United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called for concerted efforts in preserving and reversing the degradation of forests and other ecosystems globally.
Mr. Guterres said at least 1.6 billion people worldwide depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy, medicines and income.
He said forests also provide habitat to 80 percent of all known terrestrial species, many of which are at risk.
ZANIS reports that the UN Secretary General said this in statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
“Forests filter the air we breathe and the water we drink. They regulate our climate, absorbing one-third of the global greenhouse gasses emitted each year. Today, more than one million of the planet’s estimated eight million plant and animals species are at risk of extinction,” he said.
The UN Secretary General pointed out that deforestation should be averted as it increases the risks of infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics.
He has since urged all governments to take quick steps by partnering with international and civil society organisations and individuals in addressing the environmental challenges facing the planet.
Mr. Guterres further called on all stakeholders in environmental protection to plant seeds for a sustainable future by committing to restore forests for the benefit of the people and the planet.
The International day of Forests is being commemorated today under the theme, ‘Forest restoration that will build a better future’.