Africa: UN Approves Annual International Day of Forests

Doha — The United Nations General Assembly Second Committee has passed a draft resolution to designate 21 March each year as the International Day of Forests, encouraging all Member States to organise forest-related activities, including tree-planting campaigns.

The Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests is tasked with organising the International Day, in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and other international and regional groups.

The measure was passed on 30 November 2012 as part of a set of draft resolutions on sustainable development, including one designed to stress the need to strengthen scientific activities that work to combat desertification, land degradation and drought.

Last year, 2011, was named the International Year of Forests by the United Nations to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests.

The year's theme "Forests for People", highlighted the value of forests and their economic and social relationship with humankind - and millions of people worldwide participated.

Organisations including CIFOR held special events during the year that catalysed unprecedented public interest in forests and the challenges they face.

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