International Day of Forests

Understanding our forests and keeping them healthy is crucial for our future.

Forests help to keep air, soil, water and people healthy. They have a vital role to play in some of the biggest challenges we face today, such as addressing climate change, eliminating hunger and keeping urban and rural communities sustainable. Forests will be more important than ever as the world population climbs to 8.5 billion by 2030.

You’re never too young to start learning about trees.

Helping children connect with nature creates future generations conscious of the benefits of trees and forests and the need to manage them sustainably. For some children, forests are a direct source of food, wood and shelter, and part of their everyday lives. Other children can discover forests in classrooms and forest schools, by spending guided time in forests and urban parks, or by learning about trees growing in cities and gardens. 

Both modern and traditional knowledge are key to keeping forests healthy.

While foresters should know and understand nature well, they should also learn to use cutting-edge technology to ensure that our forests are monitored and managed sustainably. Rural and indigenous communities also have vital experience and knowledge on how to protect forest resources and ensure that they are harvested sustainably. For example, rural women who are traditional gatherers of food and wood fuel from forests can pass on their knowledge and practical experience from one generation to the next. 

Investing in forestry education can change the world for the better.

By investing in forestry education at all levels, countries can help ensure there are scientists, policy makers, foresters and local communities working to halt deforestation and restore degraded landscapes. In turn, healthy forests will help us to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals, for example by supporting the livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest communities and conserving biodiversity.

Women and men should have equal access to forest education.

Many countries are trying to involve more women in forest-related studies, placing a priority on equal access to forest education for all. Gender parity in forest education empowers rural women to sustainably manage forests.