Guyana to celebrate Int’l Day of Forests set for March 21

Guyana will join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of Forests (IDF) 2023 on Tuesday, March 21.

According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, this year’s theme ‘Forests and Health,’ calls for “giving, not just taking; recognising that healthy forests will bring healthy people.”

International Day of Forests is an annual observance that was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2012, to raise awareness about the importance of forests and trees, and the role they play in sustaining life on Earth.

The PPP/C Government, since taking office in August 2020, has implemented several initiatives with a focus on preserving the country’s forest.

These include the launch of a seedling station at the Yarrowkabra Forestry Training Centre, along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway, to aid in reforestation efforts, training and educating members of the Youth in Natural Resources (YNR) programmes on the measures to conserve the forest and biodiversity.

Additionally, a $900 million revolving fund to boost the forestry sector was established and will be officially launched at the IDF ceremony at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Tuesday.

Boasting over 87 per cent forest coverage, Guyana is one of the most heavily forested countries in the world.

It is also a leader in forest conservation, with multiple areas across the country forming a protected areas network, and a deforestation rate of less than 1 per cent— one of the lowest in the world.

Statistics of this kind have enabled Guyana to utilise its strategies for monetary benefit in the form of carbon credit sales, bringing millions of dollars into Guyana’s growing economy.

Legislation such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 also demonstrates the government’s plan to continue to promote sustainable development, while reducing Guyana’s carbon footprint.

The LCDS has been recognised by stakeholders across the globe as an innovative, effective approach to sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

These and other policies being implemented by the President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led Government continue to position Guyana in a leadership role for climate-smart development.

A forest is an integral part of the earth’s ecosystem and an essential resource for the health of the planet and its inhabitants.

It provides clean water and a habitat for wildlife, as well as absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and produce oxygen that is essential for human and animal survival.

Forests cover nearly one-third of the planet’s land area and provide a range of benefits to humans and wildlife.

International Day of Forests also serves as an opportunity to highlight the threats that forests face and the need for conservation efforts around the world.

Despite their importance, forests face a range of threats including deforestation, climate change, and unsustainable forest management practices.

Deforestation, in particular, is a major threat to the world’s forests. Each year, millions of hectares of forest around the world are cleared for agriculture, livestock grazing, and other human activities.

This not only reduces the earth’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide but also leads to the loss of biodiversity and habitats for wildlife. To address these threats, conservation efforts are necessary.