Forests and Biodiversity ‘Too Precious to Lose’ – International Forests Day


Forests and Biodiversity

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012.

The organizers are the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organizations in the field.

The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. 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 2020 is Forests and Biodiversity.

.Owl resting on a branch of a tree

Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, like this owl perched  on a tree branch. The photo was part of a UNEP contest on forests. Credit: Jessica Ke

Did you know?

  • Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
  • Forests and woodlands are made up of over 60,000 tree species.
  • More than a billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income.
  • Deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually and this accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

*SOURCE: United Nations. Go to ORIGINAL.

card_3Visit the official FAO website, full of interesting content to celebrate International Forest Day – from key messages, through documents and promotional material in different languages. You can also register your event, or participate in the photo contest.


7 secrets of forests

 A girl swings in a tree in a lush forest.

Where would you find the world’s largest recreation centre and the most natural supermarket? Forests wouldn’t have been your first answer, would it? That’s the thing about forests – they keep secrets. For too long we have seen trees as purely functional or ornamental, but they hide special secrets…

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