Belize Commemorates International Day of Forests

Ministry of Sustainable Development Climate Change & Disaster Management of Belize joined the world in commemorating the International Day of Forests on March 21, 2021.

Belize: Ministry of Sustainable Development Climate Change & Disaster Management of Belize joined the world in commemorating the International Day of Forests on March 21, 2021.

In a press note, Forest Department stated that In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 21st as International Day of Forests with the objective to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forests.

“This year’s theme, “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”, is linked with the United Nations declaration of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.” note added. 

Press release further said, “It is also linked to a local and global response to restore the functionality of our ecosystems to benefit food production and security, soil restoration, water security, human well-being and resiliency, climate regulation and economic stability.”

Forest Department of Belize noted , “Forests provide health benefits such as fresh air, clean water, and spaces for recreation. In developed countries, up to 25% of all medicinal drugs are plant-based; in developing countries, the contribution is as high as 80%. Belize has invested significantly in protecting its natural capital and boasts 61.75% of forest cover with a 1% deforestation rate. In addition, protected natural areas contribute over 20% to Belize’s GDP.”

It stated that Local communities have a direct link to forests for traditional medicine, cultural and spiritual practices and serve as stewards of forest resources.

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, along with the Forest Department, is commemorating the day by reiterating its commitment to towns and cities to continue creating urban green spaces. Through the donation of seedlings, the councils will plant trees to beautify and improve aesthetics in urban spaces.

On the International Day of Forests, the forest department reminded the public that every day is an opportunity to undertake reforestation activities to increase ecological resilience and productivity. Forest restoration is a key nature-based solution to rebuild and achieve a future that benefits everyone. Every tree counts!

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