World marks International Day of Forests today
This global celebration provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us.
The day was first initiated by the United Nations in 1971 during the conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization where the session decided to make March 21st of each year World Forestry Day.
Since being announced by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, this global day of awareness being celebrated on March 21st of each year.
The theme for 2019 was ‘Forests and Education’, so this year there is also a particular focus on educating masses about how sustainably managed forests provide a wide array of contributions in this area.
Forests not only are nice to look at but they are also essential to life on Earth. Forests provide more than 50% of the shelter that terrestrial species of insects and animals. They also balance out the levels of oxygen and CO2 in the environment; protect the watersheds which supply fresh water to rivers; provide food for a variety of insects, mammals, birds and reptiles and can cool the air in urban areas by as much as 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
Trees are also important to human society as well. And not only because we rely upon the environment to survive, either. More than 1.7 billion people, including people from over 2,000 individual indigenous cultures depend on forests for their livelihood. The wood for trees also provides the world with more energy than solar, hydroelectric or wind power. Which makes it a vital resource for people in developing countries.
Many countries will be marking the day by organising activities such as tree planting campaigns, awareness conferences to educate people about the importance of trees and forests or by simply enjoying a nice hike through a forest. It’s also a good day to remember how important forests are to all of us as well as to our planet.