The day is celebrated to spread awareness on the importance of forests for the welfare of communities, the planet and also for all future generations.
International Forest Day is celebrated every year on March 21 with an aim to raise awareness about the values, significance, and contributions of the forests in maintaining the balance between ecosystems on the earth. Various organisations, private and government, come together to enlighten the public about the forests and the many benefits of trees.
The day is celebrated across the world to make people aware of the importance of green cover for the welfare of communities, the planet and all future generations.
In 1971, the 16th session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) voted to constitute “World Forestry Day" and later, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) held World Forest Days for six years from 2007 to 2012.
Finally, on November 28, 2012, The United Nations General Assembly designated March 21 to be celebrated as the International Day of Forests (IDF). The UN declaration encouraged governments to organise and carry out activities and afforestation campaigns at all levels.
Ever since then, on International Forest Day, various activities are conducted in conjunction with governments and other organisations by the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
“Forests and health” has been chosen as the theme for International Forest Day 2023.
This year the day will be dedicated to highlighting how forests contribute vastly to our health by maintaining the purity of water, cleaning the air, capturing carbon to fight climate change, providing food and life-saving medicines, and improving our well-being.
It is important and up to us to safeguard these precious natural resources and this year’s celebration calls for giving, not just taking.
On International Day of Forests, countries and organisations “undertake local, national and international efforts to organise various activities for afforestation and promote the healthy use of forest resources.”
By safeguarding forests, and ensuring their sustained survival, our economies, ecosystems, and species will also continue to thrive.
Forests can lift about 1 billion people out of poverty, and they can also create an additional 80 million green jobs, according to a UN study.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
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