21 March is International Day of Forests

Humans need forests for their survival. Period.

The benefits of forests are manifold. For humans, they provide the fresh air that we breathe. They readily absorb the detrimental greenhouse gases that otherwise worsen global warming and promote climate change. They play a huge part in reducing soil erosion and thus, also serve as mitigators for natural disasters such as floods. Further, more than 300 million people across the world live in forests. They also provide the primary source of livelihood for a massive number of human settlements.

But that is not all! They are part of our everyday life. Right from using the paper that we write on to the medicines that we consume and from the tissues that we use every day to the furniture that we sit on, forests are an integral part of every day human life.

But it is not just humans that are benefited by forests. Apart from just humans, they benefit animals and wildlife too. For instance, they serve as the primary habitat of most animals in the world: they are home to more than 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.

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These green behemoths are absolutely necessary – for humans, for the wildlife, and for the earth.

Unfortunately, despite all these economic, social, health, and ecological benefits that forests provide us with, we are letting them disappear from the face of the Earth. And at an appalling rate. A whopping 13 million hectares for forests are destroyed each year.

To spread awareness about these priceless resources of nature, ‘World Forest Day’ is observed each year on 21 March. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2012.

The theme for the International Day of Forests 2019 is ‘Forests and Education.’ It is only through education that more awareness about these invaluable resources can be spread.


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