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The Year to Save Forests, Bats and Biodiversity - Sunday Times

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Author Topic: The Year to Save Forests, Bats and Biodiversity - Sunday Times  (Read 232 times)
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« on: January 27, 2011, 04:44:06 pm »

Kids, we have just stepped into the New Year 2011. Do you remember that the past year 2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity..?

Naming a year for an important cause is a way used by the United Nations to pay more attention to that cause. But from recent years, there is more focus on Environment and taking the trend forward, UN has taken steps to dedicate 2011 for many environmental causes.

If you are curious to know more about these and be active partners in protecting the environment, keep on reading..!! Your favourite friends, Puncha & Panchie too will meet you in 2011 to explore more on biodiversity. So keep an eye on Funday Times and take a vow to do your part in 2011 to save our Forests, Bats and Biodiversity..!!

Wishing a happy new year to all the kids…!!

International Year of Forests
Forests are very important habitats of the earth with an estimated 80% of land based animals and plants living in them. United Nations named 2011 as the International Year of Forests with the aim of raising awareness, strengthening sustainable forest management and protecting them for future
generations.

It is estimated that about 60% of the earth’s land area was once covered by forests. But due to the need of lands for agriculture, town houses, mining and logging, these forests are cut down. Now the global forest cover is only about 30%, but deforestation still continues. In Sri Lanka the present closed canopy forest cover has reduced to 22% of the land area.

During the Forest Year, try to visit at least a forest such as Sinharaja or Knuckles with your parents and experience the diversity in
them…!!

Focal point: United Nation’s Forum on Forests.

Decade of Biodiversity
Year 2010 has been the Year of Biodiversity, but recognizing the importance of paying more attention, the next decade starting from 2011 is also nominated as the Decade of Biodiversity by United Nations.

Biological Diversity is the difference between all the living things in the world. But due to many reasons, animals and plants are pushed toward extinction. World leaders are planning many things in order to protect earth’s valued biodiversity.

Focal point: UN Secretary General's office

The Year of Bats
The Year of Bats The bat is one of the planet's most misunderstood and mistreated mammals, so United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) together with the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) has launched a two-year campaign to raise awareness on bats starting from 2011.

There are more than 1,100 bat species around the world. Insectivorous bats eat insects that can harm crops, so it is a friend of the farmers. When these bats decline in number, demands for dangerous pesticides grow, as does the cost of growing crops like rice.

Fruit and nectar-eating bats are equally important in maintaining whole ecosystems of plant life. In fact, their seed dispersal and pollination services are crucial to the regeneration of rain forests which are the lungs and rain makers of our planet.

Some bats must be visiting your garden too. Observe these creatures of the night carefully from a distance when you see them next time.

Focal point: UNEP and CMS

International Year of Chemistry
International Year of Chemistry 2011 is also the International Year of Chemistry. The goals of IYC2011 are to increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and to generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry.

Chemistry meets the global challenges of clean air, safe water, healthy food, eco-friendly products, renewable energy etc. So even though the Year of Chemistry is not a direct environment theme, this will also touch the environment.

By Malaka Rodrigo

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