Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues International Days and Observances
International Day of Forests
21 March
IDF Logo The International Day of Forests was established on the 21st day of March, by resolution of the UN General Assembly on November 28, 2012. Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations.

This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.

Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.

Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate - 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

In 2023, International Day of Forests focuses on the theme:
"Forests and Health"

Did you know?
  • Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, with more that 60,000 tree species.
  • Around 1.6 billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy, medicines and income.
  • The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest each year - about the size of Iceland
FAO 2020
FORESTS - Facts and Figures

  • 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 livelihood.

  • Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater

  • About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas

  • Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population – 8 out of 10 people - is exposed to high levels of threat to water security

  • Improved water resource management can show considerable economic gains

  • Forests act as natural water filters

  • Climate change is altering forests role in water flows and the availability of water resources

  • Forests have a crucial role in building and strengthening resilience

GDRC has been working on themes related to this international day/observance, in the biodiversity section of its programme on Sustainable Development

GDRC therefore reaffirms its committment to uphold the objectives of the International Day of Forests, and work towards better understanding of, and action on, highliting the criticality of good water management for the sustainability of our future.

Additional Resources:
Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues Find other days/observances in the
"Do-Your-Bit" pages

Comments and suggestions -