Story | 21 Mar, 2021

Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being

International Day of Forests is commemorated on the 21st of March each year since its establishment by The United Nations General Assembly in 2012. The day's main goal is to raise awareness of all forms of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to coordinate events involving forests and trees at the local, national, and international levels, such as tree planting campaigns. The Collaborative Partnership on Forests selects the theme for each International Day of Forests.

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Photo: Epeli Nakautoga - IUCN Oceania

The theme for 2021 is "Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being". It will stress the value of forest conservation for human health, food protection, environmental and climatic conditions, green job growth and stakeholder participation.

The following are the main messages for this year's theme:

  1. Forest food offers balanced diets, and preserving forests would enhance our climate.
  2. Sustainable forests can produce millions of green jobs, and polluted lands can be reclaimed on a large scale.
  3. Engaging and encouraging people to use forests in a sustainable way is a vital first step for positive change.
  4. We will be able to rebound from our environmental, health, and economic crises. This decade, let us work to preserve the world.

At the State House on 8January 2019, President His Excellency Major-General Jioji Konusi Konrote officially unveiled the 4 Million Trees in 4 Years programme. Since then, Fijians and visitors, including the UN Secretary-General and several other dignitaries, have helped to plant a total of 100,000 trees every month over the past ten months.

The Fijian government has raised its tree-planting target from 4 million trees in four years to 30 million trees in 15 years, thanks to the Ministry of Forestry. The Prime Minister, Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama, declared the new target while in New York for the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit in September.

Fiji's tree-planting campaign, which encourages people to plant 30 million trees in 15 years, is part of a global reforestation movement aimed at improving the planet's ability to absorb carbon and, as a result, addressing climate change.


Article by Leilani Mar