The International Forest Day is being celebrated every year on 21st March. This day is established in tune with the resolution passed on November 28, 2012 in the General Assembly of United Nations. The day was first observed on March 21, 2013. The objectives of celebration of The International Day of Forests are raising awareness on the importance of forests and trees and protecting forests and trees for the current and future generations. Various countries carry out awareness programmes by arranging seminars, symposiums, art exhibitions and conducting tree planting campaigns.
Who organises The International Forest Day?
The Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization facilitates celebration of The International Forest Day. The day is made possible through the active involvement of governments of various countries, regional, national and international organisations.
Why the focus on Forests?
More than 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests are destroyed every year for various reasons. This affects the bio-diversity as plants and animals in the area too vanish. Forests play a crucial role in controlling climate change and reducing global warming. Deforestation causes increase of Carbon Dioxide in atmosphere.
As of now, forests cover 30% of the world land and are home for more than 60,000 species of trees. They are home for indigenous people and source of food, water, energy and medicines for around 20% of the population of the world.
What are the themes selected so far for The International Forest Day?
In order to have focused attention, a specific theme in relation to Forest is selected for every year. The theme is decided by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The themes chosen so far are:
2013: The first International Day of Forests was celebrated across the globe by planting trees and arranging awareness programmes through art, photo, film and social media.
2014: A campaign, My Forest- Our Future with focus on each individual’s personal and unique connection with forests, was the theme for the year 2014.
2015: The day in the year focussed on Forests and Climate Change.
2016: Forest and Water was the theme for the year 2016 and the day was celebrated in 55 countries with over 100 events.
2017: The theme chosen for The International Forest Day on March 21, 2017 is Forests and Energy.
What is the importance of the theme Forests and Energy?
The reasons for selecting the theme Forests and Energy are
• Forests are a major source of renewable energy. They hold energy content approximately ten times that of world’s annual primary energy consumption.
• Around 900 million people, mainly from developing countries are engaged in wood-energy segment directly or indirectly.
• Trees in urban areas reduce the temperature of atmosphere between 2 and 8 degree centigrade.
• Wood fuel is the source for 40% of global renewable energy. This is equivalent to the combined supply from solar, hydroelectric and wind power.
The International Forest Day- 21 March
The International Forest Day is being celebrated every year on 21st March. Theme selected for International Day of Forests for 2017 is Forests and Energy.