Renew the interest in Renewables to sustain forests and sustain people!

A borer damage teak tree in Doginala Karnataka, India
A borer damage teak tree in Doginala Karnataka, India

In this materialistic world, I used to wonder about the advances in material creation. All sophisticated gadgets and products make our life really livable! Often I am more fascinated by the real creations the trees make, each unique in its own way, so unique that only one species knows it all! So complicated they are that no one else can make them the way the creator has made it. I am talking about individual species of trees bestowed with the skill of creating a product. All those chemicals or mixture of chemicals designated as a resin, oil or exudates of a tree ! One specific example I am much fascinated with is the Sandal wood oil, so unique in its constitution, no one can recreate it with the same precision as that of the sandal wood tree. No scent on earth can beat its divine, tantalizing fragrance.  I really salute all those trees which produce different oils, which are unique combinations of chemicals, be it the neem tree, producing neem oil, the versatile oil with medicinal and insecticidal potency, Pongamia tree making Pongamia oil, Jatropha tree making Jatropha oil, the latter two having efficacy to run an automobile with its fantastic bio-diesel, or the olive oil or palm oil, satisfying our hunger and boosting our energy. You name it; any product for our use is made by one tree or the other.

Why to synthesize a product involving more of energy, efforts and creating pollution, carbon emission and climate change? Also why to deplete the non renewable natural resources? Use only the renewable products from trees so that there is no dearth of material for our use, only one simple way of life- take the products from the great factories of trees, no one can see the product making sequence, suffer any pollution, or need to feed any raw material or dispose the waste.   Allow the tree grow in its suitable habitat, soil and the rain gives all it wants and air is there around to give it the raw material, carbon.   Salute all those trees and the forests which bestow us all in one place!

So why do we wait? Plan to make our products by growing the trees in more and more numbers!   Renew the interest in the renewable! Grow more, reap more and live more! Here is the solution to all our problems. No pollution, no climate change, no natural calamity, no threat to human life, no worry of sustainability, no worry of global security. The aim of IUFRO 2014 will be best taken care of if we impart and imbibe the culture of grow more, get more. I believe the IUFRO 2014 be the flagship bearer for creating such thoughts on these voiceless creators! Let us look for a future where there is no threat of waste, no pollution, no threat to health, no change in climate, no deficit of food! All we will have is clean air, clean water, clean food and peace and bliss!

My fascination to trees made me work on their health aspects, how to protect them from pests and diseases. The most challenging aspect of plant health research is to diagnose the infection of pests, specially borers of wood. Wood borers do not spare Sandalwood and teak, two very important trees in the world. The harvested logs of sandal were mostly hollow- all the golden oil along with the wood has been eaten away by borers, termites and fungi. Diagnosis of wood pests and prevention and protection are very significant to achieve our aim of grow more and get more.   The wood deterioration continues unnoticed and an infected tree left to grow further, deteriorates more unless it is checked. One very important aspect of optimum utilization is to detect the problem early and if it cannot be stopped, the trees should be harvested so that further loss of wood is prevented. The greatest challenge to wood growth is posed by the wood borers and I appeal to all entomologists to work more on tree borers.

I end by stating Sustaining People is by Sustaining Forests and the role of research is to find out how to grow more of healthy forests!

Written by: Dr. O.K. Ramadevi
Affiliation: Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute
Country: India

This post is entry #24 in the #IUFRO2014 Blog Competition. The most popular entry will receive a certificate and 500 USD. The second and third most popular entries will receive a certificate and copy of the new book, “Forests and Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development”.

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