If deforestation became a country, it would win bronze medal in global carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e). I don’t need to tell you how precious forests are, they provide immeasurable value to us. Nearly 1.6 billion people directly depend on its resources for their livelihoods. Forests are our greatest asset to combat climate change, reduce poverty levels, solve world hunger problems and countless other sustainable development goals. And yet, we continue to cut down her trees and continue to exploit her ecosystem at a frightening rate.
World Forest Day 2020: Forests and Biodiversity Forever!
To try and combat the unjust deforestation practices around the world, in 2012 the United Nations General Assembly announced that they will celebrate March 21st as “International Day of Forests”. A day to come together locally, nationally and internationally to raise awareness on the importance of forests and organize events such as tree planting campaigns. Since 2012, each year the UN teams up with Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) to chose a theme for the International Day of Forests:
- 2013 theme – Forests & Outreach Events
- 2014 theme – My Forest | Our Future
- 2015 theme – Forests | Climate | Change
- 2016 theme – Forests and Water
- 2017 theme – Forests and Energy
- 2018 theme – Forests and Sustainable Cities
- 2019 theme – Forests and Education
- 2020 theme – Forests and Biodiversity
International Day of Forests: Time for Action is Now
It is easy to look at all these depressing facts about deforestation and think, “how can one person make a difference?”. Well, if 16 years old Jadav Payeng had the same level of apathy like the most of us, we might not have an enormous jungle that is 200 hectares bigger than New York’s Central Park.
People like Jadav Payeng and many other unsung heroes are already doing their part to protect our mother nature. To just name a few, Ranaram Bishnoi from Ekalkhori (Jodhpur, India) and a couple, Pamela and Anil Malhotra from Kodagu (Karnataka, India) have transformed barren land to beautiful forests. As the world is calling this decade the “The Decade of Actions”, I think it is time for us to give a lending hand to these forest champions and start making an impact!
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