Forests 2011 will see an international effort to emphasize the importance of our forests, and their life giving qualities. Essential to attaining far reaching goals such as reducing poverty, aiding in curbing climate change, and finding the balance to sustainable development.
“The air we breathe, the food, water and medicines we need to survive, the variety of life on earth, the climate that shapes our present and future—they all depend on forests. 2011 must be the year when the world recognizes the vital importance of healthy forests to life on earth – for all people and biodiversity” – Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General
To put this all into perspective, a quarter of the worlds population rely directly on forests for their livelihood. Covering 31% of total land area, forests offer a quick, cheap solution to curbing global emissions, making it imperative in increasing public awareness to the benefits from healthy forests and ways to keeping them healthy.
In KZN and Zululand, we have a wonderful and rich diversity of ancient forests that deserve our close guardianship, and we must continue ensuring their safety against the ravages of progress and our greed to devour our living heritage.