It is not only the rural regions in developing nations that are losing tree cover.
The reason? Apparently, it is because of the rising population in cities, which is increasing the demand for urban open spaces to be converted into housing.
In his article, reproduced below, he highlights why authorities’ decisions to sacrifice the green urban spaces are is not without consequence:
On January 2, The New Vision published an article quoting the director of Natural Resources in the National Forestry Authority, Hudson Andura, as saying:
“Fifteen urban forest reserves are to be degazzated to cater for the growing population and development in 15 towns countrywide.”
Do we ever ask ourselves why trees stand side by side with skyscrapers in cities within developed countries? The reason is to mitigate city noise and absorb pollutant gases. Trees reduce on noise and absorb toxic gases.
The move by the National Forest Authority to degazzate forest reserves in 15 towns is not only a miscalculation but also a disastrous move. It is in urban centres that greenhouse gases are most emitted from factories and trees are the immediate reducers of such pollutant gases.
Is anybody bothered about the loss of national tree cover from 28% in 1988 to 13% by 2008? The loss of water catchment areas has led to poor and filthy water quality, thus the subsequent deaths of fish.
Besides, ornamental and ambient roles, trees in urban compounds, streets, recreational centres and hospitals keep the cycle of air flow fresh. In public hospitals like Mbarara Hospital, there used to be enough shed trees purposely to reduce noise of vehicles for the sick. It is unfortunate that these trees are being felled.
Trees reflect noise upwards in the atmosphere, according to Jeconious Musingwire, the western regional environment awareness officer.
As Uganda moves towards development circles, we have started going more brown (non-green environment). Despite pressure from investors and politicians to develop urban areas, development should be in harmony with conservation. Otherwise, we shall head for desertification and famine.
The escalating global warming – evidenced by climate change – warns us to stop further degradation of other green belts such as swamps, parks, green grass and forests.
In this regard I implore the Government to take environment concerns seriously and discourage cementing pavements and compounds. The green grasses are vital, for they ease the percolation of water into the soil.
Source: New Vision website
Filed under: deforestation, urban trees Tagged: | africa, climate change, development, environment, global warming, migration, new vision, noise pollution, overpopulation, pollution, shade trees, tree cover, tree loss, uganda, urban trees, urbanisation, water quality