Today, United Nations International Day of Forests, is a day to celebrate – to reflect on the year’s achievements and look to the future of the world’s forests.
"To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world's forests. That will take political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding." -United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
This year’s International Day of Forests theme is ‘Forests and Water’, which logically flows into tomorrow’s celebrations, 22 March, United Nations World Water Day. The profoundly intertwined nexus of water and forests is reflected by the proximity of the two days on the United Nations calendar. This crucial relationship between water and forests is becoming clearer every day, as much to the ecosystems, cities and communities who depend on forests to provide, regulate and clean their water as to the Forest and Water programmes at organizations like IUCN whose work becomes more interlinked every day.
While it is true that landscapes are still being deforested and degraded at alarmingly high rates, that is only half of the story. Consider the efforts of countries like Rwanda who committed 2 million ha toward the Bonn Challenge as part of a global initiative to restore 350 million ha of deforested and degraded land globally. Or perhaps one could turn to the municipality of Extrema in Brazil, which has successfully incentivised surrounding landowners to maintain and even restore their farms and forest landscapes to promote a healthier watershed. Examples of great achievements in forest landscape restoration and watershed management are evident from Malawi to Mexico and from Moldova to Malaysia.
The IUCN joins the United Nations and world in celebration of all of the great forest- and water-related work across the globe, and acknowledges that there is still significant work to do. These two days of celebration are an imporantant time for us to reflect on what has been accomplished. They are also an opportunity to look to the future of our forests and watersheds and consider what we can do to take those next collective steps forward.
IUCN #IntlForestDay and #WorldWaterDay article round up:
Forests + Water
- Water, more or less: Do more forests mean more water?
- Cities are landscapes too: Green infrastructure for healthy forests, water and people
- Forests and Water: Forest dependency in Eastern Europe
Practicing forest landscape restoration
- ROAM Around the World
- Just Released: When is a forest a forest? Forest concepts and definitions in the era of forest and landscape restoration
- Nine steps for cost-benefit analysis of forest landscape restoration activities
- Infographic: Prioritizing forest landscape restoration investments
- Choosing the right tool for your forest landscape restoration project just got a little easier
- Infographic: Choosing the best tool for your forest landscape restoration project
Forests at IUCN Congress 2016
- The Bonn Challenge for forest restoration
- Landscape approach is key to forest restoration in Brazil
- Forests critical to Hawaiian culture, wildlife and water supply
Watch for more releases as our celebration continues throughout the week.