There is a huge economic importance of forests. Our survival depends upon forests as they are the only suppliers of oxygen and source of wood used to meet different needs of daily life. Previously I have discussed the area wise distribution of forests in Pakistan. In this article, I will discuss the economic importance of forests with reference to Pakistan.
Source of firewood
Forests act as a source of firewood in places where there is no supply of natural gas. Alpine forests are also used as fuelwood in highland areas. Similarly, coastal communities use mangroves or swamp trees as fuelwood.
An important source of timber
Some of the forests act as sources of timber. For example, Coniferous forests in highlands and Bela forest species i.e. Shisham and Babul are used for making furniture, boxes and farming instruments, etc.
Forests play a pivotal role in the conservation of soil and checking floods as tree roots hold do not let the water take away soil during rain. One of the examples in this regard is mangroves which protect the coastline from erosion, storm damage, and wave action. They absorb shock waves produced by earthquakes and consequent tsunamis to protect the coastal areas.
Good breeding and conserving centers
Forests play a key role in creating an ecological balance. In the highlands of Pakistan, the coniferous forests act as the best centers for the breeding and conservation of birds and wildlife. Likewise, the swamps or the mangroves act as breeding grounds for fish, shrimps, and other forms of marine life.
Forests add to the scenic beauty of the areas
Forests add to the scenic beauty of an area. In Pakistan Kashmir, Sawat, Murri, Nathia Gala, and other places located in the Himalayan range considered tourist attractions within and outside the country. Thus forests attract tourists and promote the tourism industry.
Use for Grazing purposes
Another vital role that forests play is that they serve grazing purposes. They act as a source of vegetation for animals. For example, camels and other animals feed on the leaves of mangroves. Similarly, marine life also depends upon the fallen leaves of mangroves as part of their nutrition.