Significance of Forests in Climate Change
Author: Emina Čamdžic, BA Dip. Arch. MA
Bosnia and Herzegovina, although geographically a small country, is well known for the heterogeneity in water, land and biodiversity. The countries' natural beauties were known far before the Olympics in 1984 on Bjelasnica and Jahorina mountains, meanwhile the country is still famous for its significant, beautiful landscapes. It is one of the countries with the most diverse species of flora, fauna and fungi in Europe. Numerous canyon and gorges of rivers: Una, Neretva, Drina, Tara, Vrbas, Bosna are only some of the specifics of the natural environment.
Considering the geographical position of Bosnia – Herzegovina and its' climate (continental, moderate - continental and medditeranien), there are more than 100 tree species in the forest land. Those include both deciduous and coniferous trees. The forest cover land area of 2,709.800 hectares, which is about 53% of the total country area.
The main tree types covering forest and rainforest land in BH include: oak, fir, beech, spruce, pine, white pine, birch and some wild fruit trees. Forest trees in Bosnia-Herzegovina usually tend to grow and live for about hundred years, and afterwards become residence of many insects and animals.
Firstly, it is a fact that wood is one of the most important natural resources in every country, used as building material, furniture material and for heating; while trees are known for production of oxygen through reduction and elimination of CO2. Due to the facts mentioned above, the main issue is illegal deforestation and poaching/ logging.
Secondly, as a consequence of the last war in Bosnia - Herzegovina, still some forest land is covered with landmine. This makes those trees also a potential point for development of plant diseases and insects, making it a rainforest.
Illegal deforestation as a question must be solved, since the process of establishing relevant databases is slow and unorganized. A consequence of that is that bio- and geodiversity management does not satisfy the needs of the present world tendencies.
As part of the global biodiversity system and for the sustainability of the biodiverse system with endemic animals, plants and tree species, we need and have to ensure the conservation of the forests in Bosnia - Herzegovina and stop the illegal and unplanned deforestation. It is the ultimate aim to establish forest management and the implementation of international and European Union conventions and standards on all aspects of forestry, for humans, forest land, built and natural environment.
Top image is courtesy of Emina Čamdžic