Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1M Hectare of Forest for Better Health

You found yourself trapped again in heavy traffic for hours but it was not only the traffic that you felt was unbearable but the fact that you were having difficulty breathing. It was not only in one occasion that you experience bouts of breathlessness as if you were about to pass out. Year after year, you notice that your condition seems to worsen. Your medical checkup confused you when the doctor told you it was not a case of asthma as you suspected but it was only an occasional allergic attack that could be caused by something that you ate or inhaled. You were advised to make a diary to note where and when you had an attack and all the possible causes to identify the possible allergens. Your notes revealed a significant finding that outdoor pollution makes you feel more uneasy causing your airways to narrow thus reducing the flow of air into your lungs. It is more evident when you are in an open-window public utility vehicle caught in traffic mess where pollution level is very high. Sure the traffic and the heat excreted by those vehicles caused you stress that triggered or worsen your attack but you feel very well that the main culprit was the fumes you inhaled from those vehicles.

In a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), people who suffer from chronic respiratory disease soar to hundreds of millions of people every day. That figures composed of millions with allergic rhinitis and other under-diagnosed chronic respiratory diseases, 300 million with asthma and 210 million with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In 2005 alone, 255,000 people died of asthma. That is a very interesting statistics that seems to match the rate at which we lose most of the world’s natural forest reserves.

Why do we need to restore 1M hectare of our forest? It is elementary science how plants and trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen that is needed by the human body and how our carbon emission is being used by these flora to help them grow. It is one symbiotic process that needs to be retained for all inhabitants of this earth to survive. Just come to think how we make basic things too complicated because of ignoring a very simple rule.

Now, the world’s human population is continuing to grow that accelerated the rate of unregulated land conversion that resulted to declining population of flora and fauna. The depletion of the world’s natural reserves resulted to decline in food production that explains why more people are hungry. The growing human population results to greater activity that gives rise to more carbon emission resulting to more chronic and deadly diseases and the consequence does not stop there. Climate change is another complex repercussion of ignoring a very basic learning that now amounts to a hefty price. So, shall we be mindful of planting more trees to retain the symbiosis? It will definitely be helpful if we do. Let us all help to restore 1M hectare or more of forest land and help save hundreds of millions of people who suffer and die from chronic diseases due to pollution and who knows we might as well reverse the effects of climate change.

You can start your pledge by visiting the following sites for more interesting information: Haribon Foundation, ClubTravelNOW! and Pinoy Holistic Healthcare.