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International Day of Forests- 21 March

Topic covered:

  1. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


International Day of Forests- 21 March


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: IDF- theme, significance and challenges to sustainable management.


Context: The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. 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 2019: ‘Forests and Education: Learn to Love Forests’.


Significance of forests:

  • Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food and shelter.
  • Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80 per cent of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  • Despite all these ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate with 13 million hectares of forest destroyed annually.
  • Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.


Need for sustainable management of forests:

  • Forests, their sustainable management and use of resources, including in fragile ecosystems, are key to combating climate change and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations.
  • Forests also play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Hence, sustainable management of all types of forests are at the heart of unlocking challenges of conflict-affected, developing and developed countries, for the benefit of current and future generations.


Sources: the hindu.