A baobab grove near Bandia Wildlife Reserve in Senegal
© Frans Lanting/plainpictur
A tree grows in Senegal. The power of the forest
For International Day of Forests today, we’re looking at a baobab grove in Senegal. The indigenous cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, where baobabs grow wild, have long relied on the trees for a variety of uses. The fruit, seeds, and leaves are all edible, and in Tanzania, the wood pulp is a fermentation ingredient in local beers. Forests of all kinds provide many natural resources that humans use, and sometimes over-use. This year’s theme for International Day of Forests is ‘forests and education;’ it’s an effort to get us all thinking about the more abstract benefits of healthy forests. A dense forest can clean both the air and water by pulling carbon compounds and other pollutants out of the ecosystem, and forests greatly reduce erosion.