Today marks the United Nations’ fifth annual International Day of Forests, a day to celebrate the important and diverse contributions of the world’s forests and help to protect the health of forest ecosystems worldwide.
Forests presently cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s land area, or nearly 4 billion hectares. Sustainably managed forests are healthy, productive, resilient and renewable ecosystems which provide essential goods and services to people worldwide. An estimated 1.6 billion people – 25 per cent of the global population – depend on forests for subsistence, livelihood, employment and income generation.
Forests provide goods such as wood, food, fuel, fibre, fodder, and other non-wood products. They provide a range of ecosystem services, from soil, land, water and biodiversity conservation to climate change mitigation and adaptation, from clean air to reducing the risk of natural disasters including floods, landslides, droughts, and dust and sand storms.
Here’s more information on the celebration.