Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome to the International Year of Forests

UN International Year of Forests Logo

We're back. After a too long hiatus, we're gearing up for the 2nd Annual Ecolympics hosted by the Core Curriculum at Boston University. This year we're running the events for two weeks, April 1 -- 15 and looking for a bigger impact. Naturally, it's you our participants who are going to determine how big our impact can be, so we're counting on you.

We got the Ecolympics going last year to raise awareness about the human impact on the environment and the consequent species loss. The problem of species loss is so severe -- Harvard naturalist E.O. Wilson has said that 30,000 species are going extinct every year -- that last year was decreed the International Year of Biodiversity. One result was the Nagoya Protocol, where nations agreed to halve biodiversity loss by 2020, increase the percentage of protected lands from 12.5 to 17% and increase the percentage of protected oceans from less than 1% to 10%. Making this happen is going to take a commitment from all of us.

This year is the International Year of Forests and Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who directed the compelling eco-documentary Home (and put it online, gratis) has prepared a visually stunning short film to summarize the importance of forests. Here, also, is a collection of some endangered forests around the world, from which the above photos are taken.

We're now in the planning stages for this year's Ecolympics. Along with our main Ecolympics activities, we're aiming to again feature vegetarian cooking classes and film nights as well as some new events like hosting sustainability seminars, going on local hikes and possibly tree
planting. If you're at BU and want to get involved, do get in touch. If you're beyond BU and want to get involved, also get in touch! We want to make a bigger, longer-lasting impact this year and we can do that with your help.


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