International agencies such as the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) give significant importance to youths as they are tomorrow’s generation and will be taking the lead in preserving the biodiversity of the planet.
It is necessary to continuously educate them and provide them with the right information that would help develop sustainable solutions. Considering this fact, FAO has published four beautiful guides on biodiversity that will make today’s youths understand the environmental issues the planet faces and what type of solutions can be worked out by them.
These guides are available for free download.
Guide #1: The Youth Guide to Forests
This guide, ‘The Youth Guide on Forests’ highlights the importance of forests and how they have been playing a critical role in providing vital services to humans and animals on this planet. It will first of all provide a basic understanding of what forests are and what are the forest issues that need to be addressed.
It is interesting to note that the definition of a forest developed by the FAO includes three main characteristics: A forest should have a minimum area size of 0.5 hectares; a minimum tree height of 5 meters; and there should be at least 10 percent crown cover. The guide gives a reference to the the famous book of Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book, which presents a rich diversity of various plans and animals living in an eco-system and adopting certain rules to live together (known as the “law of the jungle). The book is a classic and it has been read by millions of readers around the world. According to “The Guide to Forests” this book has been also adopted by the Scouting Movement.
Based on how humans impact forests, the guide has classified forests into primary forests where there is no presence of human activity; other natural forests where there is some presence of human activity; and planted forests which are entirely planted by humans.
The guide also provides an overview of different types of forests around the world such as the Amazon Rainforest, the Congo Basin, the Southeast Asian Rainforest, the boreal forest (which is the largest terrestrial ecosystem covering parts of Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Japan) and the Himalayas. The guide introduces various types of species in these forests with amazing pictures.
The guide further discusses the myriad ways in which forests provide a huge range of benefits to the planet and to the people; their impact on culture and religion; the threats to forests around the world and how various people are contributing to ensure the safety of forests.
Guide #2: The Youth Guide to the Ocean
As a young person, if you are passionate about oceans and keen on gathering latest information about the status of our oceans, then this illustrative guide will be very useful.
Published by FAO under the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) Learning and Action Series, this guide discusses what the ocean is, what does the ocean do for us, the oceans