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Healthy Forests For Healthy People 

The International Day of Forests (IDF) was observed recently on March 21 to raise awareness about the significance of forests and trees.

The International Day of Forests (IDF) was recently held on March 21 to raise awareness about the significance of forests and trees.

Key Highlights:

Humanity today faces numerous global challenges.

These include the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic hardships, international conflicts, food insecurity, poverty, climate change, land degradation, water pollution and biodiversity loss.

The world is now looking for solutions that are cost-effective, equitable and can be easily implemented.

Forests contribute significantly to addressing many of the challenges mentioned above.

The carbon stock of forests is estimated to be about 7,204 million tonnes in 2019 by the Indian State of Forest Report (ISFR), indicating an increase of 79.4 million tonnes of carbon stock compared to the estimates in 2017.

Among the Indian States, Arunachal Pradesh has the maximum carbon stock in forests (1023.84 million tonnes), followed by Madhya Pradesh (609.25 million tonnes).

Read also:- Significance of Forest

The country ranks third globally with respect to the net gain in average annual forest area between 2010 and 2020.

In India, at least 80% of all villages and urban local bodies are intended to become environment-friendly by 2028.

As per the Economic Survey of India (2022-23), one of the quantifiable targets of India’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) is to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion to 3.0 billion tonnes through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

Read also:- Nuclear Energy, its importance to India and World and Liability Law

1. Carbon sinks combat climate change

Forest ecosystems keep the planet healthy by regulating the climate, rainfall patterns, and watersheds and crucially provide the oxygen which is essential to human existence.

Healthy forests help to keep climate change in check by acting as “carbon sinks”, which annually absorb about two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, the gas which is contributing to climate change and the increase of temperatures globally.

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2. Nature’s pharmacies: from masks to medicine cabinets

Forest products are used around the world every day, from masks to medicines.

As many as 80 per cent of developing nations and one quarter of developed countries depend on plant-based medicinal drugs.

Forests contain about 50,000 plant species used for medicinal purposes by both local communities and multinational pharmaceutical companies. For millennia, forest dwellers have treated a range of ailments using products they have harvested.

3. Dinner for 1 billion people

Nearly one billion people globally depend on harvesting wild food such as herbs, fruits, nuts, meat, and insects for nutritious diets.

In some remote tropical areas.

Daily protein needs are estimated to be covered by the consumption of wild animals, ranging between 60 and 80 per cent.

A study from 43,000 households across 27 countries in Africa found that the dietary diversity of children exposed to forests was at least 25 per cent higher than those who were not.

In 22 countries in Asia and Africa, including both industrialized and developing countries.

Researchers found that indigenous communities use an average of 120 wild foods per community, and in India.

An estimated 50 million households supplement their diets with fruits gathered from wildland forests and surrounding bushland.

Read also:- Global Food Policy Report

4. Forests are crucial for sustainable development

Forests provide goods and services, employment, and income to perhaps 2.5 billion people worldwide; that’s around one third of the global population.

Keeping forests – and humans – healthy is also at the heart of sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda.

Woodlands play a key role in advancing progress across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:

SDG 3 Well-being: Woodlands feel good.

Studies show that spending time in forests can boost immune systems while elevating positive emotions and lowering stress, blood pressure, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and tension. 

Human health and well-being depend on the natural environment, which provides such essential benefits as clean air, water, healthy soils, and food.

5. Forests need protecting

The wide-ranging benefits of forests are well known, but that doesn’t mean they are perhaps offered the protection they deserve.

Fire, insect-damage and deforestation have accounted for up to 150 million hectares of forest loss in certain years over the last decade.

That’s more than the landmass of a country like Chad or Peru.

The production of agricultural commodities alone, including palm oil, beef, soy, timber, and pulp and paper, drives around 70 per cent of tropical deforestation.

Many governments have adopted forest-friendly policies, and others have increased investment in woodlands and trees.

Read also:- What’s Brewing North Of The Andaman Islands?

Healthy Forests For Healthy People ,Healthy Forests For Healthy People 

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