International Day of Forests: Why are they important?

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On March 21 the importance of these ecosystems is celebrated to generate awareness to learn to love forests

International Day of Forests: Why are they important?

The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 21st of March as the International Day of Forests, in 2012. From that date and until now, the importance of these valuable ecosystems is commemorated to raise awareness about their role and promote the creation of initiatives and policies that protect them.

Leer en español: Día internacional de los bosques: ¿Por qué son importantes?

In times of accelerated deforestation, the celebration of this day takes on special relevance, because we must reflect on the practices that threaten these ecosystems and that in the medium and long term end up affecting humanity. Many do not know that forests are fundamental tools for the environmental sustainability of the planet and also for the economic and social development of nations.

According to the UN, "forests, their sustainable management and exploitation, including fragile forest ecosystems, are fundamental to combating climate change, so they contribute significantly to the benefit of present and future generations. Forests also play a role fundamental in the eradication of poverty and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".

This year, the celebration focuses on education as a weapon to learn to love the forest and understand its importance for the sustainability of Earth and the conservation of the world's biodiversity.

Also read: 3 amazing inventions to take care of the environment

The FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, made a video inviting us to observe the beauty, life, and opportunities that these ecosystems harbor. If we know them and we are interested in learning about them, we can discover the benefits they offer us and why we should take care of them.

5 tips to take care of forests

1. Know our forests: as FAO affirms, knowing and learning about forests you can understand their role in society and their environmental and economic importance. For doing so, you can check the internet and libraries, always keeping in mind that they are reliable sources. In the future, the UN emphasizes, preserving the forests will be fundamental for the planet to be able to supply the living beings and human beings that will inhabit Earth. It is expected that by 2030, the population will have reached 8500 million people.

Also read: Goodbye to glyphosate: this non-toxic molecule could replace it

2. When learning age does not matter: it is never too early nor too late to learn about forests and how to care for them. Promoting early education will allow children to become adults aware of the benefits that ecosystems offer. The UN points out that education is the tool for young people and adults to learn how to sustainably manage forests.

3. Invest in education: learning about forests should be a joint task of different sectors. That is why at the state level, policies that allow scientific, social, and community research must be implemented to consolidate effective strategies and curb environmental problems such as deforestation and climate change.

4. Education for all: access to education must be the same for everyone regardless of gender, sex, race, economic conditions, etc. Sustainably managing natural resources is not an exclusive task of men or women, on the contrary, it is a joint effort of all human beings.

5. Traditional knowledge should be mixed with modern knowledge: technology should be seen as a tool that empowers and helps traditional wisdom to care for, protect, and sustainably use forests and the resources found there. Technological progress should not be separated from traditional knowledge.


LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from "Día internacional de los bosques: ¿Por qué son importantes?"