On March 21, 2013, the United Nations Observes the First International Day of Forests. The United Nations has declared March 21 the International Day of Forests. “To celebrate and raise the awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests”, U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon “urg[ed] governments, businesses, and all sectors of society to commit to reducing deforestation, preventing forest degradation, reducing poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods for all forest-dependent people.”
Jan McAlpine, Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat says, “
The first United Nations International Day of Forests is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate our unique relationship to forests and trees.” She continues: “This is the day for the whole world to celebrate not only the gifts that forests and trees provide us, but also to unsung heroes, those who make a difference for your forests, your trees and your communities. Find them among you and thank them.”
The International Day of the Forests comes two weeks before the United Nations Forum on Forests holds its 10th session in Istanbul, Turkey from April 8-19. Government officials and national ministers will gather to discuss further ways to provide leadership on sustainable forest management policies and practices.
The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) encourages you to participate in helping raise the awareness of what is happening to our forests. More than half the planet’s original forests have been lost or degraded, leaving the land barren and threatening and endangering communities, cultures, and entire ecosystems. The huge potential for restoring forests and turning barren land into healthy, fertile, arable land, is something we must encourage and support.
A target set by governments, businesses, and conservations groups in 2011, aimed to restore 150 million hectares by 2020. As recently as December 2012, both Costa Rica and El Salvador have committed to restoring degraded lands by signing onto the Brazilian Mata Atlantica Restoration Pact.
Today, you too can take steps to support the preservation of our forests. What can you do?
Pledge your support: Sign a petition pledging your support to conserving our forests.
Become informed: Learn more about forests and programs and action being taken to preserve and heal our forests.
Fall in love with our natural resources: Visit the Greenpeace website to view photos, videos, and slideshows available to honor and celebrate our forests.