IDF 2016: IUCN News article

Today, United Nations International Day of Forests, is a day to celebrate – to reflect on the year’s achievements and look to the future of the world’s forests.

This year’s International Day of Forests theme is ‘Forests and Water’, which logically flows into tomorrow’s celebrations, 22 March, United Nations World Water Day. The profoundly intertwined nexus of water and forests is reflected by the proximity of the two days on the United Nations calendar. This crucial relationship between water and forests is becoming clearer every day, as much to the ecosystems, cities and communities who depend on forests to provide, regulate and clean their water as to the Forest and Water programmes at organizations like IUCN whose work becomes more interlinked every day.

While it is true that landscapes are still being deforested and degraded at alarmingly high rates, that is only half of the story. Consider the efforts of countries like Rwanda who committed 2 million ha toward the Bonn Challenge as part of a global initiative to restore 350 million ha of deforested and degraded land globally. Or perhaps one could turn to the municipality of Extrema in Brazil, which has successfully incentivised surrounding landowners to maintain and even restore their farms and forest landscapes to promote a healthier watershed. Examples of great achievements in forest landscape restoration and watershed management are evident from Malawi to Mexico and from Moldova to Malaysia.

Read the full Article on the IUCN website.