New York, 21 March 2023 (TDI): Today, on March 21st, the world celebrated the International Day of Forests, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the vital role that forests play in our planet’s health and well-being.

Since the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this day in 2012, it has become an opportunity to recognize the critical importance of all types of forests and the need to preserve and sustainably manage them.

On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2023 is ‘forests and health.’

Forests play a vital role in maintaining the health of the planet and people’s well-being. They provide clean air and water, support biodiversity, and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In addition, spending time in forests has been shown to have numerous health benefits, such as reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting the immune system.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a key partner in the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and supports the International Day of Forests.

In a statement released for the occasion, the FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, said, “Forests are essential to the health of our planet and the well-being of people. On this International Day of Forests, let us recognize the critical role of forests in promoting human health and work together to protect and sustainably manage these vital resources.”

Similarly, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres stated that protecting forests is one of the most effective ways to address the climate crisis. Forests can benefit the planet and its entire people and are invaluable in our climate action efforts to build a sustainable future.

International Day of Forests History

In November 1971, during the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, member states voted to establish a day to celebrate and raise awareness of forests, which became known as World Forestry Day and was held on March 21st of each year. From 2007 to 2012, the Center for International Forestry Research convened a series of six Forest Days.

These days were held in conjunction with annual meetings on climate change. On November 28, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Forests. The first event was held on March 21st, 2013.

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