Time for The Nature

Shahrin Tabassum

Nature is a forest surrounded by greenery. Externally we call the forest.  There is a lot of biodiversity in a forest. The free movement of various kinds of animals and birds, the chirping of birds, the beautiful environment covered with greenery which is playing an outstanding role in maintaining our natural balance.    

In our eyes, the forest is just a pleasant environment, but a huge supply of oxygen needed to survive comes from this forest.  20% of the world’s total oxygen comes from one Amazon forest. For which Amazon is called the lungs of the earth. But we human society has repeatedly risen and fallen to destroy the Amazon. Not once or twice, from January to August last year, there were 62,600 wildfires in the Amazon rainforest. Until August 2017, this number was about 40,137 times. There were more fires in Brazil in 2013 (3556 times) than in the four months to 2019.  As a result, 5 million square kilometers of Amazon rainforest in Brazil is under threat.  Evidence of this is the 50% increase in deforestation in the Amazon Basin between August 2016 and July 2019.

A team of scientists at the Federal University of Brazil says wildfires in the Amazon are a common occurrence during the dry season.  The dry season there is from July to October.  These fires can be caused by natural causes such as lightning.  But Carlos Nobre, a researcher and Climate Scientist at the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Sao Paulo, said farmers who want to use the land as cattle grazing are waiting for dry weather to clear the area.  At this time it caught fire very easily.  Again some farmers and carpenters set fire to the forest to clear the land for crop production.

Scientists say the level of carbon emissions is increasing due to the disappearance of the ice cover.  As a result, the situation is becoming more dangerous day by day.  These figures have been highlighted in a recent special report by the IPC or the International Panel on Climate Change. This was their third report on climate change in the last one year. The latest report reveals the possible effects of rising temperatures on ice-covered seas. What scientists have found this time is much more frightening than previous reports. In short, sea surface temperatures are rising, ice is melting rapidly, and this is having an impact on the world’s animal kingdom.  “The future of the sea is still in our hands,” the report said.  But it will have to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030.

At this time in 2020, when we are discussing nature conservation, maybe one of our vicious circles is destroying thousands of hectares of forest in Bangladesh. The rate at which we are destroying forests is threatening our future generations. We are pushing ourselves towards a very bad time. We need to have 25 percent of the total forest area of ​​a country, we have only 16 percent. There is no way to increase the forest area but the number of forests is decreasing day by day. People are invading inaccessible areas of nature. The Sundarbans that was once protected, is now being harmed by overuse. The natural forest of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is the largest forest in Bangladesh. But the huge forest cover in Cox’s Bazar has been damaged due to sheltering Rohingyas deported from Myanmar.

According to official estimates, Bangladesh’s forest cover is 17 percent, but the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in a report on July 9, 2016 (The Test of Global Forest 2018) that 13 percent of Bangladesh’s total land area is forest. According to the report of CFO and WRI, Chittagong region is the most advanced in terms of deforestation. In 2010, 60% of the country’s total natural wealth was in this area. In the last 7 years, it has come down to about 10 percent. Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar have been destroyed 5,000 acres of forest land in about six months in 2018 for Rohingya settlement. In Cox’s Bazar, another upazila, Maheshkhali, 200 acres of reserved forest land was acquired in May for setting up crude oil depots and pipelines. Economic zones and power plants have sprung up in different parts of the country. In this situation, it is natural that the natural forest area in the country will decrease. According to FAO’s World Report 2011, forest cover in Bangladesh is 11% of the total land area.

Characteristically, the forests of Bangladesh have been divided into several phases such as evergreen forests, tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous forests, freshwater wetland forests, parabon or mangrove forests and created forests. 65% of Bangladesh’s mangroves or Sundarbans are located in our country.  This forest is a reservoir of natural resources. Thousands of animals, birds and even humans depend directly and indirectly on the Sundarbans for survival. The Sundarbans has become a shield for Bangladesh during the catastrophic cyclones & various natural calamities like Sidr, Aila, Amphan. But sadly, this forest is not being properly protected. The number of our national animal Royal Bengal Tiger is decreasing day by day along with the declining deer, crocodiles, various birds, fishes, aquatic and terrestrial animals, a huge amount of trees.

Excessive extraction of natural resources is upsetting the balance in nature. As a result, climate change is taking place. The navigability of river water is decreasing. Problems such as landslides, river erosion, extreme floods and other natural disasters are taking shape. Large high-rised buildings are being built by cutting down trees and filling the river.  The water level is going down as a result of extra groundwater extraction. As a result, the desertification process is accelerating.  There is shortage of fresh water in different areas.  High-density saline water occupies the freshwater layers. Yet the oppression of man on nature has not stopped. Everyone is responsible for making us suffer in the present heated condition, the responsible civilized human society. Many organizations around the world, including the United Nations, are now working to save nature. Many steps have been taken to prevent desertification. Much is being done to reduce ozone depletion. The protection of future generations must be ensured. We have to plant trees personally and inspire others.  There is no alternative to planting trees to protect the environment.

Man has wanted to rule over nature since the beginning of creation. This is like a demonic intoxication of mankind. The biggest loss in that game is in mandkind themselves. Even then, people get involved in that ugly game. Mankind forgets that their lives are intertwined with every aspect of nature. Free hunting of animals, keeping birds flying in the open sky in cages, cutting down trees indiscriminately, building houses to live by filling water bodies, cutting down trees and occupying forest lands have all become a habit of human beings. As a result nature is losing its own movement. We forget that powerful creatures like dinosaurs have become extinct from the earth as a result of adverse changes in nature. So in order to sustain our existence, we have to let nature move at its own pace. Not to rule over nature but to adapt to nature. Otherwise, tiny creatures like cockroaches will survive and the human race will disappear from the face of the earth like dinosaurs. So we have to try our best to protect the environment from our respective positions.

Author is a student of Environmental Science and Engineering at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh -2224, Bangladesh, E-mail: shahrin5792@gmail.com

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