International Day of Forests 2020 Theme: “Forests and Biodiversity-Too precious to lose” - Swikriti's Blog

International Day of Forests 2020 Theme: “Forests and Biodiversity-Too precious to lose”

Forest biodiversity is defined by the presence of micro-organisms, plants and animals and all these forms of life have a direct or indirect effect on our ecosystem. Forests are the most diverse ecosystems on land since they hold the vast majority of terrestrial species in the world. Some rainforests are amongst Earth’s oldest ecosystems.

Forest Biodiversity faces a challenge from human activities such as turning forests into agricultural land, overgrazing, unmitigated shifting agriculture, inappropriate forest management and it has contributed to drastic climate and environmental change.

To highlight the issues and challenges surrounding Forest Biodiversity, United Nation will be celebrating International Forest Day on March 21 with the theme “Forests and Biodiversity-Too precious to lose”

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution A / RES/67/200 on 21 December 2012, which specified that the International Day of Forests is to be observed on 21 March of each year. This event is observed annually by the UN along with the collaboration of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Governments and Forests organizations.

Major threats to Forest Biodiversity

Rapid deforestation, destruction and degradation of the land, poaching and the introduction of invasive species from other ecosystems endanger forest biodiversity. We are losing 12 million hectares of forest per year, much of it with its rare and rich biodiversity, tropical rainforest. Humans have played a major role in these declines like from the way we use land and waters, such as farming and fishing, to logging, mining and other attempts to pluck natural resources from fragile habitats.

For example, Amazon and South-East Asian forests have resulted in the loss of 1 million square kilometers (386,000 square miles) of tropical forests since 1980.

Another major challenge our ecosystem facing is Forest fires, it not only causes animals and economic losses, but forest fires also lead to the release of huge carbon stores into the atmosphere. Now there is a need to implement efficient forest fire monitoring systems which will decrease the risk of forest fires.

Australia’s most intense bushfires caused massive destruction, death of more than 1 billion animals, about eight-and-a-half million hectares of bush and forest were turned into ash–an area equal to Austria’s size. Also, there has been a loss of around five billion Australian dollars to date.

2019 was one of the worst decades in the world’s tropical forest due to an increase in deforestation, fire burning, and climate change. Tree cover losses in 2019 were higher if we compare the last fifteen years’ results.

Biodiversity will continue to change and everything cannot be protected, but how best to maintain it is crucially important.

International Forest Day 2020 Poster

Credit:FAO.org

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