INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS
Each year on March 21st, the International Day of Forests celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s landmass. Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, medicines, fuel, food, and shelter. Forests are also home to more than 80 percent of land animals, insects, and plants. There are 3 trillion trees in all the forests on Earth. Forests are defined as a large group of trees. In order to be considered an actual forest, trees have to cover at least 0.5 hectares.
The three primary types of forests include:
- Tropical: temperatures range from 68 to 77 degrees F. and receives 100 inches of rain a year
- Temperate: broken down into two subcategories including temperate deciduous and temperate coniferous
- Found in China, Japan, and the Eastern United States and Canada, temperate deciduous forests receive between 30 to 60 inches of rain a year.
- Look for temperate coniferous forests in New Zealand, South America, and Pacific Northwestern United States and Canada. They receive between 50 and 200 inches of rain a year.
- Boreal: Also known as Taiga forests, they grow in cold climates, such as Siberia, Canada, and Scandinavia. They receive between 15 and 40 inches of precipitation a year.
All forests contribute to the Earth’s ability to maintain its climate. Forests also help prevent soil erosion and act as water filters. Besides providing food and raw materials, forests promotes ecotourism and help make our planet look more beautiful.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfForests
Countries are encouraged to organize activities, such as tree-planting campaigns. Other events held on this day include art exhibitions, photo competitions, student debates, and symposiums.
- Think about the crucial role our earth’s forests play in climate change.
- Teach your kids how to identify different trees or teach them about animals that live in the forest.
- Visit a public forest or nearby National Park.
- Watch a documentary about forest preservation, like If a Tree Falls, The Burning Season, or The Forgotten District.
- Take part in a tree-planting event.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #InternationalDayOfForests
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS HISTORY
In November 1971, during the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, member states voted to establish World Forestry Day to be 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.
Recent themes have included:
2020: Forests and Biodiversity
2019: Forests and Education
2018: Forests and Sustainable Cities
2017: Forests and Energy
2016: Forests and Water: Sustain Life and Livelihoods