March 23rd is celebrated as International Day of Forests every year, to create awareness about the depleting condition of forest cover throughout the world and the growing need to save forest as it is the lifeline of our ecosystem. On November 28, 2012, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to establish 23rd March as the International Day of Forests.
The motive behind the International Day of Forestry is to make people aware of the depleting forest cover, the impact of forest degradation, and last but not the least forest is the backbone of the ecosystem. Since 2012, every year the annual event has a theme that deals with creating awareness or steps that need to be taken for preventing the depletion of our forests such as plantation drives.
The day is celebrated with discussion forums taking place across the media section, as different organizations, civil societies, political leaders, environmental activists, scientists, and various other stakeholders share the same platform to discuss and debate the current situation of the total forest cover of the world.
They also discuss ways through which we can sustain our forests for ourselves and our future generations. Further, it is discussed how every person at an individual level can make changes to protect not only our forests but our environment as well.
At the 16th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organizations in November 1971, the member states voted in favour to mark 21st March every year as the “World Forestry Day”.
The Centre for International Forestry Research(CIFOR) from 2007 to 2012 organised six Forest Days in concurrence with the annual convention of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties in the cities of Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, and Doha. The year 2011 was celebrated as International Year of Forest.
Following the event, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in favour of establishing International Day of Forests on March 21st, to be celebrated annually across the globe to mark the importance of forests.
According to the World Bank’s report, till 2015 the world forest cover has reduced to 30.825% of the land from 31.801% in 1990. The situation is alarming and tropical forests are worst hit. Forests play a major role in the ecosystem and the climatic change that the planet is going through is in part the result of depleting forest cover.
Deforestation, a major cause of the depleting forest cover impacts everyone not only at an individual level but also at a global level. Due to rapid urbanization, the cities across the world are losing their precious green cover that helps the environment to combat the rising level of carbon dioxide in the environment, that leads to rising temperature and loss of habitat and biodiversity.
The International Day of Forests, thus, becomes an important platform to educate the present stakeholders as well as the youth of the world about the significance of forests in our ecosystem and the way forward to tackle the fast depleting forests across the world.
The day emphasizes to ensure that a sustainable model of development should be adapted to have a healthy and sustainable environment not only for the present generation but for the future as well.
Forests and Sustainable Cities
Every year the UN celebrates the annual event of International Day of Forests with a theme that addresses the current issues related to forests and the citizen’s involvement in helping to preserve the forests.
This year, the UN has decided “Forests and Sustainable Cities” as the theme to mark International Day of Forest. Sustainable cities initiative aims at developing cities in a manner where forests also become part of the urban landscape.
The forests within the cities help them to mitigate the growing pollution and the impact of climate change in cities and makes them healthy and sustainable.
The human race is standing at the crossroads between what lies in the future and the fast-moving world of development. The environment lies in between the conundrum, as the rapidly changing climate has affected the ecosystem.
Our planet is on the verge of sixth mass extinction, due to the increasing pollution, rising temperature that is resulting in melting of glaciers that are a major source for fresh water, and rising sea level that is set to affect the coastal regions and islands. Such environmental catastrophe can wreak havoc in the future if stringent actions aren’t taken to counter the ill-effects of industrialization.
Saving forests are one of the foremost actions, as the destruction of forest not only decreases the earth’s capacity to tackle the rising level of carbon emissions but also damages the habitat of various species that live within the forests. International Day of Forest is a step forward to educate the masses about the importance of forest covers to have a sustainable future, the day acts as a platform for various civil society groups to come forward and raise the issue of depleting forest cover and the importance of conservation of forest to have a safe and healthy environment for generations to come.
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