Every 21 March is an International Day of Forests

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Every 21 March is an International Day of Forests

From protecting our planet, to providing the air we breathe, forests are a vital lifeline to everything we as a species rely upon. Yet, it is our very own actions that are destroying this lifeline.

This year’s International Day of Forests, celebrated under the theme ‘Forests and sustainable production and consumption’, comes at a time of renewed sense of hope and commitment for forests.

The adoption of the ‘Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use’ as an outcome of COP26, is a landmark step towards the preservation of over 90% of forests, and a major step forward in the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

Yet, there is still a long way to go; deforestation and land degradation remain prevalent worldwide. Globally, deforestation continues at 10 million hectares per year due to agricultural expansion.

On this day, we need to ramp up efforts in transforming our consumption and production patterns, and work to restore balance in our relationship with nature and to ensure the longevity of this vital lifeline.

Scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report have issued a call for massive investment in ecosystem-based adaptation. Planting the right trees in the right places can help restore degraded ecosystems and boost rural prosperity.

Restoring natural forests and improving sustainability of managed forests enhances the resilience of carbon stocks and sinks.

Cooperation, and inclusive decision making, with local communities and indigenous Peoples, as well as recognition of inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples, is integral to successful forest adaptation.

For a drastic change in global consumption practices, there is need for a radical shift in the way society places value on biodiversity, nature and the bounty that our lands produce to feed and provide for the planet.

We cannot afford to barter away our future in the hands of those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

On this International Day of Forests, I call upon each and every one of us to collectively work together to reduce deforestation and adopt sustainable production and consumption practices.


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