News and Events

Since the first observance of the International Day of Forests in 2013, the Forum secretariat has been facilitating the preparation of messages from the Secretary-General on the occasion of the Day, as well as United Nations press releases on the Day.

Secretary-General Stresses Need for Recommitment to Healthy Forests for Healthier Livelihoods

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Forests, observed on 21 March: Healthy forests are essential for people and the planet. They act as natural filters, providing clean air and water, and they are havens of biological diversity. They help to regulate our climate by influencing rainfall patterns, cooling urban […]


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Healthy forests offer a path to a better climate and greener future for all

Juliette Biao, Director, UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, UN DESA The world we live in is beset with crises of epic proportions – from the global pandemic that has upended life as we knew it, to the looming threats of irreversible climate change and biodiversity extinction, coupled with rising pollution and unsustainable consumption and production. […]


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DESA Voice: Trees for life – an inspiration to live more sustainably

“Regardless of where we live, the world’s forests sustain us all,” says Yan Lang, Programme Management Officer, in UN DESA’s Forum on Forests Secretariat, as we catch up ahead of the International Day of Forests on 21 March. Ms. Lang describes the current state of our forests and what actions we can take to protect […]


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IDF 2021: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message

Humanity’s well-being is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. Forests play a crucial role. Forests filter the air we breathe and the water we drink. They regulate our climate, absorbing one third of the global greenhouse gases emitted each year. Forests provide habitat to 80 per cent of all known terrestrial species, many […]


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IDF 2021: Forest restoration provides a path to pandemic recovery, greener future (UN News)

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic should lead to stronger action to safeguard the world’s forests, a senior UN official said on Friday, highlighting how these natural resources have helped to protect health and well-being during the global crisis. Liu Zhenmin, head of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), issued the call during […]


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IDF 2021: Four things you need to know about forests and health

Forests are good for our physical and mental wellbeing. Spending time around trees helps boost our immune system, lowers blood pressure and promotes relaxation. From cleaner air to providing natural cooling and the freshwater we drink, forests support our health in ways that may not be visible. 1. Forests provide us medicines Many of the […]


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IDF 2020: UN Secretary-General’s message

Forests cover some 30 per cent of our planet’s land area and are home to 80 per cent of all terrestrial species. The ecosystem services they provide to humanity range from purifying air and water to producing foods, medicines and wood and paper products. Forests sustain essential watersheds and influence the global climate and rainfall […]


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IDF 2020: ECOSOC President’s message

Forests and their sustainable management have long been a priority for the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Twenty years ago, the Council established the UN Forum on Forests as a global intergovernmental policy body to deliberate on all aspects of forests and trees. The Forum serves as the voice of the international […]


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IDF 2020: UNFF15 Chair’s message

Forests are among the world’s most productive land-based ecosystems and are essential to life on Earth. This is the first sentence of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030, and an important reminder as we celebrate the world’s forests. The UN Forum on Forests was established in 2000 to promote the management, conservation and sustainable […]


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IDF 2020: DESA USG Liu’s message

Every year on 21 March, we celebrate the International Day of Forests to raise awareness of the role of forests and trees in sustaining life on earth. Over 1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forests for goods and services including timber, food, fuel, jobs and shelter. Forests provide critical ecosystem services that affect global climate, […]


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Celebrating International Day of Forests

Events organized to celebrate the International Day of Forests:

IDF 2017: US Forest Service blog post highlights Partnerships in Tajikistan

March 21 is the United Nations’ fifth annual International Day of Forests (link is external), and the U.S. Forest Service pauses to celebrate the importance and diversity of the world’s forests. Every year, the Forest Service commemorates this important day by celebrating collaborations with international partners to protect the health of forest ecosystems worldwide. This […]


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IDF 2016 Country Report: Ethiopia

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Ethiopia celebrated the 2016 International Day of Forests on 21 March 2016 at an event held at the Harmony Hotel, Addis Ababa. Key stakeholders working in the forest sector in Ethiopia and staff of the Ministry participated in the celebration. A paper entitled “The National Context […]


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IDF 2016 Country Report: Japan

“The Green Earth Festival for the International Day of Forests 2016” was held in Metropolitan Tokyo Bay Area on March 26th 2016 under the auspices of the Organizing Committee comprised of 4 non-governmental organizations, namely, National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization, OISCA Japan, the Forest Culture Association and NPO Forests and Environment Network Association as well […]


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