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International Day of Forests


21 March, 2014

This new global celebration of forests builds on the successes of the International Year of Forests in 2011, and provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.

UN DESAĺs United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat was designated by the General Assembly to facilitate the implementation of the International Day, in collaboration with FAO, Governments, and other members of the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests and international, regional and subregional organizations as well as relevant stakeholders, including civil society.

For centuries forests have been a source of food, fibre, livelihoods, resources and water. They are also central to combating climate change, but until last year, and despite a multitude of special days honouring or commemorating key elements of human life, there has never been a globally recognized day for paying homage to the worldĺs forests.

That changed when the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012 designated 21 March as the International Day of Forests ôto celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forestsö.

In a message for the new International Day celebrated for the first time in 2013, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: ôBy proclaiming the International Day of Forests, the United Nations has created a new platform to raise awareness about the importance of all types of forest ecosystems to sustainable development.ö

Wu Hongbo, UN DESAĺs Under-Secretary-General also noted that that ôforests are inextricably linked to our social and economic value, to our bonds with nature and the health of ecosystems. Hence, we cannot think of them in isolation. It is up to us to make these connections and establish the policies, laws and institutions required. It is up to us to implement sustainable forest management.ö

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