International Day of Forests - 21st March

The International Day of Forests and World Forestry Day take place on 21st March every year to help current and future generations appreciate and value forests and trees and raise public appreciation and knowledge of the contribution that forests make to nature to maintain its balance. This fundraiser raises public awareness about forests of every sort and non-forest trees so that future generations can enjoy their benefits.

The United Nations recognises the importance of green cover throughout the world on 21st March, celebrating it as the International Day of Forests.

Candidates can also check out the list of important days in March that hold both national and international importance from the UPSC prelims and other govt exam perspective.

Forests are lost annually, at an area roughly the size of England, amounting to 13 million hectares (32 million acres). Deforestation accounts for an estimated 12-18% of global carbon emissions – an amount almost as large as all CO2 released by international transport. The forests serve as one of the primary ‘carbon sinks’ of the world.

Currently, forests cover almost 30% of the world’s land, containing over 60,000 types of trees, many of which have not yet been identified. Approximately 1.6 billion people still live in poverty because of forest degradation, these people include indigenous tribes with unique cultures, and they rely on forests for food, fibre, water, and medicine.

History of the International Day of Forests – 21st March

The UN General Assembly designated 21st March 2012 as the International Day of Forests to encourage people to honour and learn about the significance of forest ecosystems. A requirement for countries to organise activities involving woods and trees at the local, national, and international levels encourages the planting of trees.

Each type of forest appreciation is raised, and all kinds of trees are celebrated. The International Day of Forests calls on countries to participate in local, national, and international tree-planting campaigns that involve forests and trees. Collaborative Partnership on Forests, the body which selects the International Day of Forests theme each year, determines the theme.

For 2022, the theme is “Forests and sustainable production and consumption.” The slogan is “Choose sustainable wood for people and the planet.”

Significance of the theme

The theme for 2022 will demonstrate how restoration and sustainable management of forests can help address climate change and biodiversity threats. Furthermore, it can generate goods and services for sustainable development, engendering economic activity that produces jobs and facilitates the improvement of lives.

International Day of Forests activities will be in line with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2011-2030), which promotes the restoration and protection of ecosystems worldwide.

India’s Forest Cover

While India’s population has more than tripled since Independence, a fifth of its land has consistently been covered by forest.

According to the biennial State of Forest Report, India’s forest cover increased by 3,576 sq km or 0.56% from 2017 to 2019. Since 2007, the report has recorded an increase – of 1,275 sq km – in dense forests (including exceptionally dense forests with canopy densities of more than 70% and moderately dense forests with thicknesses between 40-70%).

Key facts

  • The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012.
  • Together with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, and other relevant organisations, the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) celebrate World Forest Day.

International Day of Forests: Overview

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2012 as the International Day of Forests. It is celebrated and serves to raise awareness about the importance of all forest types. It is strongly recommended that countries across the globe organise local, national, and international efforts to plant trees and support forest conservation. In recognition of this day, the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations are celebrating it. These organisations also conduct collaborations in the field with governments, Collaborative Partnership on Forests, and other companies.

Conclusion

Forests provide livelihood and basic necessities to millions of people around the world. Without them, life on this planet cannot survive. They are, most notably, the lungs of this planet. Because of this, all of us need to take responsibility and spread awareness about the importance of preserving forests. In order to raise awareness about forests, countries are encouraged to organise tree-planting campaigns at the local, national and international levels.

There are other important days and dates of national and international importance, integral from the UPSC prelims and other government exams.

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