International Day of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution to declare March 21 of each year to be observed as the International Day of Forests, on December 21, 2012. The resolution encourages all member states to organise activities relating to all types of forests on the International Day of Forests, which include tree-planting, community-level activities and art, photography or film competitions as well as social media outreach. The day aims at creating awareness of the importance of forests to human, environmental sustainability and food security.

Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s land mass. Forests have important functions and people around the world depend on forests for their livelihood, medicines, fuel, food and shelter. Forests are also the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land. Forests are home to 80% of the terrestrial animals, plants and insects.

However, it is estimated that about 13 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year. Global deforestation continues are at an alarming rate, accounting for 12 to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.