Today marks International Day of Forests, which was established in 2012 by the United Nations to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of forests.
Why are forests so important?
Forests are home to around 80% of the world’s land biodiversity where flora, fauna and fungi work together in complex ecosystems.
Around 2 billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy, medicines and income. Forests also act as a protective barrier against natural disasters such as flooding, erosion, landslides and avalanches.
Over a third of the world’s largest cities rely on forests for their drinking water. Trees within cities cool the air and reduce the urban heat island effect whilst removing toxic pollutants from the atmosphere.
Forests play a vital role in the fight against climate change, absorbing almost one-third of CO2 released from burning fossil fuels every year. Forests act as carbon sinks taking in around 2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. They are supported by an underground web of roots, fungi and bacteria connecting trees and plants to one another in what is called the ‘wood wide web’. Find out more in our blog.
Last but not least, our physical and mental health are improved by being in natural environments such as forests.
Why do forests need protecting?
Despite the benefits that forests provide, the world is losing 10 million hectares (nearly the same size as Iceland!) to agriculture, unsustainable forest management, mining and infrastructure projects. Deforestation is the second-leading cause of climate change due to trees releasing CO2 when they are cut down. As CO2 levels rise and temperatures become warmer, forest fires become more likely which accelerates climate change.
OnePlanet ‘ecosystems’ inspired by forests!
OnePlanet technology mimics natural systems like forests. Our ecosystem packages allow users to understand the interconnections within and between their departments and organisations. This allows them to collaborate on Shared Outcomes that benefit both planet and people. To find out more, view our website here or watch our introductory video. To contact us directly, book a session with us or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.