Sierra Leone will today join the world to commemorate the International Day of Forest with the theme: ‘Healthy forests for healthy people’.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21st March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
Countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
The organisers are the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organisations in the field.
A study from 43 000 households across 27 countries in Africa found that the dietary diversity of children exposed to forests was at least 25% higher than that of children who were not.
The total number of plant species used for medicinal purposes could be as high as 50 000. Several studies proved that a visit to a forest environment lowers blood pressure and pulse rate, and reduces cortisol levels.
The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest each year due to deforestation – about the size of Iceland- and insects damage around 35 million hectares of forest annually.