“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The forests of the Earth are the lifeblood of our mother Earth. This is why since 2013 the UN has observed the International Day of Forests in order to raise awareness of the need to preserve our forests biomes around the world. This year’s theme is “forests and water” as there will be a joint celebration of “World Water Day”. It is important to everyone that we take care of our forests so that our society can continue to prosper.
Our forests cover 1/3rd of the Earth and 1.6 billion people, including 2,000 indigenous cultures, depend on forests for their livelihood. Despite this, we continue to harm our forests for profit instead of valuing them for what they already offer us.
“Climate action and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin.” – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
If we continue to lose our forests at the rate we are now, which is 13 million hectares annually, our planet cannot balance the loss out. From current estimates gathered by the UN, deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change at the moment. Here are some fast facts to illustrate just how important the forests of our Earth are:
- 80% of terrestrial (land-based) biodiversity live in forests
- 40% of our pure oxygen comes from rainforests
- 75% of our freshwater comes from forested catchments
- 650 bn tonnes of carbon are stored in our forests
If you would like to learn more on Monday, March 21st from 10 AM to 1 PM in the Economic and Social Council Chamber the UN will be hosting an event entitled “Forests and Water: Sustain Life and Livelihoods” The event will focus on the interconnections between forests and water as well as their parts in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It’s time to take matters into our own hands and preserve the forests around us. Use the hashtag: #IntlForestDay to spread the word!
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