World Forestry Day 2016

This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.

Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihood.

Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.

Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Every year on the International Day of Forests we celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year we are raising awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater, which is essential for life.

Did you know?

  • Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater
  • About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas
  • Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population – 8 out of 10 people – is exposed to high levels of threat to water security
  • Improved water resource management can show considerable economic gains
  • Forests act as natural water filters
  • Climate change is altering forests role in water flows and the availability of water resources
  • Forests have a crucial role in building and strengthening resilience

Theme for 2016 – Special Event

The theme of the 2016 International Day of Forests is «Forests and Water». To mark the Day, a joint celebration of the International Day of Forests and World Water Day will be held on Monday, 21 March 2016 (10:00 to 13:00) in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.

The event entitled «Forests and Water | Sustain Life and Livelihoods» will raise awareness of the interconnections between forests and water and their contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Photos of Greek Forests

Beech forest at Mount Paiko, Macedonia region, Northern Greece

«Frakto» Virgin Forest, Macedonia region, Northeastern Greece

Fir forest at Mount Menalo, Peloponnese region, Southern Greece

Beech forest at Mount Pelion, Thessaly region, Central Greece

Autumn colors of a beech forest in Tzena Mountain, Macedonia region, Northwestern Greece

Snow covered fir forest in Koziakas Mountain, Thessaly region, Central Greece

Beech forest at Mount Grammos, Northwestern Greece

Fir forest at Flabouritsa gorge of Mount Ziria, Peloponnese region, Southern Greece

Autumn colors of Mount Olympus beech forests, Northern Greece

Foggy fir forest at Mount Dirfys, Evia island

The southernmost spruce forest of Europe in Elatias area, Northeastern Greece

Snow covered fir forest at Mount Parnassus, Central Greece

Black pine forest at Mount Smolikas, Epirus region, Northwestern Greece

«Forest and Water» at Grammeni Oxia Mountain in Central Greece, home of the southernmost beech forest in Europe

Fir forest at Mount Dourdouvana, Peloponnese region, Southern Greece

Autumn colors of Mount Pinovo’s beech forests, Macedonia region, Northern Greece

«Forest and Water» at «Skiritida» forest, Peloponnese region, Southern Greece

Shady forest at Mount Voras, Macedonia region, Northern Greece

«Haidu» forest at Thrace region, Northeastern Greece

Frozen fir forest at Mount Chelmos, Peloponnese region, Southern Greece

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