21st March is Observed as International Day of Forests (Download PDF)


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21st March is being observed as International Day of Forests to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests every year. The compliance of the day is also used to connect with the vital role forests play in to stand and protect us like in environmental sustainability, food security and poverty eradication.

  • “Forests and water” is theme for 2016.
  • The theme shows reputation forests as key factor to the planet’s supply of freshwater, which is important for life.
  • It is the joint celebration of the International Day of Forests and World Water Day (22nd March).


  • On 28 November 2012 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had announced 21st March the International Day of Forests by adopting resolution A/RES/67/200.
  • On 21st March 2013 first International Day of Forests was celebrated.

Key facts

  • One third (about 31 % of global land area) of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world is covered forest.
  • Forests are a home for more than 80 % of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects According to the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land.
  • 1.6 billion People counting more than 2, 000 native cultures depend on forests for their livelihood around the world.

Regardless of all of these, these cannot be undermined -

  • priceless ecological
  • economic
  • social and health benefits of forests

The global deforestation continues at an alarming

Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 % of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.

Water Sources:

  • 75 % of the worlds is supplied forested watersheds and wetlands accessible freshwater.
  • Forests generally act as natural water filters.
  • About one-third of the world’s largest cities gain a significant quantity of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas.
  • Forests role in water flows and the availability of water resources is modifying by Climate change.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 21, 2016

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