World Environment Day 2011

Gibraltar once again participated in this year’s World Environment Day celebrations, this year celebrating the International Year of Forests. Forests cover one third of the planet and perform vital functions and services around the world which make life as we know it possible.

    • They play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide. 
    • They feed rivers and are essen-tial in supplying water to 50% of the world’s largest cities. 
    • They create and maintain soil fertility. 
    • They help to regulate the often devastating impact of storms and floods. 
    • They are home to over 50% of all the plants and animals that live on land.

Despite all the valuable ecological, economic, social and health benefits that they provide, we are destroying forests at an alarming rate: every hour, at least 4,500 acres of forest fall to chainsaws, flames or bulldozers. Annually some 130 billion square metres of forest are cut down - that’s an area equal to the size of Portugal. World Environment Day is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the importance of forests in our lives.

In keeping with this year’s theme, the Department of the Environment organised a tree planting event for participating schools. Students from St. Joseph’s First School, Loreto Convent, St. Bernard’s First School, St. Anne’s Middle School, Notre Dame First School, St. Paul’s First School, St. Mary’s First School & Westside Comprehensive all helped to fill one of the planters in the newly re-opened park on Harbour Views Promenade. The afternoon was enjoyed by all the pupils who were quick to get their hands dirty!

World Environment Day Publication 2011