With the aim of raising awareness of the benefits that forest ecosystems provide to our planet, as well as to all of humanity, March 21 marks the International Day of Forests, when worldwide emphasis is placed on educating the public about the benefits and importance of forests for the survival of all living things on Earth.

This year’s theme of the International Day of Forests is – Healthy forests for healthy people, and it aims to highlight how forests maintain all aspects of our health, from purifying air and water to providing basic food, medicine and income.

Forests play a key role in the fight against increasingly pronounced climate change because, as natural carbon sinks, they absorb and store large amounts of carbon dioxide. Forests are extremely important because they reduce the risk of floods and act as an obstacle to flood waters, they can retain excess rainwater and prevent extreme floods and reduce damage. Trees also prevent soil erosion, reduce sediment entering waterways and increase water absorption into the soil. In addition to all that, forests mitigate the effects of drought, help supply drinking water and produce the oxygen we breathe, provide us with food and medicine, and provide economic stability for people around the world.

The main feature of forests in the Republic of Croatia is that 95% are natural with a great wealth of biodiversity, unlike the rest of European forests, which are not. This is precisely the fact that causes admiration among nature lovers when they visit Croatia. Such a high proportion of natural forests in the Republic of Croatia is the result of a long forestry tradition of sustainable management of this natural wealth that has lasted for more than 250 years.

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