One of the ways in which we can mitigate climate change effects is by conserving forests. The science behind this assertion is sound. We know that climate change is primarily caused by carbon emissions. We also know that forests are made up of trees, and that trees have capacity to absorb carbon. It therefore follows that forest conservation can go a long way towards mitigating climate change effects. If we have a huge enough number of trees (in forests and elsewhere), they may be able to absorb all the carbon emissions. Then climate change effects would have been fully mitigated.
The conservation of forests is, however, not as easy as it sounds. There is great demand for the trees that make up the forests. The trees are often cut down, to be processed into timber. In less developed parts of the world, the trees are cut down and burned to yield charcoal. Therefore, conservation of forests often entails hurting certain people’s livelihoods.
There are three strategies that can be employed to conserve forests.
The first strategy is where enforcement officers are employed, to protect the forests. The brief for these officers would be to arrest anyone who encroaches on forest areas, and anyone who cuts down the trees in the forests.
The second strategy is where people are educated on the importance of the forests. People are reasonable, and if they are well-educated on various issues, they tend to respond well. I saw this at work when a certain parcel employee was being trained on the use of the UPS online portal. Within a few minutes, the fellow was able to undertake the UPSers sign in and sign up procedures, and to navigate around the portal. In a similar manner, if a campaign to educate the masses on forest conservation is undertaken, chances are that they will understand the importance of it — and what is expected of them — within a very short period of time.
The third strategy is where an effort is made to be replacing all the trees that are cut from the forests. Thus, for instance, if one tree is cut, another tree is planted to take its place. This is a pragmatic approach, based on appreciation of the fact that people will always have need for timber and other tree products. Therefore, there will always be need for the trees in forests to be cut down. But if a new tree is planted to replace every tree that is cut down, the net effect is that the forests would be well conserved.