International Day of Forests

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2024 Date21 March 2024
2025 Date21 March 2025

International Day of Forests

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International Day of Forests History

International Day of Forests is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests. The aim of the day is to celebrate and draw attention to the vital role that forests play in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, and food security. It also emphasises how forests mitigate impacts of climate change, through their abilities to absorb carbon dioxide.

International Day of Forests was first proposed at the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971 and was then established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. For Australia, a country with diverse forest ecosystems ranging from rainforests to dry eucalypt forests and mangroves, this observance holds particular importance. Australian forests, rich in biodiversity, play a crucial role in the country's habitat preservation efforts and act as a natural carbon sink that helps combat climate change. Furthermore, Australia's forests are important for the economy with productive sectors such as timber and tourism dependent on the sustainable management of these resources.

International Day of Forests is frequently observed in Australia through a variety of events and activities. These initiatives often involve educational workshops, tree planting campaigns, and forest excursions, geared towards spreading awareness of forest conservation. Additionally, efforts to promote sustainable forestry practices are highlighted to encourage responsible use of forest resources in Australia. These activities, in line with the global objective of the day, aim to foster a greater appreciation for forests and inspire actions towards their conservation and sustainable use. International Day of Forests is held annually on March 21st.

Facts about International Day of Forests

  • The theme for International Day of Forests in 2024 was Forests and innovation: New solutions for a better world. In 2023 the theme was Forests and health.
  • According to the World Bank, forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75% of the world’s accessible fresh water. This water is made available for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and ecological use.
  • According to the UN, approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forests for their livelihood.
  • Australia’s forests are home to many unique flora and fauna, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world. This includes koalas, kangaroos, and wombats, as well as a variety of unique bird and plant life.
  • The Daintree Rainforest, located in tropical North Queensland, is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world, over 110 million years old. It is incredibly diverse, being home to the most species of plants and animals found anywhere in the world.

Top things to do in Australia for International Day of Forests

  • Watch the 2020 International Day of Forest's virtual program if you missed it.
  • Share your favorite photo of a forest or plant with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN by emailing it to The UN will add it to a combined gallery of everyone’s pictures around the world!
  • Visit the Daintree Rainforest: Also known as the Wet Tropics of Queensland, this is the oldest rainforest in the world and home to a unique array of wildlife and plant species. Most tours of the forest include exploring waterfalls, remote natural swimming spots, and off-beat trails.
  • Read a book to learn more about Forests in Australia:
    The Australian Rainforest - by B. J. Grieve
    The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia - by Don Watson

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