International Day of Forests
A forest is an entire ecosystem where a full variety of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms live. Interestingly, 80% of terrestrial existence creatures live in woods. In recent years, trends related to the deforestation of Earth have caused interest not only among environmentalists but also among the entire international community. Currently, the complete forest’s area on the planet is about 38 million square meters. km of which 13% belong to preserved natural zones.
Forests are the lungs of our planet, they are of invaluable ecological, social and economic importance: they participate in the formation of the planet’s climate, provide oxygen, recycle harmful emissions, conserve water resources, are a habitat for many plants and animals, provide food and a healthy environment for people, help preserve the fertility of soils and landscapes. They also provide food, medicine, and fuel, provide shelter and serve as a source of income for 1.6 billion people on the planet, including more than 2 thousand original ethnic groups and peoples. However, every day the area of the world’s forests is regularly decreasing, every second Earth loses more than 1.5 hectares of forest.
First of all, this is due to the growth of the population and the transformation of forest regions for various human needs. According to some expert estimates, over the past 10 thousand years, people have destroyed 26 million square meters. km of forests. Along with this, forests die from fires, illegal logging, natural disasters, insect pests, diseases, and other causes. But the reduction in the area of forest tracts leads to irreparable negative processes that are of global importance for the whole of nature and the life of all mankind. That is why the World Forest Day date appeared.
21 March is celebrated as World Forestry Day. Every year, events are dedicated to a specific theme. World Forest Day 2021 theme is Reforestation: A Way Out of Crisis to Well-Being. Forest protection is one of the leading purposes today because the volume of felling is several times greater than the volume of its natural restoration. More than 13 million hectares of forest are cut down yearly. To solve this problem, some areas ban deforestation or create artificial forest farms.
History of Forestry Day and when is World Forest Day celebrated?
The United Nations is also involved with environmental protection. The 1972 Stockholm Conference, 1992, and 2012 conferences in Rio de Janeiro were devoted to environmental problems. Due to the decision of the UN, World Forest Day is celebrated on December 21, 2012, and was held for the first time on 21 March day, 2013. International Tree Day annually gathers together all groups of caring people, governments, and just enthusiasts to remind everyone of the value of forests. Collaboration is needed at all levels, international and local, not only to raise awareness of forest ecosystem issues but also to carry out practical tree protection activities such as tree-planting campaigns.
Initially, it was decided to celebrate World Tree Day on the day of the fall equinox but later, according to tradition, the official day of Forest Day celebration is considered the first day of spring and a representation of new life and new beginnings.
Traditions of National Forest Day
The concept of World Forest Day is to attract attention to the problem of deforestation and create a platform for the exchange of points of view and joint work for the preservation of forests. Therefore, Forest Day is a perfect time for holding round tables, conferences, and symposiums on the problems of forest protection and restoration, environmental actions, and tree planting campaigns. Each year has its theme. For example, the International Forest Day 2020 theme was “Forests and biodiversity”.
What Can Each of Us Do to Save Forests?
Protect the Forest from Fire
One of the main problems of preserving and growing the forest fund is not the felling, but annual fires, which in most cases occur due to negligence attitude towards nature.
Firstly, never set fire on dry grass. The vast majority of forest fires in spring arise exactly as a result of burning dry grass. Secondly, don’t make fires accidentally. But if you make it, do it only on the ground. In addition, the fire must not be left abandoned and must be carefully destroyed before leaving. Thirdly, do not let sparks of unfinished matches or cigarette butts hit the ground, which can become a great source of the fire. Fourthly, if the fire is found in the forest, try to destroy it on your own, and if this does not work out, report it to the fire department as soon as possible.
Redefine Your Consuming Habits
Try to use paper efficiently. Every year 4 billion trees are cut down worldwide to produce paper. The average lifespan of one sheet is no more than 19 minutes, and more than a third of all household waste is paper. The emissions of gases connected with the production of paper are three times the emissions of all aviation in the world. The paper industry ranks first place in the world by water consumption and fifth by electricity consumption. The less paper we use, the more resources we save, which means we cause less damage to the environment.
The simplest tactic to fight deforestation is to plant a tree. Remember the story of Jadav Payeng from the Indian island of Majuli. The ex-president of the country has established an entire forest with his own hands- one tree a day for more than 40 years.
Interesting Facts about World Forests:
- Trees grow for their whole life;
- Now forests occupy about a third part of the land. However, 200 years ago their area was twice as large;
- About 7% of all forests have been planted by humans;
- Earth loses nearly 100 million trees every year;
- Forests receive only 10% of their nutrients from the soil. The rest they take from the atmosphere;
- Walking in the woods is very useful. In the forest, the pulse rate decreases, and breathing becomes smoother;
- A quarter of modern drugs are made from tropical forest plants;
- Around a million people all around the world work in the wood industry;
- Fuelwood, mainly charcoal, accounts for about 40% of the world’s energy;
- Forests receive more than 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year;
- To make one A4 sheet, 15-20 grams of wood is required. And for a book, you will need 5 kilograms of wood;
- The use of recyclable materials helps to save wood. More than half of paper products are made from it;
- 80 kilograms of recycled paper can save one tree from cutting down;
- The forest zones of Malaysia have been almost destroyed;
- More than 70% of Finland is covered with forests;
- The “poorest” country in forests is the United Kingdom: forest lands there make up only 6% of the area.
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