Awareness DayKnowledge

International Day of Forests 21st March 2023 Theme- Forests and Health

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Every year 21st March is observed as International Day of Forests to honors and raises awareness about the importance of all forest forms. On every International Day of Forest many countries are urged to make local, national and international efforts to coordinate forest and trees-related events, such as tree plantation.

Forests cover about a third of the earth’s surface area. Approximately 1.6 billion people, of which more than 2000 indigenous peoples, rely on forests. For several causes, forests are important for the earth, including:

Helping to provide shelter for half of the earth’s vertebrate species, mammals, and insects. Contributing to air quality by balancing oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity. Watersheds, which provide rivers with fresh water, must be protected.

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.

Theme of International Day of Forests 2023

This year the theme of International Day of Forests 2023 is  “Forests and Health

Every year the planet loses 10 million hectares of forest – about the size of Iceland – and the destruction of the soil reaches nearly 2 billion hectares. It’s estimated that as many as 8% of the world’s forest will be destroyed and 5% of the other plants and animals would be threatened with extinction if current rates of deforestation continue. Alternatively, restoring and managing trees is addressing the crisis on climate change and the twofold at the same time.

Forests provide all people with health benefits, including fresh air, healthy food, clean water and leisure facilities. Plant-based medicines account for up to 25% of all medicinal drugs in developed nations, and up to 80% in emerging countries.

More than 2 billion hectares of deforested and degraded habitats around the world have potential for Forest and Landscape Restoration, according to the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) (FLR). From 2000 to 2010, about 13 million ha of forest is transferred to other land uses or destroyed due to natural causes per year, making deforestation and landscape destruction global problems. Continued landscape destruction makes it impossible for farmers and urban governments to respond to the effects of climate change, as well as eliminate vulnerability and hunger. Land loss also raises competition for limited natural resources, endangering people’s livelihoods, well-being, food, water, and energy stability, as well as people’s and natural habitats’ resilience.

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.

Swikriti Dandotia