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International Day of Forests 2019

March 21 has been designated as the International Day of Forests by the United Nations (UN).

This is a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each Day of Forests, countries worldwide are encouraged to undertake local and national efforts involving forests and trees, such as a tree planting campaign.

Since the chosen theme for this year is Forests and Education; John Casey, Forestry Advisor with Teagasc, organised the planting of two native rowan (mountain ash) trees by enthusiastic students, with the assistance of Linda Dennehy, Principal of Scoil Íosgáin and Eve Maxwell of the Convent Primary School, Mallow.

John Horgan, Regional Advisory Manager for Cork East, generously sponsored the trees on behalf of Teagasc and had the following key messages for the students, such as:

  • Understanding our forests and keeping them healthy is crucial for our future.
    Forests help to keep air, soil, water and people healthy. They have a vital role to play in some of the biggest challenges we face today, such as addressing climate change, eliminating hunger and keeping urban and rural communities sustainable and healthy.

  • You’re never too young to start learning about trees!
    Helping children connect with nature creates future generations conscious of the benefits of trees and forests and the need to manage them sustainably. Children can discover forests in classrooms by spending time in our open forests and in urban settings such as the NeighbourWood in Mallow town park.

  • Both modern and traditional knowledge are key to keeping forests healthy.
    Foresters know and understand nature well and how to use cutting-edge technology to ensure that our forests are monitored and managed using best practice. Communities have vital experience and knowledge on how to protect forest resources and ensure that they are harvested in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

  • All should have equal access to forest education.
    Many countries are trying to involve more women in forest-related studies, placing a priority on equal access to forest education for all. Gender parity in forest education empowers women to sustainably manage forests around the world. Everybody can help to promote the importance of forests and forestry in a very real way.

  • Investing in forestry education can change the world for the better.
    By investing in forestry education, we all can help ensure there are scientists, policy makers, foresters and local communities working to halt deforestation and restore over-exploited landscapes. In turn, healthy forests will help us to reach many of our goals, for example by supporting people’s income and conserving biodiversity.