Today, 21 March, is International Day of Forests!
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates forests and aims to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle for all living beings on earth.
The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2019 is Forests and Education.
Forests are the complex living community of trees which provides home and shelter to a big range of animals and the soil beneath it is inhabited by a huge variety of invertebrates, fungi and bacteria, all playing a significant role in balancing the nutrients cycle in the soil. Forests therefore are an essential part of life on Earth. They provide shadow, shelter, and play a great role in gathering and releasing the water on earth and maintaining the flora and fauna habitat balance. The modern world, with its growing global population, increases the demands on forests, already at huge risk of deforestation and degradation. Each year more than 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests are lost, an area roughly the size of England!
Almost 30% of the total land worldwide is occupied by forests containing over 60,000 tree species which are ultimately some of the greatest sources of food, fuel, essential oils, resins, latex, gums, medicines, fiber, water and wood for the 7 billion people of the world. Simply put, we cannot survive without forests.
On the International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns and educating the younger generation about the significance of forests.
You can help by watching and sharing the official video on www.fao.org/international-day-of-forests/en/ or you can plant a tree, or you can go for a walk in a local forest and marvel at its beauty, or join the conservation conversation using the #IntlForestDay hashtag. Whatever you decide to do, spread the word – the world needs forests!
We at Nature Travel Conservation support this exciting and necessary initiative to help save our planet. We are based in Namibia (not many forests there!) and offer specialised conservation safaris in that amazing country, with its remarkable history of innovation, sustainability, cooperation and success in the field of conservation. For more information visit www.naturetravelconservation.com or send an enquiry directly to email@example.com