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 of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests. It aims to highlight the vital role forests play in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, and food security. The day is an opportunity to commemorate the wide array of life they support and herald their intrinsic link to sustainable development, which necessitates the proper management of these precious eco-assets.

International Day of Forests has a palpable resonance in India, a country that is home to diverse forest ecosystems, from the coniferous forests of the Himalayas to the lush Western Ghats. India's history is replete with instances of traditional forest conservation practices and reverence for nature. With the proclamation of International Day of Forests by the UN General Assembly in 2012, the emphasis on the protection and conservation of forests has gained new momentum among the public and private sectors in India, educating and motivating them to contribute actively to this global cause.

In India, International Day of Forests is observed through a multitude of activities. These include tree planting campaigns, nature walks, exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and environmental education measures that spur interaction with nature and enhance understanding of the forests' significance. Local communities, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations participate and lead these efforts. The day is celebrated annually on the 21st of March, marking the urgency to pursue efforts that safeguard the future of forests and subsequently, the planet.

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.
  • The Sundarbans, located in West Bengal, is the largest Mangrove Forest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also home to the Bengal tiger.
  • Forests in India are critical for the economy as they provide timber, fuelwood, fodder, gums, resins, and more than 3000 types of essential oils for industrial use.

Top things to do in India 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!
  • Explore Bandhavgarh National Park: Situated in Madhya Pradesh, it is known for high tiger density. It is the perfect place to celebrate International Day of Forests and witness the marvel of nature.
  • Read a book to learn more about Forests in India:
    The Vanishing: India’s Wildlife Crisis - by Prerna Singh Bindra: This book provides a detailed account of the diverse wildlife and forests in India, and their current state due to human intervention.

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