21st March this year is #InternationalDayofForests
. This day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On this day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
The theme for #InternationalDayofForests2018
is Forests and Sustainable Cities.
Even though much of the our original forest cover has been lost, small pockets of lowland tropical rainforest and freshwater swamp forest still exist in Singapore, largely in the middle of the island. In many areas, secondary forests of varying ages have grown in locations that were previously cleared, especially in abandoned plantations and land formerly used for agriculture and villages. Along the coasts, mangroves persist, with the largest patches in the north.
Why are forests so important to Singapore?
1) Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas.
2) Trees also improve the local climate, helping to save energy.
3) Strategic placement of trees in urban areas can cool the air, reducing air conditioning needs.
4) Urban trees are excellent air filters, removing harmful pollutants in the air and fine particulates.
5) Trees reduce noise pollution, as they shield homes from nearby roads and industrial areas.
6) Forests in and around urban areas help to filter and regulate water, contributing to high-quality freshwater supplies for hundreds of millions of people. Forests also protect watersheds and prevent flooding as they store water in their branches and soil.
7) Well-managed forests and trees in and around cities provide habitats, food and protection for many plants and animals, helping to maintain and increase biodiversity.
8) Forests in cities and surrounding areas generate tourism, create tens of thousands of jobs and encourage city beautification schemes, building dynamic, energetic and prosperous green economies.
9) Urban green spaces, including forests, encourage active and healthy lifestyles, improve mental health, prevent disease, and provide a place for people to socialise.