A week of activities to educate the general public about the many benefit of the forests will conclude this Friday.
Organised by the Forestry Department as part of events to commemorate World Forestry Day which is internationally observed on 21 March, the day has been celebrated around the world for 30 years to remind communities of the importance of forests and the many benefits which we gain from them.
Senior Forestry Officer Anthony Jeremiah said that centre for the activities is at the Forestry Unit at Queens Park, and the forest exhibition is not only highlighting the direct benefits but also the long term benefits of sustaining the forestry. “The forest has a direct day-to-day impact on the public without persons realising. The forest is important and we believe that some persons are not aware and underestimate its importance, so we want [persons] to see that without the forest many things will not be possible,” he said.
Jeremiah said that forests are essential for life on Earth. “They give us shade and shelter, refuge and refreshment, clean air and water. Nowadays there is a growing global population and subsequent demand for forest products. The forests of the world are at risk from widespread deforestation and degradation,” he said.
The concept of having a World Forestry Day originated at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971. Later that year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation gave support to the idea believing the event would contribute a great deal to public awareness of the importance of forests and agreed that it should be observed every year around the world.
21 March, the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, was chosen as the day to be celebrated offering information about the three key facets of forestry: protection, production and recreation.