Singapore: This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.
â€œForests cover one third of the Earthâ€™s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people â€“ including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures â€“ depend on forests for their livelihood,â€ said Sandeep Marwah Global Cultural Minister during his visit to Botanical Garden at Singapore.
Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.
Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate â€“ 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
â€œEvery year on the International Day of Forests we celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year we are raising awareness of how forests are key to the planetâ€™s supply of freshwater, which is essential for lifeâ€ added Marwah also Ambassador of IHRO affiliated to United Nations.