March 21st

International Day of Forests -

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International Day of Forests, celebrated on March 21st each year, is a global event with the purpose of raising awareness about the importance of all types of forests and trees to our ecosystems and livelihoods.

This significant day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly to tackle the rising environmental challenges and the call for globally sustainable techniques of managing forests. This day highlights the numerous advantages provided by forests such as habitats, sustainable living, water resources, improvements in air quality, and resilience against climate change.

History of International Day of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established the International Day of Forests on November 28th, 2012, taking a significant step towards environmental awareness and sustainability. The main purpose of this observance was to stress the vital role that forests play in ensuring environmental sustainability and promoting biodiversity.

The UNGA invited members states to create programs at local, national, and international levels designed to educate the public about the countless important functions forests serve and their overall significance for our world's health.

Prior to the establishment of the International Day of Forests, World Forestry Day, instituted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1971, held a similar purpose. Celebrated every year on March 21, the day included various local and national activities designed to foster an understanding and recognition of the value of all types of forests and trees.

The inaugural celebration of the International Day of Forests took place on March 21, 2013. This day was celebrated worldwide with activities like tree-planting, social media outreach, and community-level events.

Every year, this event revolves around a specific theme chosen by the UN, and countries worldwide observe it by organizing a myriad of activities. These might include tree-planting campaigns, educational symposiums about forests' importance, and photography contests based on forest themes, all aimed at raising consciousness about this critical topic.

The objective of the International Day of Forests is to educate about the incredible importance of all kinds of forests, including trees found beyond forests' boundaries, for the benefit of all people, now and in the future. It underscores the necessity for thoughtful forest management, sustainable development, and strict conservation measures to ensure resources for future generations.

International Day of Forests Timeline

First Forests on Earth

The first forests appeared during the Late Silurian period and were composed of vast, tree-size organisms.

Carboniferous Period

During the Carboniferous period, large tropical rainforests covered much of the Earth's equatorial region.

Paleogene Period, Development of Forest Biomes

The Paleogene period saw Earth's forests start to resemble those we see today.

Europeans Arrive in America

Large-scale deforestation occurred in the Americas following the arrival of European settlers.

Industrial Revolution

During the Industrial Revolution, forest lands were cleared extensively for farming and the production of timber.

Establishment of International Day of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly adopted declared that starting from 2013, 21st March would be celebrated as the International Day of Forests.

Theme: Forests and Biodiversity

This theme aimed to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forest ecosystems for biodiversity and to promote education to learn to love forests.

Theme: Healthy forest for healthy people

The year's theme focused on the importance of forests on our well-being.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day of Forests

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Forest Exploration Hike

Plan a walk through a local woodland area with an expert guide. This will help the group gain knowledge about the variety of plants and animals living there and understand why it's important to conserve such habitats.

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Tree Planting Drive

Hold a tree planting occasion involving your community. This not only increases awareness of forest conservation but also adds to the forest's biodiversity. The significance of different species of trees in the ecosystem should be explained to the attendees.

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Forest Photography Contest

Host a photo competition with the forest as the main theme. This will motivate participants to visit local forests, fostering greater appreciation and awareness of these natural wonders.

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Educational Forest Night

Host a special evening packed with presentations on various global forest types, their unique characteristics and their role in sustaining our ecosystem. Involve local scholars or activists in the environmental field to lead these presentations.

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Film Screening

Schedule a viewing of a movie or documentary that talks about the importance of forests and conservation efforts. This can stir emotions and inspire people to take action for forest preservation.

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Nature Journaling Workshop

Set up a workshop teaching participants how to journal about their observations in nature, sketch plants and animals, record their experiences. This can be conducted in any green space, a local forest or even a city park.

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Forest-Themed Garbage Clean Up

Lead a garbage collection event at a local forest, to uphold its purity and simultaneously educate people about pollution's damaging impact on the environment.

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Storytelling Session

Manage a session of sharing folklore from diverse cultures about the forest, its dwellers and the spirits within. This unique storytelling event can instil an appreciation for forests in both young and old alike.

8 Interesting Facts About Forests


Oxygen Producers

Forests are responsible for creating two-fifths of the Earth's oxygen supply.


Diverse Wildlife

Forests serve as a habitat for four-fifths of all the world's land-dwelling species.


Forest Sizes

The Taiga, which spans Northern America, Asia, and Europe, holds the title of the world's largest forest. It accounts for nearly a third of the globe's total forest area.


A Greener Planet

Approximately one-third of Earth's total land area is covered by forests.


Tree Age

Numerous trees within forests can survive for centuries, while certain species have the potential to last for millennia.


Forest and Climate Change

Forests play an indispensable role in countering global warming by absorbing CO2, the primary greenhouse gas, via photosynthesis.


Medicinal Value

Interestingly, over a quarter of today's medicines can trace their roots back to tropical forest plants.


Tropical Forests

Though they occupy less than 7% of the Earth's surface, tropical forests are home to over half of all the planet's living species.

International Day of Forests FAQs

Next International Day of Forests Dates

Year Date Day
2023 March 21st Tuesday
2024 March 21st Thursday
2025 March 21st Friday
2026 March 21st Saturday
2027 March 21st Sunday
What is the pattern? Every March 21st

International Day of Forests Word Search

  • Forests
  • Trees
  • Ecosystem
  • Biodiversity
  • Rainforest
  • Oxygen