By Aung Kyaw Thant
NATURALLY, humans should not live alone without relations with the environment. Both living creatures and forests are involved in the ecosystem. In fact, the proper ecosystem benefits both living creatures including humans and forests. Otherwise, the reverse kind of ecosystem will bring danger to both communities, creating degradation of the environment which may cause deforestation, calamities, unfavourable climatic conditions and so on.
Possibility to face calamities
Nowadays, the world always faces at least one of the above-mentioned calamities and impacts in environmental degradation. The root causes of these plights are generally based on the undisciplined acts of humans. In Myanmar, greedy businesspersons across the nation logged the forests focusing on the interests in recent decades, without considering the impacts of deforestation for the posterity. Consequently, Myanmar lost a large area of forests which secured 57 per cent of the total land areas of the nation before 1988. So, the degradation of forest areas made hills barren. Lakes shrunk. Rivers and creeks became silted and then totally disappeared from the maps. Losing sources of the natural environment cannot give adequate basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter to humans. As such, not only human beings but wildlife creatures face difficulties of basic needs for their survival.
Everybody should notice that the temperature of the nation is increasingly rising up yearly. Hence, all living beings including humans are suffering from the impacts of hotter days. Too much hotness of sunray can halt various kinds of operations including businesses. It can be said that the environment punishes living beings. Anyone cannot deny that most of the people did not commit the bad impacts of deforestation but greedy persons committed it. Such a refusal is not enough. Even though any persons do not breach the rules for deforestation to cause bad impacts, they themselves are participants of human society. They had indirectly enjoyed the results of committing deforestation. So, they must take responsibility for the impacts as participants of the society. On the other hand, any wildlife or any cattle is not responsible for doing so because they are always victims of society.
I would like to note that everybody needs to take responsibility for the impacts of deforestation because such kind of impact was triggered by humans. At this juncture, taking responsibility is not enough for deforestation. All participants from human society should strive for greening the environment to become normalcy.
Golden dreams of golden land
Everybody may remember some expressions in the records and historical books which brought the golden days of the environment to society. Now, it is a dream that all the Myanmar people have dreamt of. Hence, all the people need to grow trees on the barren areas as well as desert-designed areas to have greening scenes that can shape the proper climatic conditions of respective areas.
Myanmar’s Forest Department recently stated that it adopted plans to establish forest reserves and protected public forests on more than 700,000 acres of land on a yearly basis so as to meet the target in the forestry sector in line with Myanmar’s forestry policies. Such information occupied the applauses of environmentalists and ordinary people residing in the dry areas in the central part of the nation. If the plan is really implemented, anyhow the climatic conditions may change for all. If so, those people from the dry regions will have the chance to enjoy the fruits of favourable climatic conditions.
The Forest Department focuses on the sustainability of forests and the conservation of the ecosystem of the whole nation. To do so, efforts are being made to set up and extend forest reserves, protected public forests and natural areas as well as conserve biodiversity.
Currently, the Myanmar Forestry Policy (1995) and the Nation al Forest Master Plan 2001-2031 are under implementation with the aim of expanding the forest reserves and protected public forests to have 30 per cent of Myanmar’s total land which maybe 50,155,776 acres of land. That is why the Forest Department places emphasis on the expansion of 702,904 acres of forest areas yearly.
According to the information, a total of 29,695,249.65 acres of land were formed as 848 forest reserves and 13,119,322.59 acres of land as 442 protected public forests, totalling 42,814,572.24 acres of total lands as forest reserves and protected public forests up to June of 2020-21 financial year. In the mileage system, the forest areas have covered 66,897.769 square miles of areas across the nation, accounting for 25.61 per cent of the total country area.
Individual responsibilities for greening
Only when the forestry areas occupy the barren areas to be greened, will it change the climatic conditions for all. To be able to green the barren areas, we all need to grow trees anyhow. The projects cannot be implemented on paper. Practically, tasks of greening the barren areas must be invested with the labour and sweat of all the citizens. Any plants thriving on the ground can maintain the water aboveground and underground as deposits. Humans can consume these water sources at an opportune time. Hence, the efforts for greening tasks will benefit the people in the future. That is why everybody should not deny they don’t have responsibilities for regrowing trees for improvement of the environment. It is sure that they all did not commit logging of the precious trees such as large and long teak plants, ironwood plants and other valuable hardwood plants along with the mountain ranges such as Bago mountain ranges, Rakhine mountain ranges and others small and large ones. They have to grow trees as a national duty because they are citizens of the country residing in the nation as well as relying on the planet Earth.
Indeed, growing trees is easy but nurturing them is very difficult. Expenditure of growing the trees is too much. The expenditure from the period of gathering the seeds to the growing the saplings is very high. If the tree growing ceremony spends a large sum of money on the cost of saplings, labour charge, transport charge and some amount for inputs used at the ceremony, each ceremony will spend a large expenditure. If the already grown trees die, it means such expenditure loses.
Moreover, there are many steps to nurture the saplings. Whenever the tree planting ceremony has been held, it is noticeable that locals and authorities should not forget the saplings. They have to nurture them. Oth erwise, they should assign someone to nurture these plants. In addition, it is necessary to choose the water supply system for the plants. Some persons use the water dropping system to shower the saplings. Such a water-dropping system uses empty plastic bottles in which the water is filled. The bottles must be opened in small holes to drop out the water on the saplings. It is a simple system of watering the saplings. Otherwise, labourers can be assigned to shower the plants.
Among 12 months in the Gregorian calendar, July is the best month to grow trees in Myanmar due to favourable weather of monsoon and soil situation. Hence, everybody needs to apply any ways and means in growing the saplings to have growth. One day, these plants will be free from dependence on the assistance of humans. At that time, they can thrive themselves with the strengths of roots to absorb the underground water. Hence, they can thrive freely. If so, the barren areas can be greened.
How to nurture saplings
At present, everybody knows that tree growing ceremonies are held elsewhere with great aims. But, when the ceremony is completed, anybody does not turn to the plantations. They seem they are dutiful after just growing the saplings at the ceremonies. Similar ceremonies were held yearly. Whenever the ceremonies were over, the participants forgot the measures of saplings. Nobody considers how to nurture the saplings for their growth in the long run. So, they leave the saplings in their respective blocks.
If they make efforts for nurturing the already grown saplings, the entire nation is filled with greening forests. It may be difficult to search the even plots for residences of humans. Practically, these tree-growing ceremonies waste the fund of the people. These expenditures for the ceremonies had gone with the wind.
To be able to address such weaknesses, we all need to amend ways and means for growing the saplings. If we don’t change our behaviours and mindset in the future, even plans of the Forest Department to expand the forest areas across the nation would not meet accomplishment. If the land cannot be greened, those crying aloud for shaping the barren mountain ranges as part of environmental conservation will die on the spot. All the citizens need to emphasize that the expenditure for tree growing ceremonies should be deserved. These costs must be effective. If we grow saplings now, they will be beneficial to posterity in the coming generations.
All in all, we all need to emphasize applying the correct ways and means in tree growing ceremonies without forgetting the aim to green and change the climatic conditions to the favourable weather which can benefit the people. Only when environmental conservation achieves success, will all the people have the chance to enjoy fruitful results from the environment. Whenever living beings including humans cannot be separable from the forests in the environment, we don’t have to forget the already planted saplings at the ceremonies and need to always remember the process for taking care of these plants to have proper thriving.
Let’s grow saplings to recover the forests in the nation! Let’s nurture the saplings for thriving until they can stand tall on their own roots! If so, it is sure for the existence of trees to benefit all the people of the country