International Day of Forests, observed for the first time on March 21, 2013. It was decided under a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012. To be held each year on the 21st day of March, the occasion is intended to be one of the world’s leading global platforms for people with an interest in forests and climate change to share their views and work together to ensure forests are suitably incorporated into any future climate change mitigation and adaption strategies.
Forests have been an integral part of human civilization since time eternal. They are a shroud of sustainability and protection for our planet. It is very deeply tumultuous to witness the apathy of the human kind towards such a vast resource which supports life on earth. It is strange since the Earth doesn’t need us to sustain, we need its resources to be alive. The thin blue line, called the atmosphere, a few meters thick, is what sets “The Earth” apart as a unique planet compared to rest of its family in the solar system.
Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Forests also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities(UN.org).They play a key role in our battle in adapting to and mitigating climate change. Forests contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air. They protect watersheds, which supply 75% of freshwater worldwide.
Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, we are destroying the very forests we need to survive. Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 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(UN.org).
Each year more than 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests are lost. This is roughly the area covered by England. When forests vanish, so will go the plant and animal species that they embrace, which is 80% of all terrestrial biodiversity. They play a critical role in fighting climate change, global warming. Deforestation results in increase of 12-18 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, almost equal to all the CO2 from the global transport sector. Healthy forests are one of the world’s primary ‘carbon sinks’. Today, forests cover more than 30% of the world’s land and contain more than 60,000 tree species, many of them are yet to be unidentified. They provide food, fiber, water and medicines for approximately 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest people, including indigenous peoples with unique cultures
But its seems that man has lost connect with nature. For majority, livelihoods does not depend on forests and rivers anymore. But for those, it does, like the forest communities have been facing the challenges of displacement, man animal conflict and loss of livelihood in last few decades.
Experts are yet to reach consensus on the continued poverty of the natural resource users. However, it appears that the social systems from which they arise are quiet spontaneous, and justify the socialist view of environmental problems reflecting ‘unequal distribution of resources’ eluding a lasting solution. The Forest Rights Act, 2006 (commonly referred to as the FRA) is an important platform for improving the livelihoods of the Forest dependent people(FDPs), by decreasing their vulnerability through secure land rights(mainstreamweekly.net).
Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. understands that despite the FRA, livelihoods of the people living in the forests have not improved. Should we believe that the time has come for them to leave the forest environment altogether? Surmise and surrender to the whims of the states and population pressures to allow the never-ending displacements, loss of livelihoods, cultural extinction, disintegration of their society, and become victims of all kinds of atrocities, for the development of others (non-tribal’s) in the name of industrialization and development? The approach that Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. suggests to be adopted includes redefining the idea of development and have a sustainable course of action for future which is inclusive in nature rather than exclusive. All stakeholders including those who live thousand of kilometers away from forests should be a part of this.
Ultimately its the children on who hold the key to understand the preserve our Biodiversity because “we don’t inherit this planet from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.
By : Joyita Bhattacharya Pathak