Post Mortem

Forests: too precious to lose

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/20/2020 12:21:28 PM IST

 21st March is International Day of Forest 

In the time when entire world is worried about Corona Virus at the same time we should not forget about the manmade disasters like adding more carbon to the atmosphere and brining more challenges for the man kind and all other living organisms. Limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C will be impossible without a major role for forests, both because of the massive emissions reductions that can be achieved by ending deforestation and because of the additional carbon that can be sequestered through improved forest management and reforestation.
There is no doubt that forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and forests and woodlands are made up of over 60,000 tree species. More than a billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income. Deforestation continues at an alarming rate - 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually and this accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. It is not only about climate change or environment but forests provide many other things to all living beings whether human being or animals or birds or millions of insects. However, each year approximately 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed. This deforestation, together with agriculture and other land use changes, is responsible for roughly 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation and land degradation also undermine efforts to build resilience to climate impacts and threaten forest dwelling. 
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2020 is Forests and Biodiversity.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of United Nations on his message said that “deforestation is mainly caused by the conversion of habitats for large-scale agriculture. Increasing agricultural production without replacing natural forests is a key challenge. Over the past 25 years, the annual rate of net global deforestation has slowed by over 50 per cent, which is a credit to the efforts of governments and other stakeholders working to sustainably manage forests. Yet, vast areas of forest continue to be lost.” On this International Day, Secretary General urged all governments, businesses and civil society to take urgent action to halt deforestation and restore degraded forests, so future generations can enjoy a greener, healthier future.
This year’s International Day of Forests highlights the connections between forests and the rich biodiversity they support. 2020 has been referred to as a “Nature Super Year” and must be the year where we turn the tide on deforestation and forestry loss. It depends on each and every one of us how we contribute to increase forest cover and help in combating climate change. Forests are not only for combating climate change but it is must for livelihoods and other natural resources for communities. 
Let us not forget that forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food and shelter. If we cannot maintain 33% areas of land under forest cover than we are inviting more problems for us in near future. Let us all make sure that we increase the forest cover. It is possible as we have example of individuals like Jadav Payeng from Majuli who had created and made forest for everyone through his dedicated work for many years. Together we can and we must safeguard forests for all of us and also for our future generations. 
Ranjan K Baruah 
(With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to

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