Earth Day message from Alexander Trepelkov, OIC, UNFFS

Today as we celebrate Earth Day, we have an opportunity to renew our commitment for a better, brighter future for people and the planet. As communities unite in concerted action to combat the global pandemic, we must not forget that our wellbeing also depends on the health of our planet and its ecosystems.

Over 1.6 billion people depend on forests for goods and services such as timber, food, fuel, jobs and shelter. When forests are managed sustainably, they provide critical ecosystem services that affect global climate, rainfall patterns, and watersheds. It is estimated that forest ecosystem services could be valued at US$16.2 trillion annually.

The current health crisis has brought to the forefront some of the most pressing global challenges that we currently face – it has exposed the inequalities and insecurities that are embedded in our economies, and in the systems which we depend upon for our basic subsistence.

On this Earth Day, during this Decade of Action and Delivery to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, we have an opportunity to reexamine our priorities and make a conscious decision to choose the path that will bring us back in harmony with nature.