International Day highlights forests’ role in education for sustainable development
Throughout human history, forests and trees have been connected to learning, wisdom and enlightenment. Forests and trees have served as outdoor classrooms, providing healthy learning-locations for outdoor-education and fostering environmental stewardship in children from an early age.
Forests are among the world’s most productive renewable natural resources, providing sustainable paths to development as a key driver of economic growth while providing livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people, particularly in rural areas. Education is a key enabler for sustainable development, and for the sustainable management of forests. Learning about forests, and their sustainable management is not just good for the environment, it is the foundation for sustainable livelihood and communities.
In recognition of these important interlinkages between forests and education, the central theme of the 2019 International Day of Forests is “Forests and education.” The International Day of Forests is observed annually on 21 March, provides a global platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees.
This year, UN DESA’s United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat will organize a special event in celebration of the International Day of Forests on 21 March at UNHQ in New York, which will highlight how forests and education are essential for creating a sustainable future for all. The event will be held in the ECOSOC Chamber, from 10 am to 1 pm, and will feature remarks by senior UN and government officials, a panel discussion and a general discussion by Member States and UN entities.
The International Day of Forests was established by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Activities held around the world range from scientific conferences and workshops, to art exhibits, tree-planting and community-level events. The theme of the International Day reflects the multi-faceted values of forests, highlighting how forests enrich our daily lives and support global sustainability.