Sunday 22nd May 2011 is the International Day for Biological Diversity. An annual event, the theme for celebrations this time is forests, as part of the UN’s international year celebrating these biodiverse habitats.
Across the world, forests threatened with deforestation and the effects of climate change are home to some spectacular exotic species, including reptiles and amphibians. There is increasing pressure to put a monetary value on the ‘ecosystem services’ such landscapes provide, with the aim to offer better protection for forests and the people that depend on them. This includes not only processing CO2 but also preventing flooding, drought and disease.
Trees also provide humans with all sorts of hidden benefits, and many people fought for our forests in protests about the government sell-offs earlier in the year. After this precarious time for the UK’s forests, their future is now safe. Isn’t it?
• Take your litter home with you when visiting woods and be cautious about fire risks, particularly in very dry weather
• Plan planting some native tree species in your garden or land (the best time for planting is between October and March)
• Volunteer to help manage local nature reserves and woodlands. You can find out more about volunteering with Froglife on Hampton Nature reserve here.
• Choose recycled wood and paper products, or ones that show the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logo
• Keep an eye out for future campaigns to protect our precious woodland habitats
Photo by Lucy Benyon