International Day of Forests 21 March
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
Events in 2014
In celebration of the second International Day of Forests, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted the important benefits of forests: habitat provision for 80 percent of all terrestrial biodiversity; support of an estimated 1.6 billion people; adaptation and mitigation to climate change; and the maintenance of a timber and wood industry that accounts for almost 1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
Members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests held many activities around the world.
The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) issued a statement highlighting that forests are central to sustainable development, but that their multiple values are still not adequately reflected in policies. The CBD noted that actions to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity targets can address this shortcoming, especially with regard to Target 5, which calls for the rate of deforestation and forest degradation to be halved.
The Centre for International Forestry Research issued a video to reflect on how forestry needs to be part of landscapes-based solutions for sustainable development and climate mitigation.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) issued a news article highlighting the release of Global Forest Watch, a real time tracking tool to monitor global deforestation.
The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) emphasized the importance of tropical forests and the multiple ecosystem services they provide.
The Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) emphasized the link between the loss of forests and conflict, and called for increased efforts to restore degraded forests and land.