Today is International Day Of Forests, being observed under the theme ‘Forests and Water.’ This global celebration provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.
Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihood. Perhaps coincidentally, today is also World Water Day, and as you can see from the graphic below, forests are closely connected with the world’s water supply.
The graphic also shows that there are several different types of forests, and we have five of them in Jamaica:
- limestone forests covering the John Crow Mountains in the central and western part of the island;
- predominantly shale forests of the Blue Mountains and Port Royal Mountains;
- alluvial and wetland forests of the coastal plains, known for its mangroves;
- dry limestone forests in the southern part of Jamaica, primarily St Elizabeth;
- anthropogenic forests, which are basically man-made forested areas.