Afforestation is the process of planting trees in an area which was previously devoid of any tree cover with an intention to establish a forest or a stand of trees in that area. It may also be defined as an act of converting an open land or a non-forest land into a forest by planting trees or their seeds.
In the present scenario, afforestation has assumed a great significance and helps in maintaining the environmental biodiversity. Large-scale deforestation in our country for establishing large industries and power plants has adversely impacted the biodiversity and ecological balance of our environment.
There are numerous advantages of afforestation that one can think of. Some of them are:
- Reduces air pollution.
- Improves oxygen concentration in the environment.
- Afforestation reduces soil erosion.
- Helps avoid desertification.
- Afforestation minimizes global warming.
- Improves the supply of timber for furniture.
- Controls acid rain.
However, there are a few disadvantages too that can be attributed to afforestation. These are as follows:
- It may affect biodiversity: Poor management may cause reduction of biodiversity in the ecosystem.
- Opportunity cost.
- Increases risk of wildfire.
There is an urgent need to increase our efforts for afforestation. If done in a planned manner and at appropriate locations, afforestation can be an answer to many human problems.