The United Nations Environment Programme is holding the World Environment Day on June 5th with the theme: Forests: Nature at Your Service. What began in 1972 has spread worldwide into an international day of action for the environment.
It has also been declared the International Year of Forests to highlight the importance of this natural resource. In decline worldwide, we depend on forests to combat climate change and provide water, shelter, habitat and support life on our planet.
Although not ideal, to be saved, conserving forests and expanding them should be recognized as a business opportunity to corporations. When we add it up, an investment of US$30 billion fighting deforestation and degradation could provide a return of US$2.5 trillion in new products and services. Its a win for both business and the environment.
- Forests cover 31% of total land area on this plante.
- 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods.
- Forests provide a home to more than 300 million people worldwide.
- The total global trade in forest products was valued at around $379 billion in 2005.
- Forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity.
Targeted forestry investments could generate up to 10 million new jobs around the world. Renewable energy and nature-based assets have the power to transform, but first forests need to become a universal political priority.