Through a resolution of the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) on November 28th, 2012, the International Day of Forests was launched on March 21st. Throughout the year, a variety of events honour and promote awareness of the value of all sorts of forests, as well as trees outside of forests, for the advantage of present and future generations. On Worldwide Day of Forests, countries are urged to arrange local, national, and global activities that involve forests and trees, like tree planting programmes. In conjunction with governments, the Joint Partnership on Forests, and international, regional, and subregional organisations, the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, enables the implementation of such events.
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History of World Forestry Day
On March 21st, 2013, the inaugural International Day of Forests was commemorated. At the 16th session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Conference in November 1971, the “States members” voted to create “World Forestry Day” on March 21st of each year. From the year of 2007 to 2012, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) hosted 6 Forest Days in connection with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties annual meetings. These events were arranged by CIFOR on behalf of and in close collaboration with other Collaborative Partnership on Forests members (CPF). After the International Year of Forests in the year of 2011, the United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Forests on November 28th, 2012.
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Over 13 million hectares or 32 million acres of forests are lost each year, an area approximately equal to England. As forests expand, so do the plant and animal species they support, accounting for 80 percent of all terrestrial biodiversity. More crucially, forests play a vital role in climate change: deforestation contributes 12% to 18% of global carbon emissions, which is nearly equal to all CO2 produced by the worldwide transportation sector. Healthy forests are also one of the world’s principal ‘carbon sinks,’ which is critical.
Forests now span more than 30% of the planet’s territory and are home to over 60,000 plant species, many of which are yet unknown. For almost 1.6 billion of the planet’s poorest inhabitants, including indigenous peoples with distinct cultures, forests provide food, fibre, water, and medicines. It is thus important to conserve forests.
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