Once upon a forest

Sujata C

Forests are all things to all people. Deep, enchanted, and exotic, the very word gets the adrenalin pumping. But primarily, forests are the lungs of the planet and the Earth breathes through them, inhaling in winter and exhaling in summer. Forests are a nation’s wealth and a renewable natural resource that shelter and feed millions of living creatures. The forests of the world are rapidly receding due to severe socio-economic pressure and developmental process.

The alarming fact that worldwide one and a half acres of forest is lost every second makes a case for a project on forests for school children.

ayurveda Help your students discover the many connections that lie between subjects on this project. Your subject map would look something like this.

The United Nations has acknowledged the importance of forests by designating March 21 as the International Day of Forests.

The study of composition, health, quality, and spread of forests is called Silviculture.

India’s forest cover accounts for 23.4 percent of its geographical area. The government has committed to increasing this to 33 percent. Urban forestry and agro forestry are used to integrate forests into human habitats.

India’s forests help sustain the livelihoods of over 200 million people and also serve as a major carbon sink.
Prepare pie charts to show the forest cover in the world.
Conduct a map quiz on the forests of the world.
How much CO2 do the forests in the world absorb? Find out.
What is India’s carbon footprint? Older students can be familiarized with the concept of carbon handprint.
Find out names of organizations and institutes dedicated to forests and forest research nationally and internationally.

Van Aushadi – forest medicine – Forests serve as nature’s pharmacy and grow medicines for every human ailment. Kerala has been the hub of nature cure since centuries. Traditional healthcare systems are very popular in India and the Indian herbal industry is presently valued at Rs 4205 crores with the potential for doubling in size in the next decade.
Gather names of medicinal plants with places where they grow and locate these on a map. Explore you surrounding area to see how many medicinal plants grow there.

The author is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at sujata117@gmail.com.

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