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International Day of Forests 2013

With over 4 billion hectares, forests cover a third of land of our planet and are home to over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Forests play a crucial role in global and national economies providing invaluable services and products to the environment and humanity. They offer the quickest, most cost-effective and largest means of curbing global emissions.

International Day of Forests 2013
With over 4 billion hectares, forests cover a third of land of our planet and are home to over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity.

Forests play a crucial role in global and national economies providing invaluable services and products to the environment and humanity. They offer the quickest, most cost-effective and largest means of curbing global emissions.

As a formal recognition of the importance of forests for the environment, the economy and the culture of today’s world, the General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed the 21th of March the International Day of Forests.

To mark this very first and important recurrence, FAO will hold worldwide events in collaboration with civil societies and governments from the region to highlight the significance of forest for the world ecosystem and their contribution to our lives.

THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS IN THE NEAR EAST REGION

EGYPT

PLANTING A TREE TO PLANT OUR FUTURE


To mark the very first recurrence of the International Day of Forests, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with FAO, will celebrate the Day with a tree-planting event in the Egypto-Japanese Friendship Forest, in Wadi El Natroon, Behera Governorate.

The event will address the strategic role forests plantation can have in Egypt to protect soil and water, preserve biodiversity, and, most importantly, combat desertification.

Ministries officials, FAO staff, representatives of civil society organizations and youth will attend the event and take active part in the plantation of Thuya orientalis seedlings in the allocated plots.

The planted trees will be part of the already established plantation sites which are regularly used as an educational tool to build knowledge and raise awareness of youth and students about environment and forest plantations.

The tree-planting event will also convey a clear warning about the vulnerability of forests in the Near East region where the low forest cover coupled with the spread water scarcity and the looming threat of climate change, make natural and planted forests particularly exposed to further degradation.

These threats can be mitigated through planting more trees as a contribution to livelihoods and food security but also as a response to multiple economic, social and ecological needs and challenges that characterize the region.

This is the reason why in Egypt the Government and FAO will celebrate the Day by planting trees as a first step to plant our future and the future of our young generations.

LEBANON

NEW SPECIALIZED COURSES IN FORESTRY


To highlight the crucial role that present and future generations can play to raise awareness on the significance of forests and their contribution to the Lebanese ecosystem, FAO, in partnership with the United Nations Information Center, will take part, in Lebanon, to an official ceremony organized by the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). The event will officially launch the integration of new specialized courses in forestry into the currula of the USEK Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science.

The celebration will be an opportunity to emphasize the importance of forests in preserving water and soil, in rehabilitating land, and most importantly, in countering deforestation. The event comes as an indicator of the growing awareness of the government and civil society in Lebanon about the importance of forests for the Lebanese ecosystem.

The Lebanese government has indeed been partnering with FAO to counter deforestation in Lebanon setting the objective of increase the Lebanese forests cover from 13% to 20% in the coming 20 years.

This commitment was already highlighted some months ago when the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, with the technical support of FAO, launched a new programme to plant 40 million trees.

Private sector, civil society, authorities will be engaged in this endeavour that will be led by an interministerial coordination mechanism and supported by FAO sectoral expertise.

20/03/2013

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