The International Year of Forests (2011)

The United Nations designated 2011 as the International Year of Forests in order to increase public awareness of the importance of sustainable management, protection, and development of all types of forests for both the benefit of the present and future generations.

The goal of the International Year of Forests was to raise public awareness of the crucial ecological, economic, and social roles that forests play. Throughout the year, organized events were arranged to commemorate the Day and disseminate knowledge about how to encourage sustainable forest management.

In nations such (but not limited to) the United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, Indonesia, Kenya, and the United States, numerous international, regional, and civil society groups established national committees to organize various events. Conferences, workshops, expositions, and instructional activities were all part of these occasions.

The International Year of Forests was carried out by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). UNFF intended to improve collaboration with various groups working to manage forests sustainably as well as on issues pertaining to forests inside the United Nations system, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Background

Sustainable development on a global scale depends on forests. Around 300 million people live in forests, which support more than 1.6 billion people worldwide, according to World Bank estimates.  The international trade in forest products, which is projected to be worth $327 billion, is a major driver of economic expansion and job creation.

According to estimates from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 130,000 km2 of the world's forests are lost each year to deforestation. The most frequent causes of this loss of forested regions are conversion to agricultural land, unsustainable timber harvesting, poor land management techniques, and the development of human populations.

According to the World Bank, up to 20% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are caused by deforestation. According to FAO figures, the carbon stored in the world's forests and forest soil is more than one trillion tons, or twice that of the atmosphere. According to the World Bank, roughly two-thirds of all species on earth have a home in a forest, and the destruction of closed tropical rainforests might result in the extinction of as many as 100 species daily.

Worldwide, there are more than a billion hectares of lost and degraded forest land that might be restored, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration.

Symbols

The "Forests for People" theme of the International Year of Forests was intended to be conveyed through the logo. The design's iconographic components convey the variety of benefits that forests provide as well as the crucial part that people play in the sustainable development, management, and conservation of our planet's forests. To emphasize the idea that forests are essential to human existence and wellbeing worldwide, the elements are depicted together in various hues of green like the leaves of one tree. The logo's components depict woods' functions as:
  • A habitation for people.
  • An environment for biodiversity.
  • A source of fresh water, food, and medication.
  • A crucial part in preserving a stable ecosystem and climate on a global scale.

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