Today, March 21st, Uganda Biodiversity Fund, joins the global community to celebrate International Day of Forests 2021, with the day’s theme “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”. As a species, humanity hinges on forests more than we may acknowledge, as our survival and wellbeing depends on forest conservation and restoration. As we recover from the global pandemic, combat climate change and battle species loss, Uganda Biodiversity Fund is rallying people to contribute to the conservation and restoration of forests, as steps are taken on the pathway to recovery and well-being.
Forests absorb nearly a third of all carbon dioxide (CO2) released from burning fossil fuels every year. Forest restoration contributes to curbing climate change that is impacting on political, economic, social, and technological advancements world over. The path to restoration involves all of us, as we all gain through what forests contribute.
Forest refurbishment strategies and campaigns are contributing to restoration of homes for wildlife such as birds, primates, and elephants to name a few. Threatened and endangered species such as the chimpanzee and gorilla populations gain more, as forest loss is the major threat to their survival. Habitat restoration means that there will be less overlap in needs between wildlife and people, reducing conflicts, and the possibility of zoonotic disease transmission, and in a period where the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on the wellbeing of people, restored forests mean that possibilities of the next pandemic are minimized.
Human public health is interconnected to wildlife health, due to overlaps that occur, and restored forests ensure that wildlife stays in the forest, more than if the forests are degraded which causes displacement and infringing on communities where they would not otherwise be.
We also depend on forests for their contribution to our livelihoods, directly as a food source and other services that they provide. For a farming nation with 70% of our population depending on agriculture, forests contribute a lot to rainfall formation in Uganda. Our nutrition, household incomes and community wellbeing are momentously intertwined to forests. This is through use of timber for construction, furniture, as well as cooking fuel for many.
Forest restoration contributes significantly to global recovery and well-being. Uganda Biodiversity Fund wishes the global community a delightful “International Day for Forests”