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Forest Resources and Over Exploitation

In this forest resources and over exploitation post we have briefly explained about uses/applications of forests, and over exploitation of forest natural resources.

Forest Resources and Over Exploitation

The word “forest” comes from the Latin word “foris,” which meaning “outside” (may be the reference was to a village boundary or fence separating the village and the forest land). A forest is a self-sustaining natural community with vertical structure created by the presence of trees. Trees are big, woody plants with a single stem. Forests can grow in a variety of places and under a variety of situations, yet they all have the same physical properties.

No forest is ever static in time since it is a natural community. Because forest populations adapt to external forces, most forests are always changing. Depending upon the systems within which forest communities live, such influences might include rainfall, fire, wind, glaciation, seismic activity, flooding, animal activity, insulation, and so on.

Forest natural resources is a collection of historical responses to external influences and internal competitive interactions at any given time. As a result, the current state of any forest, or indeed any natural community, reflects what has occurred previously.

Uses/Applications of Forests

Commercial uses

Forest natural resources of a country are a valuable natural resource. They manufacture a wide range of commercial and industrial goods. Structural timber, charcoal, and raw materials for the creation of paper, newsprint, panel goods, resins, gums, essential oils, and a variety of beneficial medicinal shrubs are examples of such valuable items.

Ecological uses

Herbs, shrubs, climbers, and grasses make up the majority of environmentally beneficial plants. Tropical forest natural resources are known as the earth’s lungs and have been dubbed the “life support system” by many.

They are a food, medical, and commerce treasure trove. These woods are home to some of the most basic plant and animal species, and they provide the most stable habitat for life and land. Approximately 350 million hectares of tropical forests (equal to four times the size of France) were converted to other uses between 1999 and 2009.

Regulation of climate

Rain forest natural resources, the most fundamental ecosystem, are widely acknowledged for regulating global climate, rainfall, and land and water productivity.

Reducing global warming

During photosynthesis, the forest canopy absorbs CO2 and acts as a sink for greenhouse gases.

Soil conservation

A properly stocked forest guards against soil erosion, damage of water sheds, floods and sedimentation.

Hydrological cycle

Forest natural resources such as watersheds absorb rainwater, increase humidity through transpiration, and control the hydrological cycle like giant sponges.

 Medicinal value

The majority of medicinal plants are located in the forest’s underbrush strata. They contain molecules that have specific effects on the human body, including as alkaloids, glycosides, terpenoids, lignans, fatty acids, resins, tannins, gums, and many other substances.


Essential oils are extracted from a range of forest plants and used in soaps, cosmetics, medications, confectionary, and tobacco flavouring, among other things.

Food products

Flowers, fruits, leaves, bark, stem, or root make up vegetative shrubs, herbs, climbers, ferns, and mosses, which are all derived from trees. A variety of woodland fruits, flowers, leaves, and roots are consumed. Some plant components are eaten as vegetables or used to make pickles.

Desert vegetation

Tibet Plateau’s cold desert vegetation is a gift to India. India is home to around 15000 identified floral species, according to estimates. The richest zone is the North-East, which includes Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and other states. The Himalayas and Western Ghats of Peninsular India are home to more than 6700 indigenous species.

Shelter for tribal people

Forest natural resources are vital in the lives of tribal people who live near them because they offer them with food, shelter, lumber, wood fuel, fruits, meat, medicines, hides, skins, and other products for daily and commercial usage. Forest natural resources provide habitat for a wide range of plant, animal, and microbial species.

Pollution moderators

Forest natural resources absorb a lot of hazardous pollutants and assist to keep the air clean. They also absorb noise, which helps to prevent contamination of the air and noise.

Aesthetic value

Forest natural resources offer a lot of aesthetic value as well. Forests are loved by everyone for their natural beauty and tranquilly.

Over Exploitation of Forest Natural Resources

Commercial Demand

Forest natural resources make a significant contribution to the national economy. The annual value of the international timber trade is around US $ 40 billion. However, commercial demand for pines, teak, sal, and other conifers has reduced the forest’s productive wealth to a desert.

Raw Materials

Wood, timber, wooden crates for furniture manufacturing, railway sleepers, and pulp for the paper industry have all put a huge strain on forest natural resources. Plywood is in high demand for packing tea in the tea industry, although fir tree wood is used to box apples alone (ten times more).

Development Projects

The development of dams, hydroelectric projects, power plants, roads, highways, railways, open cast coal and lime stone mines, as well as World Bank megaprojects, have all contributed to the vast removal of forest cover.

Fuel Requirement

The demand for fuel wood in India increased to 600 million tonnes in 2010 as the country’s population grew. If the current trend continues, the cost of fuel will soon be far higher than the cost of food.

Further Readings