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International Day of Forests 2021: Reafforestation is the Key to Recovery & Well-being

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi

As we all know that forest covers one third of the Earth's land mass, performing crucial functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests. The organisms living in forests are interdependent on each other. Plants make their own food by the process of photosynthesis and animals depend on plants and other animals for their food. Therefore, a forest is defined as an area forming an ecosystem.  

The United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as International Day of Forests (IDF) 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 2021 is "Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being". 

Forests are of great importance to mankind. Some of its benefits are like forests helps in maintaining the water cycle on earth, maintaining the temperature and oxygen level of the atmosphere, preventing global warming and soil erosion etc. Forests also provide health benefits for everyone, such as nutritious foods, fresh air, clean water, and space for recreation. Yet despite all of these countless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate. 

Researchers have found that the world is losing around 10 million hectares of forest each year, and land degradation affects almost 2 billion hectares annually. Forest loss and degradation emits large quantities of global warming gases, and at least 8 percent of forest plants and 5 percent of forest animals are at extremely high risk of extinction. However, in India Forest report highlights that there is an increase in forest and tree cover across the country but still the northeast India continues to lose forests. This is a matter of concern for all of us.  

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems at wider platform, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity regarding large plantation drives. According to my opinion, Reafforestation (the act of planting new trees in an area where there used to be a forest) is the key to restore the degraded health of our forests and planet. It should be practiced extensively in order to conserve our world. Trees are responsible for preserving the equilibrium of Earth’s atmosphere so investing in ecosystem restoration will help in healing individuals, communities and the environment.  

At last, Krishi Jagran would like to request people across the globe to consider this day as an opportunity to rebuild forest landscapes that are equitable and productive to avert the risks to ecosystems and people posed by forest destruction. As it is clear, reafforestation is a nature-based solution for building back better and achieving the future we want. 

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