Water and Forests: 2016 International Day of Forests

By Nicole Czorny

March 21 marks the UN’s International Day of Forests, and this year’s theme of forests and water raises awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater.

UN Water and Forest Facts

  • Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater
  • About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas
  • Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population – 8 out of 10 people – is exposed to high levels of threat to water security

In Toronto and other cities, urban forests help manage the flow of storm water, increasing the amount of water absorbed into the ground, and reducing soil erosion.

Toronto’s tree canopy is worth as estimated $7 billion, and intercepts an estimated 25 million cubic metres of wet-weather flow! It also stores 1.1 million metric tonnes of carbon, the yearly equivalent of 733,000 car emissions.


The best way to help our forests clean our air and water is to protect them! Visit the City of Toronto Volunteer page for up-coming events were you can get involved.


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