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    On March 21, 2012, the United Nations proclaimed the date as the International Day of Forests. According to the UN, “[f]orests and trees sustain and protect us, providing clean air and water, safeguarding biodiversity and acting as a buffer against climate change. For many people, they also offer food, shelter and employment.”
     
    Forests—rain forests, cloud forests, boreal forests, and more—are threatened by deforestation. Deforestation is the removal of trees from a region, usually for agricultural, housing or, business development. More than 5.2 million hectares of forests are lost to deforestation every year. As more than 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihood, and more than $1 billion in medicinal plants are found in forests, deforestation is an economic and health concern, not just an environmental one. 
     
    On the International Day of Forests, individuals, communities, and governments are encouraged to engage in activities to protect forests, prevent deforestation, and support sustainable forestry practices. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Arctic Noun

    region at Earth's extreme north, encompassed by the Arctic Circle.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Arctic
    biodiversity Noun

    all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.

    Encyclopedic Entry: biodiversity
    boreal forest Noun

    land covered by evergreen trees in cool, northern latitudes. Also called taiga.

    broadleaf forest Noun

    land covered by trees with wide, flat leaves.

    buffer Noun

    a cushion or shield.

    climate Noun

    all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.

    Encyclopedic Entry: climate
    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    Encyclopedic Entry: climate change
    cloud Noun

    visible mass of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in Earth's atmosphere.

    Encyclopedic Entry: cloud
    cloud forest Noun

    wooded area, usually high-altitude, almost always covered by clouds and fog.

    coniferous forest Noun

    land covered by trees with thin needles instead of flat leaves.

    deforestation Noun

    destruction or removal of forests and their undergrowth.

    development Noun

    construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    employment Noun

    job or work.

    encourage Verb

    to inspire or support a person or idea.

    engage Verb

    to become actively involved with something.

    Equator Noun

    imaginary line around the Earth, another planet, or star running east-west, 0 degrees latitude.

    Encyclopedic Entry: equator
    fog Noun

    clouds at ground level.

    Encyclopedic Entry: fog
    food Noun

    material, usually of plant or animal origin, that living organisms use to obtain nutrients.

    Encyclopedic Entry: food
    forest Noun

    ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.

    forestry Noun

    management, cultivation, and harvesting of trees and other vegetation in forests.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    hardy Adjective

    strong or able to withstand severe weather.

    humid Adjective

    air containing a large amount of water vapor.

    mountain Noun

    landmass that forms as tectonic plates interact with each other.

    proclaim Verb

    to announce publicly.

    rain forest Noun

    area of tall, mostly evergreen trees and a high amount of rainfall.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Rain forest
    Scandinavia Noun

    region and name for some countries in Northern Europe: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

    shelter Noun

    structure that protects people or other organisms from weather and other dangers.

    surround Verb

    to enclose or encircle.

    sustain Verb

    to support.

    taiga Noun

    evergreen forest in cool, northern latitudes. Also called boreal forest.

    Encyclopedic Entry: taiga
    temperature Noun

    degree of hotness or coldness measured by a thermometer with a numerical scale.

    Encyclopedic Entry: temperature
    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.