“Most people … wouldn’t say that their life depends on a forest or on trees. But it does. Without large, healthy forests on this planet, we would literally have no oxygen to breathe, no clean water to drink, much less food to eat, and almost no medicines to heal us when we’re sick.”
That’s a profound — and profoundly true — statement from actor Edward Norton, a friend of CI and the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for biodiversity. Without forests, we’d be sunk.
This Sunday, May 22, marks the International Day for Biological Diversity. It’s a day to celebrate the vast array of life on Earth and the benefits it gives to humanity. And this year’s theme for the event is “Biodiversity and Forests,” so we’ll be giving special attention to forest life — and how crucial it is to all of us. Consider:
- The trees in forests are our natural allies in the fight against climate change.
- Many species in forest streams, like mollusks, filter pollutants out of fresh water, making it drinkable for people downstream.
- Forest species like the rosy periwinkle are used to make medicines that fight some of our most debilitating diseases, like cancer.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Want to learn more about biodiversity and forests?
- Check out an op-ed piece by Peter Seligmann, CI’s chairman and CEO, and Deepak Chopra, about the need to protect our forests.
- Read more about the world’s 10 most threatened forest “hotspots” — areas of high biodiversity — and what’s being done to protect them.
- Discover CI’s “Lost There, Felt Here” campaign to protect forests.
And before you click away, watch Edward Norton’s great video: