If you walked inside a forest today March 21st you would be involved in a super party maybe with a bonnet and an implicit invitation to join in the festive. Today we celebrate the International Day of Forests! An important anniversary, formalized by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 28th November 2012, which this year is made official in the slogan chosen by the FAO 'Forests: energies of nature', to raise awareness of sustainable use of wood, disseminating new using, especially in terms of residues, perfect to become liquid biofuels, recognized as fuel of the future able to ensure a balance to the generations to come.
A party to celebrate and to remind us that forests cover a third of the land surface of the Planet performing vital functions around the world: about 1.6 billion people – including more than two thousand indigenous cultures – depend precisely by them for the livelihood. A day that also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of their role as protectors and biodiversity reserves, being the home of more than 80% of terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
But there is also a sore point. It’s impossible to not mention, however, even a bitter taste this day lets, especially in light of all the dutiful recognitions to our friends from the green foliage. Despite their importance, global deforestation – responsible for up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions – is taking place at an alarming rate: 13 million hectares of forests are destroyed each year. The consequences can be counted in terms of migration of species and disruption of plant communities. Instead, it would be enough to manage them in a sustainable manner and they will independently contribute to the reduction of soil erosion and the risk of landslides, avalanches and floods.
But back to the celebrations planned for today, everyone can join in the festivities and dissemination of these important issues. For the occasion, the FAO has prepared videos available in 8 different languages (here you have the one in English) to be freely distributed. There is also a special contest called #LoveForests, the official hashtag to join the social conversations is #IntlForestDay and available to all, there are logos, banners and posters . For more information and to know all the day's events, visit the official website of the FAO.