Forest Biodiversity: What It Is and Why It Matters

 

It is not without reason that forests are named the heart and the lungs of the Earth. Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s surface and provide habitats for plants, animals, and microorganisms, with over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity depending on forests. As a result, billions of people also depend on forest biodiversity for their livelihood and well-being. Knowing its importance, this writing will summarize the concept of forest biodiversity and show you exactly why it matters.
 
What is Forest Biodiversity?
 
Many have come up with the general definition of forest biodiversity. The simplest one comes from The UN Convention, who describes forest biodiversity as, “a broad term that refers to all life forms found within forested areas and the ecological roles they perform.”

In short, forest biodiversity is strongly linked to the ecosystem in the forests. Most forests have diverse ecosystems, which include species that we do not see quite often or are even still unknown. However, generally, forests have three biodiversity levels:

  1. Genetic diversity: A diverse gene in all individual plants, animals, fungi, and micro-organisms.
  2. Species diversity: The variety of different species.
  3. Ecosystem diversity: The variety of habitats, biological communities, and ecological processes over a landscape.

Similar to other ecosystems, the sustainability of forest biodiversity is vital because once certain animals or plants are removed from it, it may disrupt the balance and harmony on Earth.

Why Forest Biodiversity Matters?
 
Humans have always depended on forest biodiversity. Biodiversity in forests contributes to the ecological services we very basically need, including clean air and water supply. Therefore, essentially, forest biodiversity plays important roles in our lives to fulfill our economic, dietary, social, and cultural needs.

There are many more benefits that humans can obtain from forests and their biodiversity: from timber and wood products we use, medicine provided by biological resources, recreation for spiritual needs, hunted and fished species for foods, to jobs in forestry and agriculture.

Sadly, millions hectares of forests are lost by many factors, including illegal logging and wood trade. Consequently, the ecosystem is disrupted and biodiversity becomes endangered. Knowing how much we depend on them, it is our duty as humans to protect and conserve forests and the biodiversity in them.

As a timber industry who is committed to sustaining nature, Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI) is concerned with this issue and gives special attention to natural conservation through plans. On daily operations, Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI) collaborates with academia and research institutions in using satellite technology and implementing zero waste. These are the efforts needed to ensure the sustainability of biodiversity for years to come.

Keyword: forest biodiversity
Source:Penn State Extension