About the event
In November 2012 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests. The aim of the Day is to celebrate all types of forest and raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development for the benefit of current and future generations.
How to approach it
Forests are a vital part of our living world. Students should be aware that 80% of our biodiversity is within forests and that they act as huge carbon sinks trapping greenhouse gases and cleaning our air. It’s important to cultivate an appropriate sense of wonder at how truly important our forests are and crucially, how they are under threat like never before.
One important point is to introduce the idea of what a good quality forest actually is. A good quality forest is one with a high biodiversity of life and an active ecosystem. These kinds of forests are the most resilient and store the most carbon. Thousands of years ago, the UK and Europe were covered with extremely high quality forests. However after years of mistreatment and mismanagement our forests are now fairly low quality compared to somewhere like the Amazon. It is the high quality forests we must reintroduce to our country and the rest of the world if we are to effectively combat climate change. Students should understand that tree planting, if it occurs in large monoculture plantations, is an insufficient remedy. Understanding what an ideal forest is like acts as an excellent introduction to ecology.
Forests are home to 300 million people and 80% of the Earth's terrestrial biodiversity. Why else are forests so important?