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International Day of Forests 2018
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Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in, and around, urban areas.

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Local populations use the fruits, nuts, leaves and insects found in urban trees to produce food and medicines for use in the home, or as a source of income.

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Urban green spaces, including forests, encourage active and healthy lifestyles, improve mental health, prevent disease, and provide a place for people to socialize.

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Trees reduce noise pollution, as they shield homes from nearby roads and industrial areas.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on ForestsThe theme for 2018 is Forests and Sustainable Cities.

Edwin Loyola wins the International Day of Forests photo contest!

@FAO/Edwin Loyola

How will you mark the day?

  • Watch and share the International Day of Forests video 2018 (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, GermanItalianJapaneseRussian, Spanish). 
  • Take part in the International Day of Forests 2018 photo contest and show the world how much you love trees, by sharing a photo of that special tree or that special forest in your city.
  • Organize or join events celebrating forests – tree plantings, symposiums, art exhibitions, or a photo competition. Don’t forget to tell us about it at IDF@fao.org and send us photos so we can add them to the gallery of events happening around the world.
  • Join the conversation on social media using the #IntlForestDay hashtag: pass on some of this year's key messages, or take a photo of your favourite forest and share it with us and your friends.

How much do you know about forests and cities? Take our quiz to find out.