- The United Nations observes March 21 as the International Day of Forests, commemorating the green cover around the world and reiterating its importance.
- The theme of the International Day of Forests for 2021 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.
Why is the International Day of Forests celebrated?
- The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012.
- The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On this day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.
- The Day is celebrated by the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organisations in the field.
- The theme for each year is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.
- This year’s theme aims to emphasise how restoration and sustainable management of forests can help address climate change and biodiversity crisis.
- It can also help produce goods and services for sustainable development, fostering an economic activity that creates jobs and improves lives.
- Themes of the International Day of Forests are aimed to fit into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), which calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world.
Significance of forests
- Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food and shelter.
- Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80 per cent of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
- Despite all these ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate with 13 million hectares of forest destroyed annually.
- Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,MINT