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International day of forests

By Salma Derkaoui, HAF volunteer

Our daily life is full of basic needs, needs that we as human beings must acknowledge and cherish. It is not a secret that we need water and food to survive, shelter to protect ourselves from the cold, the heat, as well as the danger…

The homes we live in, the paper we write on, the medicine we take on a daily basis, these are all somehow connected to the forest. In one way or another, the forest is a vital part of us: our identity, our health, and our space…Therefore, since 2012, the United Nations General Assembly has recognized the 21st of March of every year as the international day of forests, in order to celebrate the trees and forests of the world, and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The organizers of this memorable day are the United Nations Forum of Forests, in addition to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

Worldwide, we find almost 4.06 billion remaining hectares of forests across the globe. The largest is known to be the Boreal Forest (aka Taiga) in Canada, covering an area of approximately 1.3 billion acres, and it is considered highly influential in climate change…

Even though our planet Earth contains this enormous treasure, it is unfortunate to say that each year the world loses almost 10 million hectares of forests! Hence, the United Nations has proclaimed the 21st of every March to remind people of the precious treasure that is slipping from our hands every passing minute!! It is only with the efforts made by the specialized organizations and governments around the world—planting trees, organizing events, taking videos, and sharing photo exhibits, as well as organized campaigns to fight deforestation and drought—that we can protect our natural heritage and save countless animal species, in addition to guaranteeing the improvement in climate!!

The world needs to start appreciating nature and forests more often and take the international day of forests as an annual reminder of our duty towards forests.

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