International Day of Forests 21st March 2017

banner_en_website920“This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests.

Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihood.

Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.

They play a key role in our battle in adapting to and mitigating climate change. Forests contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air. They protect watersheds, which supply 75% of fresh water worldwide.

Yet despite all these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 13 million hecatares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12-20 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

The theme for this year is ‘Forests and Climate Change’ highlights forest-based solutions to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, and more broadly forests and sustainability.”

The above text is taken from:

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