United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Forests is annually observed across the globe on March 21 to raise awareness about the importance of all types of forests.
- The day is annually organized by the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and other organizations in the field.
International Day of Forests 2023 was observed on 21st March 2023 under the theme “Forests and Health”.
- The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the CPF.
International Day of Forests 2023 aims to highlight how forests sustain all aspects of health, from cleaning our air and water to providing us with essential food, fuel, medicines and income.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/67/200 on 21st December 2012 and proclaimed March 21 of every year as the International Day of Forests.
ii. The 1st ever International Day of Forests was observed on 21st March 2013.
i. According to a survey of 43000 households in 27 African countries, children who were exposed to woods had at least 25% more dietary diversity than children who were not.
ii. The total number of plant species used for medicinal purposes could be as high as 50,000.
iii. Many studies have demonstrated that spending time in a forest environment lowers blood pressure, pulse rate, and cortisol levels.
iv. A forest the size of Iceland is being lost to deforestation on a global scale annually, and 35 million hectares of forest are harmed by insects.
Healthy Forests for Healthy People:
i. One of the best ways to safeguard the world and mankind is by conserving and utilising forests in a sustainable manner.
ii. Healthy forests are essential for all aspects of a healthy planet, from livelihoods and nutrition to biodiversity and the environment, but they are under threat.
i. The High-Level FAO Event by FAO in Rome, Italy, and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Celebration of the Observance by the UN at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States of America(USA), were both held on March 21.
ii. FAO also launched the inaugural Tree Cities of World award at the event to recognize cities that provide a substantial contribution to the theme of the International Day of Forests.
iii. On 21st March 2023, the city of Turin, Italy, received the Tree Cities of World award on behalf of all cities participating in the programme.
- Turin, Italy, was recognized for the creation of green spaces in an urban environment.
iv. The award was presented by Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of FAO, to Stefano Lo Russo, Mayor of Turin, Italy.
About the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director-General- QU Dongyu
Headquarters- Rome, Italy
Member States- 194 member states
About the United Nations (UN):
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, USA