International Day of Forest 2022: Our Forest, Too Precious Too Loose

Translator

Tempo.co

21 March 2022 10:16 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Today is the International Day of Forest.

When we drink a glass of water, write in a notebook, take medicine for a fever or build a house, we do not always make the connection with forests.

And yet, these and many other aspects of our lives are linked to forests and environmental services provided by the forests in one way or the other.

Wood helps to provide chemical-free food and water in many kitchens, build countless furniture and wooden utensils, replace materials as harmful as plastic, create fibers for our clothes and, through technology, be part of the fields of medicine or the space race.

The theme for the International Day of Forest this year is “Forests and sustainable production and consumption”, which refers to sustainable forest management and the way we manage the forest resources that are key to combating climate change and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations.

Forests also play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It is vital to produce and consume wood in a more environmentally friendly way for the planet and its inhabitants. Let’s protect this easily renewable resource with a sustainable management of forests”, said Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Indonesia.

Yet despite all these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate.

The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest a year – more than half the size of Sulawesi – and land degradation affects almost 2 billion hectares, an area larger than South America.

Forest loss and degradation emit enormous quantities of climate-warming gases, and it is estimated that more than eight percent of forest plants and five percent of forest animals and birds are at “extremely considerable risk” of extinction.

“Government of Indonesia has shown tremendous effort to reduce deforestation. We need to appreciate this effort by supporting the Indonesian government to enforce the law to protect the forest and the forest community as the fundamental aspects in managing sustainable forest”, Rajendra added.

In recent report, deforestation in Indonesia was the lowest in 6 years. In 2019, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF) has rehabilitated around 400 thousand hectares of forests and during the pandemic, MoEF planned on increasing the number of seedlings that will be planted this year.

Indonesia G-20 presidency also boosts Indonesia's programme to achieve sustainable economic development, and the year 2045 targets to include sustainable management of forests.

FAO supports Indonesia to ensure that Indonesia's woods have been produced in a sustainable way under the protection of the law.

Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, with more than 60,000 tree species. Around 1.6 billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy, medicines, and income.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. This Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.

Read: Forestry Ministry Expects APHI to be Partner in Sustainable Forest Management

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