International Day of Forests

Sustainable development goals and the Paris Climate agreement are two important developments IFFA highlights when celebrating the International Day of Forest.

  • Published: 21.03.2016
  • Published by: Peter deMarsh
  •  (Photo: Emma Berglund)

    The International Family Forestry Alliance, IFFA, celebrates the International Day of Forests by publishing a statement that we hope our members will distribute to important stakeholders in their countries.

    In the statement IFFA highlights that the two most important developments for family forestry in 2015 were the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in September of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement on Climate negotiated in December.

    It was very inspiring to see the image of the Eifel Tower:
    “Reforest the Planet”:
    as family forest owners, we have an idea about what this means, and how to go about it. We also know that there is a second way in which forests can contribute to climate goals, and that is to substitute wood from forests for fossil fuels and for construction materials that require large quantities of fossil fuels in their manufacture. So, as family forest owners, we can suggest an improvement on the Eifel Tower slogan: “Plant more trees, use more wood.”

    One problem with this slogan is that many people will not understand it. “If we use more wood, won’t that mean there will be less, not more forests?”

    Of course, we must stress that we mean wood from sustainably managed forests. The SDG’s may provide an opportunity to increase understanding of sustainable forest management by showing how it connects with many other human needs and aspirations. For example, SDG# 6 concerns access to drinking water. It is fairly simple to show the connection between sustainable management of forests and good quality and secure supplies of drinking water. A similar connection can be shown for each of the other 16 SDG’s.

    We need to promote the role which forests in general and family forests in particular can play in pursuing the SDG’s. This is a tremendous opportunity and at the same time, a great responsibility.

    Read the statement

    European forest owners, managers, industry and professionals welcome as well the International Day of Forest and the theme "Forest and water"

    Read their statement at the CEPF web page

    Read the FAO newsletter on the International Day of Forests 


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