Mar 21, 2012 CE: International Day of Forests

Mar 21, 2012 CE: International Day of Forests

On March 21, 2012, the United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Forests, drawing attention to woodlands from the rain forests of the Amazon to the cloud forests of the Pacific Northwest.


9 - 12


Geography, Physical Geography



Photo of beautiful forested mountains.

Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic
Photo of beautiful forested mountains.
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On March 21, 2012, the United Nations proclaimed the date as the International Day of Forests. According to the UN, “[f]orests and trees sustain and protect us, providing clean air and water, safeguarding biodiversity and acting as a buffer against climate change. For many people, they also offer food, shelter and employment.” Forests—rain forests, cloud forests, boreal forests, and more—are threatened by deforestation. Deforestation is the removal of trees from a region, usually for agricultural, housing or, business development. More than 5.2 million hectares of forests are lost to deforestation every year. As more than 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihood, and more than $1 billion in medicinal plants are found in forests, deforestation is an economic and health concern, not just an environmental one. On the International Day of Forests, individuals, communities, and governments are encouraged to engage in activities to protect forests, prevent deforestation, and support sustainable forestry practices.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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