Since 2016, an average of 28 million hectares have been cut down every year. That’s one football field of forest lost every single second around the clock.(World Bank 2019)
This is an alarming fact when looking at the ecosystem services and the intrinsic value of the forests and what they provide to the planet and humankind. Something we take for granted.
On Friday the 21st of March 2020, the International Day of the Forests was celebrated in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, led by Papua New Guinea National Forest Authority and supported by the Conservation & Environmental Protection Authority, other government agencies and civil society to show and honor the important role the forest plays for the existence of humanity.
CELCOR, alongside Partners with Melanesia (PWM), participated in commemorating the International Day of the Forests at the National Forest Authority Headquarters in Port Moresby, with a celebration that included a float parade throughout the city of Port Moresby, where a convey of vehicles, spread the message of the importance of forests with chants such as ‘Lukautim bus na graun’ (look after the land and forests) and ‘Noken katim diwai’ (Don’t cut trees), that garnered the attraction of the public, passing vehicles and pedestrians that the float parade passed.
This was an excellent avenue to bring to light the importance of the forests and the life-support it provides to the environment, the surrounding wildlife, humans and the ecosystems on the planet earth.
Forests are a stabilizing force for the climate. They regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and supply goods and services that can drive sustainable growth.
Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, with Papua New Guinea (inclusive of the landmass of West Papua), host to 5% of that global biodiversity and home to the third largest rainforest in the world. However, deforestation through logging (both legal and illegal), agricultural expansion and infrastructural development are threatening Papua New Guineas status as a biological mecca.
As Papua New Guineans, we should always take pride in our land and have an intrinsic connection to our land and all it supplies, however in recent times it is seen as if those connections or ties to one’s land has lost its value, which is a principle that we need to revive and restore in our nation.
Lukautim Graun na Bus na Yumi Noken Katim Diwai!!
The International Day of Forests was established on the 21st day of March, by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012. Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations (“International Day of Forests,” United Nations General Assembly, November 28, 2012.a)