Events and Publications Mark First International Day of Forests

21 March 2013: A number of events, announcements and publications have been organized in celebration of the first-ever International Day of Forests, an event to be held annually on 21 March.

The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) announced the 21 finalists (for 21 March) for its photo competition, which highlights the links between people and forests. Five winners selected from among the finalists and will be invited to attend a ceremony at the tenth session of the Forum on Forests (UNFF10) in Istanbul on Wednesday, 10 April 2013.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the forestry department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) organized a high-level policy talk on the theme "The contribution of forests to sustainability and development.” The talk focused on the need for sustainable forest management (SFM) to reflect the views and requirements of a broad range of stakeholders.

In conjunction with the Third Mediterranean Forest Week, FAO marked the Day by launching the publication, "State of Mediterranean Forests" and holding tree planting activities in Tlemcen, Algeria. The FAO also convened a technical seminar on forests in the landscape context, which provided concrete country examples of how managing forests through a landscape approach could contribute to increased production, as well as the enhancement of ecosystem services. FAO also used the seminar as a forum to release the publication, "Forests and Water – International Momentum and Action."

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) marked the Day by collecting 21 success stories on sustaining and enhancing the value of tropical forests throughout the world. The stories range from the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in Ghana, and eco-tourism projects in Peru, to investments in the promotion of legal procurement in China.

Also for the Day, the Mountain Partnership profiled a children's drawing competition convened by the Association of Forest and Land Users of Kyrgyzstan, while Forest Europe convened a tree planting campaign and held walks to take photos and videos of SFM. [UNFF Press Release] [UNECE Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [Mountain Partnership Press Release] [ITTO Press Release] [Forest Europe Press Release]