The International Day of Forests, created in 2012, is a day set aside to celebrate forests and to ensure their protection in the face of climate change, deforestation and urbanisation. In this article, we discuss why many forests need our support and why planting a tree is now more important than ever.
Our world is made of several different biomes. Whilst this blue and green planet is dominated by oceans, over 30% is covered in forests. Forests come in all shapes and sizes with dense jungle covering much of our equatorial zone, the thin band stretching around the equator. Colder evergreen forests also reach out across Canada and Russia, known as the Taiga or snow forest. We can’t forget about modest woodlands we have in the UK with temperate forests and wild orchards. The United Nations dedicated Environmental Programmes continue to emphasise how essential all forests ecosystems are. Not only are they homes for ‘80% of amphibian species, 75% of bird species and 68% of mammal species’, but they also filter the very air we breathe (source, FAO). We need forests and these natural ecosystems need our help if they are to continue to thrive.
Spread across the globe our major forests, the largest being the Amazon rainforest, provide key resources for all living things. Nonetheless, the unique connection between humans and trees is ancient. As descendants of ape’s homo-sapiens have always coexisted with forests and whilst the majority of people now live in urban areas the symbiosis is still undeniable. Perhaps the recent house plant boom signifies are deep longing for natural spaces as we bring leaves and colourful flowers into our home. We still depend on them for much of our resources, for example, they provide us with paper and wood as well as common medicines such as aspirin and rubber to name a few.
As our society continuous to expand our ability to impact Earth’s natural systems also grows. Forests are particularly fragile and like our oceans are susceptible to changing conditions with unpredictable seasons and destructive industrial activities pushing them closer to tipping points. Our global forest health is one of the major natural checks in the fight against climate change, keeping CO2 stored in the ground and regulating green-house gas levels. Nature has a habit of bouncing back, always finding equilibrium, but as we continue to hear climate change is stretching the limits of nature and when it eventually snaps many forests will be at risk of fading into deserts.
Every tree counts. As champions of forestry products Blake Envelopes are intimately tied to our forest ecosystems. We are proud to use FCS certified forests and to continue to assess our supply chains to strengthen our UK and European woodlands. We have also taken steps to support UK based reforestation initiatives, recently partnering with some local schemes to increase the number of trees, particularly in urban areas. We have recently teamed up with City of Trees, planting fifty trees as part of their goal to plant one tree for all three million people in Greater Manchester within five years.
In 2021 the International Day of Forests is a timely reminder of our connection with trees and the wider natural world. Take a moment today to appreciate the nature that surrounds you and the inherent beauty of trees.