March 21 is the International Day of Forests. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. This year’s theme is ‘The Role of Forests in Ensuring Sustainable Production and Consumption’.
There are many areas of our lives and consumption forests directly and indirectly impact. The oxygen you breathe, the water you drink, the pencil and paper you write on, the building you live in – everything has a relationship with trees. Of these, forests and water are intricately linked.
Forests are crucial for regulating the water cycle. Forests collect water through rain and snow and filter them, store them and transports to rivers and streams. They help in increasing the groundwater levels, providing freshwater to humans and other lifeforms, and can release water from the soil and into the air as oxygen and waterpower again to facilitate recycling of freshwater. The reduction in forest cover in any area increases the chance of flood and landslides in monsoon, and draught in dry season. The loss of access to clean water, and the pollution of water sources, is partially due to deforestation.
We need to protect and conserve the forests for a healthy and thriving Earth.