New Delhi: The United Nations General Assembly announced 21 March as the International Day of Forests in 2012. The day is meant to raise awareness about the importance and role of various types of forests in our lives. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2018 is Forests and Sustainable Cities.
Here's why you should care and why this day should matter to you:
Positive Impact On Local Climate
Trees help to reduce temperature by around 8 degree Celsius acting as natural air conditioners. This reduces dependence of air conditioning, in turn decreasing carbon emission. Planting and growing more trees in urban areas positively impacts the local climate. Trees help in reducing global warming by absorbing greenhouse gases.
Reduce Air Pollution
Pollution is a problem plaguing urban and rural areas alike. Delhi and surrounding areas were enveloped in thick smog this winter after Air Quality Index breached catastrophic levels. But, more trees and more green cover directly translate to reducing pollutants, making the air around us more suitable for breathing.
Help You Relax
In our extremely busy lives, we seldom find a quiet place to unwind. But this can be easily solved by growing more trees in the neighbourhood. Trees help to cut the noise that reach us from the vehicles and everyday bustle of the city by creating a barrier between our homes and the road. Also, these trees become home to different kinds of birds making the locality a better place to live in.
Reduce Water Scarcity, Flooding
Trees absorb rainwater and help retain healthy groundwater levels. Water scarcity is a massive problem across the globe. In some places residents have to walk for miles before they can find clean water to drink. This can easily be solved by planting more trees. Additionally, forests protect watersheds and prevent flooding by storing excess water in their branches and soil.
A jog or a walk in the park is always preferred to running at the gym in artificial conditions. The greenery can help rejuvenate and unwind after a gruesome day at work. Open green spaces also encourage an active lifestyle, improve mental and physical health while creating an atmosphere for people to socialise with each other.
Well managed forests and trees in and around residential areas and cities provide food and habitat to different species of animals and birds. This helps in maintaining and increasing biodiversity of an area.
Forests around the city help in generating jobs through tourism. Thousands can be employed in jobs to beauty a city to attract more tourists. Various government initiatives can help build a dynamic and prosperous green economy.