We have all heard the saying “Forests are the lungs of the earth”. Still, as we are too occupied with our everyday lives and obligations, we often underestimate their true value. For this reason, on March 21st we celebrate International Day of Forests. Proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, International Day of Forests celebrates and raises awareness about the importance of forests.
This year’s theme of the International Day of Forests is “Forests and Sustainable Cities”. The theme addresses the miraculous role of every tree planted in an urban area and encourages the organization of various events dedicated to celebrating forests and planting trees.
Forests—True Protectors of Our Planet
Without trees and forests, life on earth would be impossible. The key value of trees is their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen via the process of photosynthesis. That way, forests represent a natural defense mechanism against climate change.
“Without trees and forests, life on earth would be impossible.”
Besides providing the air we breathe, forests are also valuable ecosystems that provide the habitat for 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Not only do forests provide shelter for humans, livestock, and crops, they also protect water by reducing surface run-off. Trees also represent a natural barrier which protects the soil from erosion. In other words, forests are true protectors of our planet.
More Trees for Sustainable Cities and Planet
Due to increased urbanization, by 2050 it’s expected that 70% of the global population will live in urban areas. Generally, all urban areas have many problems with pollution and increased greenhouse effects. At this point, every planted tree increases a chance for improving life quality and achieving sustainable cities. How is this possible? Well, trees protect the cities by cooling the air, removing harmful pollutants, and mitigating climate change. When planted between industrial and residential areas, trees are a valuable shield for citizens. At the same time, trees improve overall life quality in the cities and encourage active and healthy lifestyle.
“Trees protect the cities by cooling the air, removing harmful pollutants, and mitigating climate change.”
Why Plant More Trees on Farms?
Agriculture is known as one of the main drivers of deforestation. Unfortunately, there are still many farmers who will continue to clear the forests in order to get more arable land. But, let’s take a look at the bright side. There are also many successful farmers who have recognized the main benefits of planting trees on farms. The main reasons why successful farmers plant trees on farms are because trees can:
- Protect their crops and livestock during warm months
- Attract valuable pollinators and birds
- Improve soil and water management
Instead of clearing the forests, many farmers plant trees on farms and manage their production in a sustainable way so we should all look up to them.
So, plant a tree and don’t forget to take some time and admire forests. At the end of the day, they are the guardians of our cities, farms, and planet.
Happy International Day of Forests.
Image sources: Wikipedia