International Day of Forests is on 21 March

 

Back in 2012, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests.

Like all awareness days, the idea behind this one is to raise awareness.  In this case, it’s to raise awareness of and to celebrate the different sorts of forest.   And in 2020, the theme is Forests and Biodiversity.

The problem is that we are ravaging our forests. 

13 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year, says the UN – and that accounts for between 12 to 20% of the global greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.  Our forests are being destroyed by humans, left, right and centre.  That’s us. 

We need to love our forests and then to protect and care for them.  It is difficult to protect what we don’t know and feel a connection with. 

Forests matter.  They are important because:

  • Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects
  • Forests cover about a third of the Earth’s land mass and they fulfil vital functions.
  • About 1.6 billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income – and that includes over 2,000 indigenous cultures.
  • There are over 60,000 tree species in forests and woodlands on earth.
  • The next time you drink a glass of water, write in a note book, take medicine or build a house – work out what the link is to forests. 
  • They are a vital part of the eco-system - there's a lovely video on why biodiversity matters here.

So how can you help?

Spend time in forests and woodlands.   Listen to the sounds you can hear, the wildlife, the trees, leaves and branches in the wind.  Watch for a while – take in the sights of the forest, the colours from the flood through to the sky.  Look at the layering of everything, from what’s on the floor to the plants and trees as they grow in height; it’s all organised and in a structure.  

Just be.   Relax.   Have some quiet moments.   Take in the beauty of the world around you.

Be a part of a group to help organisations help forests

Find out what non-profit organisations/charities are doing to help our forests.  There are a lot of them, which is a good thing, because forests need a lot of thelp.  Mull over ways in which you can help save our forests, for animals and people.  Then act and choose one way to help and do it.