LAHORE (Staff Report) – People around the world are marking March 21 (Monday) as the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Forests, which promotes the importance of forests and trees in our lives.

International Day of Forests raises awareness on forests and trees, including their role in climate change. The day addresses issues such as deforestation while the theme for 2016 is ‘Forests and Water’.

Forests cover about one third of the world’s land mass. Roughly 1.6 billion people, including more than 2000 indigenous cultures, depend on forests for their livelihood.

Forests are vital to the planet for many reasons, including: Providing shelter for more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects, contributing to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air and protecting watersheds, which supply fresh water to rivers.

The UN first celebrated the International Day of Forests on March 21, 2013.