FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York

International Day of Forests 2022 - Forests and sustainable production and consumption

Hybrid Event, 21/03/2022


Forests cover 31 percent of the world's land surfance, store an estiamted 296 gigatonnes of carbon, and are home to the majority of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. They are also a source of fibre, fuel, food and fodder, and they provide livelihoods for millions of people, including many of the world’s poorest. Some 2.4 billion people use wood-based energy for cooking. Forests help mitigate climate change and improve soil, air and water quality. If sustainably managed, forests are also a source of renewable raw materials, making a crucial contribution to building circular economies.

In light of these and many other reasons to respect and safeguard our forests, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The organizers are the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, and other relevant organizations in the field. 

The International Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests, with countries encouraged to undertake local, national, and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees to support sustainable forest management and ensure that the use, protection, and restoration of these resources remain a key ingredient to combating climate change. Likewise, forest management also stands to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations, while also playing a crucial role in poverty reduction and in the achievement of the SDGs. 

Under the theme for this year's observance – Forests and sustainable production and consumption – the time is ripe to discuss and spred awarenss around responsible wood production and consumption and that of other forest-based products, in line with the aim to ensure harmony between people and nature and its delicate ecosystems. Through this optic, the International Day is slated to build awareness and added momentum to important discussions taking place during XV World Forestry Congress (2–6 May) and the 17th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), scheduled for 9–12 May.

Vist the dedicated global and FAO websites on the International Day of Forests.

Learn more about FAO's work in forestry and make sure to catch FAO's key messages for the International Day.

Read the FAO report launched on the International Day, 'Forest products in the global bioeconomy: Enabling substitution by wood-based products and contributing to the SDGs'

Virtual event from New York

21 March | 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)

"Sustaining forests for our green future"

Organized by the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, the Department of Econmic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and the Permanent Mission of Kyrgyzstan to the UN, the virtual event for this international observance will convene high-level speakers from across the UN system, public and private sector partners, civil society, and Members States. The discussions will center on the expansive number of ways in which forests are vitial for both people and planet, in addition to their role in supporting and sustaining our every-day lives. A general discussion will follow on how forests hold the key to solving global challenges.

The FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo, will deliver a video message.

Visit the dedicated event website | Agenda | Watch the recording

High-level event - Live from EXPO 2020 Dubai

21 March | 7:00 AM - 11:00 AM (EST)

"Inspire for the Future: The role of forests in ensuring sustainable production and consumption"

Organized by FAO, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), and IUFRO World Congress 2024|Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), tune in to the high-level panel, as we discuss how forest-based innovations, resource efficiency, forest-based products and ecosystem services can contribute to a sustainable lifestyle and accelerate a shift towards more sustainable consumption and production. Experts in the field will discuss how forest-based innovations, resource efficiency, forest-based products and ecosystem services can contribute to a sustainable lifestyle and accelerate a shift towards more sustainable consumption and production, anchored in a transition towards low-carbon and green economies.

Visit the dedicated event website | AgendaRegister here