World Forest Day and World Tree Day
The celebration of World Forest and Tree Day began on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska City (USA).
His mentor was journalist Julius Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture to President Grover Cleveland, who encouraged tree planting in Nebraska by promoting “Arbor Day”.
The Tree Festival became the Forest Festival when, in 1971, the FAO established the “World Forest Day”. This day aims to raise awareness of the importance of the forest in maintaining life on Earth.
The first “World Day of the Forest” was celebrated in Portugal in 1974, and the date of 21 March was chosen. This day symbolizes the first day of spring, like many other countries in the northern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere, the date is commemorated on September 21st.
In 2012, the UN declared March 21 of each year the International Day of Forests.
The date warns of the urgency of halting the degradation and loss of the forest, which could compromise the planet’s sustainable future.
Forests are the terrestrial ecosystems with the greatest biological diversity on the planet. It is “home” to about 80% of amphibian species, 75% of birds and 68% of mammals.
Importance of the forest
This ecosystem is an invaluable source of livelihood for around 2.4 billion people worldwide. When preparing food and obtaining drinking water, reminds the FAO.
In Portugal, the forest covers more than a third of the country, covering about 3.3 million hectares.
The basis for many pharmacological products is extracted from forest ecosystems, providing additional protection for future pandemics.
This is a topic with great relevance today. Given that, the Covid-19 epidemic has highlighted the need to conserve and use nature sustainably.
Recognizing that the health of populations is intrinsically linked to the health of ecosystems.