U.N. approves annual International Day of Forests


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DOHA, Qatar (3 December 2012)_The United Nations General Assembly Second Committee has passed a draft resolution to designate March 21 each year the International Day of Forests, encouraging all Member States to organise forest-related activities, including tree-planting campaigns.

The Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests is tasked with organising the International Day, in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and other international and regional groups.

The measure was passed on 30 November 2012 as part of a set of draft resolutions on sustainable development, including one designed to stress the need to strengthen scientific activities that work to combat desertification, land degradation and drought.

Last year, 2011, was named the International Year of Forests by the United Nations to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

The year’s theme “Forests for People”, highlighted the value of forests and their economic and social relationship with humankind – and millions of people worldwide participated.

Organisations including CIFOR held special events during the year that catalysed unprecedented public interest in forests and the challenges they face.

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  • What threatens all forest types is the edge factor. As they get isolated into patches, storms and high winds knock over the trees on the edge of the land. Thus increasing temperature within the forest, affecting all forms of biodiversity. Many butterflies for example, will actually taste a leaf, to see if it is the right one to lay their eggs on. Increased temperatures affecting butterflies starts a chain reaction affecting other forms of biodiversity.