During Earth Day we celebrate Forests. It is no secret forests are crucially important ecologically and socially.
They also enhance biodiversity, while protecting waterways, enhancing soil nutrition, and providing buffers from natural disasters.
Forests not only benefit nature in so many ways, but are also extremely vital to humanity.
A quarter of all modern medicines are made from plants that grow in tropical forests, with over 70,000 plant species being used in medicines around the world.
Despite the vast importance of forests for all aspects of life, they are disappearing right in front of us. Deforestation, climate change-related natural disasters, and expansion of industries such as agriculture and manufacturing have harmed forests worldwide significantly.
Deforestation and forest degradation impact socioeconomically disadvantaged people significantly more. Areas more vulnerable to natural disasters typically have lower costs of living, making homes in these areas more accessible to people who may not be able to afford to live in areas less susceptible to natural disasters.
Subsistence farming, or farming to provide for a family or small group, benefits greatly from the biodiversity and soil quality forests create.
Subsistence farmers do not farm in search of profit, but rather to meet their own needs.
Economically disadvantaged, rural communities are more likely to rely on subsistence farming, leaving them very vulnerable to changes in water cycles, soil erosion, and biodiversity that forests help regulate.
Despite the many benefits forests provide us, the world is losing about 10 million hectares of forest each year, an area about as big as Iceland. That being said, hope is not lost.
Through reforestation efforts and better forest management, deforestation has halved in Asia and South America since the 1990s.
With increased effort, forests, and the many benefits they provide, can be restored.
The footprints of humans in the everyday life have a profound impact on our beloved planet earth.
We must demand from governments around the globe, and private conglomerates while forging collaboration between all parties involved to make real progress towards protecting our today, and our children’s tomorrow.
How do I start today?
Divas Fair Trade as a socially responsible business looks to create work opportunities for women using resources that are renewable and that protect the ecosystem in the rural communities of Perú and Bolivia.
As consumers, we all can pay attention to the products we consume, what stocks and investments we own, and how we reuse and recycle in our everyday life.
We should continue making investments in education in our local communities, schools, and also the local government. Let’s start today!
Then, we can say Happy Earth Day!