warm. If an extra 4% of our land was planted with trees over the next forty years, it could lock up 10% of the nation’s predicted carbon emissions by 2050. It is not only the Amazon rain forest that we need to protect; we must care about our own forests.
A very interesting option for the future of our forests that has come to light is for the government to continue to run the commercial forests and to offer the rest to communities for free, to enhance protection for the forests and access for the public. The National Trust looks to be the body that might be the one to achieve this. Giving communities a vested interest in their trees results in responsibility and conservation.