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  • Saturday, March 21 will be observed as International Day of Forests under the theme: ‘Forest Climate Change’.
  • Forests are known to play major roles in climate change considerations. Their clearance, overuse and degradation contribute about one-sixth of global carbon emissions.
  • International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013.

Saturday, March 21 will be observed as International Day of Forests under the theme: ‘Forest Climate Change’.

Managing Director of The Forest Conservancy (TFC), Guy Symes, is encouraging Jamaicans to commemorate the Day by planting one of the world’s most valuable tropical forest trees, the Teak tree. “On suitable sites and with proper care, these plants can attain 50 feet in 10 years and reach maturity by age 15 to 20 years,” he said.

Mr. Symes pointed out that after the devastating drought of 2014, TFC salvaged some tissue-culture Teak plants which are available for sale.

“So, we are encouraging Jamaicans to invest now for the future, for viable economic returns, and make their contribution to carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation,” he said. Teak is naturally resistant to decay, wood rot and shipworm (a sea mollusk that easily bores itself into most woods), making it an ideal material for most building projects in coastal environments, especially bridges, docks and boats. It is also used in traditional Southeast Asian medicine for its astringent and diuretic properties, which assist in reducing swelling. It is also used traditionally to treat diabetes, and laboratory tests have demonstrated that its bark extract effectively lowers insulin resistance in mice. According to a United Nations report, forests cover about one third of the world’s land mass and 1.6 billion people, including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures, depend on forests for their livelihood.

Forests are known to play major roles in climate change considerations. Their clearance, overuse and degradation contribute about one-sixth of global carbon emissions.

However, when managed sustainably, they can produce wood fuels as a benign alternative to fossil fuels, while maintaining their potential to absorb about one-tenth of global carbon emissions.

International Day of Forests was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013. The day was established by a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012, to raise awareness of the importance of forests.

At that time, countries around the world were encouraged to undertake efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.