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World Environment Day 2011

By Rahnuma Hassan* 

As 2011 is the Year of Forests, it is unsurprising that this year’s theme for World Environment Day is “Forests: Nature at Your Service.” And for good reason.

Forests make up a large part of of the world’s ecosystems and are vital to the livelihoods of billions of people. They are a source of food, fuel, and income for many, and contribute to the health of soil and water systems. The following short animated film posted by the UNDP, provides an excellent overview of the importance of forests, the threats they face, and the potential solutions for addressing these threats:

BRANCHING OUT FOR A GREEN ECONOMY by Sir David Attenborough from UNEP on Vimeo.

Even if you have no plans for celebrating World Environment Day today, there are many ways in which you can participate in raising awareness and contributing to protecting the world’s forests. If you have the time and resources, you could pledge to plant a tree as part of the Billion Tree Campagine. Alternatively, you could support projects such as A Conversation Between Trees “…a new locative artwork that connects trees in different environments, using environmental sensors technologies to visualise and interpret the sensor data as an interactive installation.”

For more information on all things forest related in the UK, have a look at the Forestry Commission website.

You can also have a look at the FAO Pages on Forests for information on what is being done to encourage sustainable development and protect forests all over the world.

* Rahnuma Hassan has worked with PENHA as volunteer in 2011. She can be contacted: rahnuma.hassan@googlemail.com.