This year’s International Day of Forests aims to raise awareness on the many ways forests benefit our health.
Forests purify the water we drink, clean the air we breathe, improve our mental health, provide us with healthy food, and they are an important habitat for medicinal plants.
Our Forests as Pharmacy campaign spotlights forests as an invaluable source of plant-based medicines for the treatment and/or prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), in particular cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
In the bark, stems, leaves, and fruits of forest plants are important compounds used to produce life-saving drugs:
Healthy forests for healthy people – also in the future
Forests save lives. However, there can be no healthy, productive forests without responsible management.
An excessive and uncontrolled use of trees and forest plants destroys forests biodiversity and degrades the very places where plants grow. Benefitting from forests is only possible if we find the balance between the benefits forests provide and their healthy continuous regeneration for future regenerations. Sustainable forest management programmes ensure that forests remain healthy, biodiverse, and productive for years to come.
- International Day of Forests: How can forest plants help us fight some of the world’s deadliest diseases