World's Forest Day 2020: Theme, Sustainability and the UN Strategic Plan

International Day of Forests 2020

Forests are home to about 80% of the world?s terrestrial biodiversity which includes unique combinations of trees, animals, fungi, insects and people. Their produce has fed as well as has healed humans for centuries.

What have forests done for us?

Over the years we?ve taken and taken from the environment, forests in particular. Forests have been a reservoir of food for us. They are home to more than 2000 indigenous cultures (1.6 billion people approximately). Forests protect watersheds, which supply 75% of freshwater worldwide. Wood from forests is a global renewable energy source. They are our protective shield from the dangers of pollution. Around 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide is absorbed by forests every year.

Besides providing food, shelter, protection and resources, forests hold space for relaxation and amusement. Some of the restoration activities are wildlife safari, hiking, photography, listening to birds and camping. There?s so much the forests have done for us. It?s time to ask ourselves, ?What we can do for our forests??

What is World Forestry Day?

The United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as 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 (CPF) and other relevant organizations in the field.

What is the theme of World Forest Day 2020?

Every year there is a theme decided for this day. The International Day of Forest theme for 2020 is ?Forests and Biodiversity.? The theme for each International Day of Forests (IDF) is chosen by the CPF. This day raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests and also, the significant achievements are awarded.

What is Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM)?

SFM is optimizing the use of timber and contributions to food security, to meet society?s needs in a way that conserves and maintains forest ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations. Sustainable Development aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and put a stop to biodiversity loss.

Forests play a significant role in reducing the risk of natural disasters, including floods, droughts, landslides and other extreme events. Deforestation continues at an alarming rate i.e. 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. ?Combating Deforestation? is necessary to sustain the multiple roles and functions of all types of forests, forest lands and woodlands. It is important to improve human, technical and professional skills, as well as expertise and capabilities to effectively formulate and implement policies, plans, programmes, research and projects on management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, forest lands and forest based resources.

What is the SFM Toolbox?

The SFM is a free, user-friendly, interactive web-based platform designed to meet the diverse needs of sustainable forest management practitioners, particularly those working at the forest management level. It includes the following:

Modules:

The SFM Toolbox includes technical and non-technical modules. In each module you will find specific knowledge, tools and cases that will help you put SFM in practice.

Tools:

A tool is a resource that supports and guides the implementation of SFM. This section includes useful publications, e-learning videos, software etc.

Cases:

A case provides information on a particular instance of SFM application. This section includes all the cases available in the SFM Toolbox. They can be in form of publications, videos, audios, websites, etc.

SFM Toolbox Gateway:

This SFM Toolbox Gateway is an entry point to other relevant FAO Toolboxes and Platforms.

What is the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017- 2030 (UNSPF)?

The agreement on the first ever UN Strategic Plan for Forests was forged at a special session of the UN Forum on Forests held in January 2017 and provides an ambitious vision for global forests in 2030. The plan was adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council on 20 April 2017 and was subsequently adopted by the UN General Assembly on 27 April 2017.

The key highlights are as follows:

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