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. 

CBD

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.

CIFOR

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.

FAO

 

FAO released new satellite-based data on forest resources. A video featured the multiple benefits of forests and urging people to reflect on their value and take action to support their sustainability was launched. In addition, the FAO held a seminar on global forest monitoring (slideshare presentations and webcast), which emphasized recent technologies and approaches employed through FAO projects.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Forestry and Timber Section convened an art performance, a conference, and held a 'Fashion for Forests' exhibit focused on sustainable living. The UNECE/FAO celebrations began with a press conference featuring fashion and art personalities, scientists and environmental advocates, all emphasizing the theme, ‘Our choices, even on how we dress, can make a difference and lead us towards a more sustainable world.'

GEF

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.

ITTO

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) emphasized the importance of tropical forests and the multiple ecosystem services they provide.

UNCCD

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.

UNFF

  An event held by the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) at UN Headquarters in New York, US, to mark the Day convened "Forest Heroes and filmmakers to spotlight the role of women as agents of change for forests and sustainable development." UNFF also organized a film and photo exhibit.

UNFF IDF website