Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Gisele Bündchen vs. Don Cheadle
WED Challenge: Who can rally more people to take action on world environment day to plant a new forest.
Forests cover one third of the earth’s land mass, performing vital functions and services around the world which make our planet alive with possibilities. In fact, 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. They play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide.
Forests feed our rivers and are essential to supplying the water for nearly 50% of our largest cities. They create and maintain soil fertility; they help to regulate the often devastating impact of storms, floods and fires.
Splendid and inspiring, forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, and are home to more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
Forests also provide shelter, jobs, security and cultural relevance for forest-dependent populations. They are the green lungs of the earth, vital to the survival of people everywhere -- all seven billion of us.
Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate -- every year, 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed. That’s equal to the size of Portugal.
But this trend is not irreversible. It’s not too late to transform life as we know it into a greener future where forests are at the heart of our sustainable development and green economies.
Conserving forests and expanding them need to be recognized as a business opportunity. When we add it up, an investment of US$30 billion fighting deforestation and degradation could provide a return of US$2.5 trillion in new products and services.
Furthermore, targeted investments in forestry could generate up to 10 million new jobs around the world. Already, many leaders are glimpsing the potential for renewable energy and nature-based assets, but for transformation to happen, forests need to become a universal political priority.
The services forests provide are essentially to every aspect of our quality of life. And the answer to sustainable forest management, moving towards a green economy, lies in our hands.
Doesn’t knowing this make it so much easier to see the forest from the trees!