Every year, March 21 is celebrated as the International Day of Forests.
The day was founded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations in 2012. It is aimed at raising public awareness among diverse communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle. Government networks and private organisations work together on this day every year to enlighten people about the importance of forests and the role they play in our ecology as well as the economy.
This International Day of Forests, here are 10 reasons why forest conservation is important and why individuals and governments should make reforestation a priority:
- Livelihood and sustainable economy
It is estimated that over 1.5 billion people directly depend on forests for their livelihood. With shrinking forest, the culture, tradition, and survival of these communities is also threatened.
- Home and shelter
Additionally, over 300 million people live in forests who would lose their home, increasing poverty and making refugees of those left bereft of a home.
- Food security
Apart from humans who use nuts, mushrooms, berries found in forest, the forests also support animals which we depend on for food and other resources. Deforestation aids food insecurity in many populations.
- Prevent droughts
Forests with their network of tree roots and transpiration process play a pivotal role in influencing weather, especially rainfall. They also store water.
- Thermoregulation of the earth
Our Earth has non-electric air-conditioning which are the trees in the forests. They play an important role in regulating temperature, keeping the planet cool, and global warming somewhat controlled.
- Wind barrier
Farming near forested areas helps the farmers as the dense tree cover acts like strong wind barriers, thereby protecting the fragile yield prone to destruction by winds and storms.
- Reverse emission
We are nowhere reducing our carbon emissions but trees do a great job by absorbing most of the carbon dioxide as they use it for photosynthesis.
While on topic of photosynthesis, trees are our literal life-savers as they give us the oxygen we breathe, which is becoming rarer with growing deforestation.
- Preserve biodiversity
Life on earth is way more than what we see daily. Most animals and plants can only survive in forests (tropical or temperate). Loss of forest cover is responsible for extinction and endangerment of many species across the globe.
- Healing humanity
Many trees like Pacific Yew and Moringa are treasure troves for medicine and therapeutic uses. These trees are mostly found in forests-healing everything from. Minor infections to playing a part in chemotherapy.