Water, Happiness, & Trees
“A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.”
The International Days of Happiness and Forests, as well as World Water Day took place, this year, over: March 20, 21 and 22 respectively. The relationship between all three are inextricably linked to our identity and embed us in the natural world around us. At Charlotteville, we know just how important the preservation of our forests and water supply is. We will sustain our future well-being and happiness through their protection and celebration.
World Water Day 2020 focuses on water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked. The core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of “Sustainable Development Goal ofwater and sanitation for all by 2030,” while tackling the global water crisis.Water is the primary medium through which we will feel the effects of climate change.
By using water more efficiently, we will also reduce greenhouse gases.The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) calls on all stakeholders “to increase climate action and invest in robust adaptation measures for water sustainability. By limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world will be in a much better position to manage and solve the water crisis that we all face.” We need to understand that we ALL hold a stake in the natural world, regardless of what we do (i.e. individual jobs) or where we live.
Did you know only 1 in 3 people have access to clean water around the world at the present moment? It is hard to grasp, being as blessed as we are to live in a country like Canada. That is exactly why we must do our part to preserve water supply and not take it for granted. By adapting to the water effects of climate change, we will protect health and save lives.
The International Day of Happiness was conceptualized by the UN in the hope of advancing a new paradigm for humanity. “Happytalism” was coined, which represents a new economic, political, and social system and philosophythat recognizes the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world, and the importance of upholding these in public policy objectives.
Theparity between the three pillars of sustainable development – being social, economic and environmental well-being – are indivisible. Together they define “Gross Global Happiness.” We must work in conjunction with Mother Nature as conservationists to achieve this.
To break this idea down, I see happiness as the side effect of having meaningful life experiences. We all face conflicts in life; working on resolutions add a sense of meaning and importance to our lives. Both the initiatives of the International Day of Forests and World Water Day focus on sustainable development and preservation at the forefront of their initiatives.This is work that we proudly value and share at Charlotteville. Our future depends on it and we are happy to do what we can.
Climate change and the eminent issues of global warming are a crisis we currently share on a global scale – and all the more reason to take action. Working towards a sustainable solution will bring us together across the globe and within our community.
This brings me to the celebration of the forests and their innate ability in cooperation and sharing of resources among peers. You will see how we share these capacities as human beings in our quest for happiness. Trees are the foundation of a forest, as people are the foundation of the community.
Every March 21st, the United Nations raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The year 2020 underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. We are surrounded by the beautiful Carolinian forest at Charlotteville. We see it as a deciduous extension of our community. To tread as lightly on the earth as we can, we have left the majority of our land in its natural state. Out of our 41 acres, 28 of them have been left alone. We understand that we must work in harmony with nature and within natural limits to sustain a responsible business plan and happy future.
Forests are home to 80% of all life on land. In the circle of life, forests really are the leaders on the front lines, day in and day out fighting to keep our planet healthy. They sequester a great deal of carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into oxygen which we need to breathe. In doing so they contribute as a major player in the deceleration of global warming.
In the fascinating TED Talk, “How Trees Talk to Each other,” ecologist Suzanne Simard states that the great thing about forests as complex systems is that they have enormous healing capacities. They provide a regeneration to a diversity of species, genes and genotypes.
Forests have an underground communication system called a mycorrhizal network that allows trees and fungus to share resources. The root network allows the forest to behave as if it’s a single organism with common goals. Trees and the mycelia communicate in the language of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, water, defense signals, allele chemicals and hormones. It works sort of like the internet, or if you will, the World Wide Wood?! Mother trees work as hubs, old-growth beauties who act on behalf of Mother Nature herself, gathering resources and sending them out to those in need. Even when dying, mother trees send messages of wisdom to the next generation of trees with defense signals. The seedlings that receive these messages have an increased resistance to future stress, with a survival rate of four to one. By providing avenues for feedback and adaptation, forests have seen increased resilience of the whole community. By helping each other grow through hard times, they contribute to sustaining the future of all life on earth. And who isn’t happy standing in a forest and just contemplating the beauty around you?!
Thus, forests, through their sustainable management and use of resources, especially in fragile ecosystems, are key to combating climate change, and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations. Forests also play a crucial role in the achievement of the “Sustainable Development Goals” which the UN ties to the generation of happiness in people around the globe.
There are just so many ways that the forests are embedded in our day-to-day lives. When we use a notebook, build a home, light a fire, drink a glass of water, take a deep breath of air or even take medication for a fever, we have the forests to thank. They contribute to healthy economies and happy communities. Tools like social media allow information and strategies to be shared around the world for their preservation.
Through these challenging and uncertain times, we must come together as the forests do. Let’s work together with our community to conserve resources and preserve the natural world for the generations to come.