21 March, International Day of Forests

I apologize in advance, but I’m going to start this post with a bit of philosophy. Let’s see. I used to be skeptical about this International Day of stuff until I got to Twitter. In that parallel world, every international day sparks conversations and starts discussions (some of them more enlightening than others) about topics that wouldn’t be in focus otherwise. It’s obvious that the people that are truly engaged with the problematic will talk about it for more than one day a year, but the interesting bit about international days is their ability to include a larger part of population in the conversation. This is obviously very enriching.

Forests are a source of health and mental well-being.

These impressions are very close to those stated in the (Spanish) United Nations’ blog. According to this source, international days are for:

Sensitizing, raising awareness, highlighting, pointing out an important, unresolved problem in societies. The aim is to press governments to act on it, as a result of a demand from citizens.

It is therefore a very democratic idea, and thanks to social networks these conversations reach a huge extension. End of the philosophic introduction. Let’s talk some forestry!

Forests are also a renewable source of energy.

Of the vast amount of ecosystem services provided by forests, the one chosen for the International Day of Forests 2017 is the production of energy. Precisely, the energy stored in wood. Wood has accompanied humanity since the discovery of fire heating our homes, cooking our food, being fuel for our machines and, of course, as building material (although this use is not directly related to energy). “Chopping trees down” might not look as an environmentally friendly practice, but if we observe the ecosystem, a well-managed forest for timber harvesting is a renewable energy source. To put it simply, for each felled tree, there are just sowed seeds and young trees growing.

Wrapping up just as philosophically as I started, maybe the solution to climate change consists in a paradigm shift in energy consumption and a rebirth of wood.

What are your thoughts?

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