June 22 is International Tropical Forest Day, an event proclaimed in 1999 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Tropical forests are fundamental ecosystems for life on the planet, which contribute to the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making them of great importance for environmental conservation.

This day is intended to raise awareness about the loss and degradation of forests in the world, generating large amounts of gases that cause global warming.

“It is important to remember that forest restoration is not just about planting trees. It also involves restoring the balance of ecological, social and economic benefits of forests and trees within a broad land-use pattern. In some cases, this is achieved by encouraging the natural regeneration of local plant species, and in others, planting trees and plants helps to accelerate the process of restoring the health and productivity of degraded landscapes. The Great Green Wall is a good example of the latter. With help from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), restoration of some 63,000 hectares has recently begun, benefiting a million people.”

Done right, forest restoration is a key natural solution to rebuilding and achieving the future we want.

Happy International Day of Tropical Forests!

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