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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Branching Out: Celebrating World Forest Day

World Forest Day, also known as the International Day of Forests, is celebrated globally on March 21st each year. It aims to raise awareness about the importance of forests and trees in sustaining life on Earth.

Forests play a critical role in providing habitats for biodiversity, combating climate change, and supporting the livelihoods of people around the world.

Saba is lucky to be surrounded by beautiful forests. Mount Scenery National Park recognizes three distinct vegetation zones, which is impressive on a 5 square mile island! The park was established in 2018 and comprises the northern part of Saba, including the iconic Mount Scenery. The park covers an area of approximately 3.42 km (1.32 mi) or 26% of the total island area. From dry shrubs to luscious rainforests and misty cloud forests, Saba has it all!

Some notable species of trees on Saba include the Mountain Mahogany, tree ferns, wild plantain, and Mountain manna. Many of the trees are covered in epiphytes (aka plants that grow on other plants). These include bromeliads, mosses, ferns, and orchids.

Forests and trees are important habitats for a wide variety of animals. On Saba, insects, birds, crabs, reptiles, and amphibians (and maybe a goat or chicken) all call forests their home.

Forests worldwide are under threat from deforestation, habitat loss, and climate change. Saba's forests face additional challenges such as hurricane damage and invasive species. But it's not all doom and gloom! Both Public Entity Saba and Saba Conservation Foundation have established reforestation projects.

These projects will help restore areas damaged by hurricanes, increase the numbers of native and fruit trees, and increase biodiversity on the island. But the planting of trees will not only benefit our forests, it will also help protect our reefs by reducing erosion and sediment discharge into the ocean. A win for the trees is a win for the seas!

So on this World Forest Day, I invite you to embrace the wise words of the Lorax. "I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues" Together, we CAN make a difference!

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