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Slovenia Weekly

Forests for sustainable cities


Photo: Ljubljana, Iztok Medja/STO
Forests are the lungs of our planet. The United Nations declared 21 March to be International Day of Forests in order to boost awareness of the importance of conserving this most vital of natural resources and using it carefully. The overall main theme of this year’s International Day of Forests around the world, ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities’, highlights the connections that exist between urban environments, trees and forests.

In this time of ever greater urbanisation, trees, and city and suburban parks, are more important than many of us realise. More people live in urban areas than ever before. Predictions indicate that six billion people, or 70% of the world’s population, will be living in urban environments by 2050.

Rapid urbanisation does not have lead to polluted and overcrowded urban areas. Trees and city forests have an important role to play in this. If we only give them the chance, they can make our towns and cities greener, and help us lead healthier lives by cooling the atmosphere, filtering the air and reducing the negative effects of climate change.

Trees are an extremely important element of city life. We have to recognise the role trees and forests play in the sustainable development of cities. By 2030, more than 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Urban woods and forests could, for many, be their only contact with nature.

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