International Day of Forests

International Day of Forests high-level event

10.00–11.30 CET online and at the Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO Headquarters, Rome

Join the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations at a high-level event to celebrate the International Day of Forests 2023. The day will highlight three important roles that forests play in ensuring environmental health and the many ways they contribute to healthy societies.

A new annual FAO Tree Cities of the World Award for cities that provide a substantial contribution to the theme of the International Day of Forests will also be launched.

Watch the webcast. Translation was provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian.


Master of ceremonies: Marcela Villarreal, Director, Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division, FAO

Opening remarks: QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

High-level session: Healthy forests for healthy people through policy, science and management

  • H.E. Marie-Orléa Vina, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Madagascar
  • H.E. Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India (virtual)
  • Ms Sandra Vilardy Quiroga, Vice Minister for Policies and Environmental Standardization, Colombia (virtual)
  • Mr. Günter Walkner, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Austria to FAO and World Food Programme (WFP) and Chairperson of the FAO Committee on Forestry

Musical performance: Erica Boschiero, singer and songwriter

Conversation between QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO, and next generation forestry leaders

  • Mr Tomiwa Oluwajuwon, Global Ambassador for Youth4Nature  
  • Ms Alina Lehikoinen, Forestry student  
  • Moderator: Lindsey Hook, Head of Culture, World Food Forum

Award ceremony: FAO Tree Cities of the World award

  • Ms Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, FAO 
  • Professor Stefano Lo Russo, Mayor of Turin