Yesterday was the International Day of Forests, a global celebration of the importance of trees in our everyday lives. You’re a techie who spends all day in front of your computer and you haven’t cracked a window recently? Forests still matter, a lot.
This year’s theme, “Forests and Climate Change”, was intended to raise awareness of the key role forests play in tempering Earth’s climate and how forests can be a part of the solution to anthropogenic climate change in the future. Forests soak up carbon dioxide and release oxygen, keeping our atmosphere cool and breathable. They produce many of the raw materials we depend on, and harbour the lion’s share of Earth’s biodiversity. Also, they’re just generally awesome.
A few fun facts about Earth’s forests:
- One in four people depend on a forest for their livelihood
- Rainforests cover two per cent of the Earth’s surface but are home to 50% of all plants and animals
- Forests supply 75 per cent of our planet’s fresh water
- Deforestation accounts for up to 20 per cent of human greenhouse gas emissions
- A soccer field’s worth of forest is lost every second, or a region the size of Panama each year
He lives in a forest. Lip Kee / Flickr
Top image: Moyan Brenn /Flickr