Carbon emitted by heavy duty road transport has been a major problem for commuters themselves and the people dwelling nearby highways in Bangladesh. Hence, it is encouraging to note that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently issued a set of directive on planting trees on the both side of the roads.
Trees sequester carbon dioxide from the air, thereby reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Bangladesh has experienced substantial loss of its forest cover over the past few centuries, as people cut down trees for firewood, pasture, and to make room for development. It needs no emphasizing that road and highways across Bangladesh needs more green cover, but these trees should do more than just adding beauty to the roads. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, they should have long term social and environmental benefits too.
Carbon emitted by heavy duty road transport
has been a major problem for commuters
themselves and the people dwelling
nearby highways in Bangladesh
More and more cities and urban environments are undertaking roadside tree planting projects as a conscious effort to transform the grey urban jungle into a green space where people love to live. Additionally, more trees are being planted to help filter the air, lower the risk of flooding and limit the impact of climate change and pollution in cities. However, there is more to it than just digging a hole and planting a tree. After all, the urban environment is not ideal for creating healthy and mature trees, which shows in the prevalence of root heave in pavements and roads. This damage to infrastructure is caused by the lack of space offered to tree roots to expand due to subterranean utilities that power modern cities. Additionally, roadside tree planting ideally takes place in loose soil, which is in short supply as buildings and other infrastructure requires highly compacted soil.
The efficacy of trees in slowing climate change has long been known, which is why Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program made so much sense. As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. Although some scientists question whether the large scale planting of trees could accomplish so much, it would at the very least help us transition from a civilization that depends on burning fossil fuels. It would be a wonderful and holistic way to not only mitigate climate change but improve the quality of the air we breathe.