Happy International Day of Forests!

A forest in Nepal with a beautiful waterfall. . Quick Shot/Shutterstock

Today is a day to celebrate forests as an environmental marvel. It is also a day to remember that forests are not only beautiful places, but also essential to our survival on this planet.

The destruction of forests encompasses so much more than just cutting down trees. Deforestation threatens ecological biodiversity, carbon sequestration across the planet, economic security for forest-dwelling communities and also the quality and amount of fresh water available on Earth.

The U.N. points out that:

  • Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater.
  • About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population — 8 out of 10 people — is exposed to high levels of threat to water security.
  • Forests act as natural water filters.

If you would like to celebrate International Day of Forests, we recommend taking action to support forests. Resources include:

We also recommend taking a walk in a forest near you. Soak in the colors, sounds and smells, and feel restored. Bonus points for visiting a waterfall, creek or river within a forest and pondering this year's theme!

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