The International Day of Forests is a global observance being held annually on the 21st day of March to raise awareness on the importance of forests to people and their vital role in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, and food security. Sustainable management of all types of forests are at the heart of addressing challenges of conflict-affected, developing, and developed countries, for the benefit of current and future generations.
The theme for the celebration of the International Day of Forests 2021 (IDF 2021) is “Forest Restoration: a path to recovery and well-being.” It will highlight the valuable benefits of forest restoration in terms of human health, food security, environmental and climatic condition, provision of green jobs, stakeholder engagement, and healing. The key messages for this year’s theme are the following:
1. Healthy forests mean healthy people.
2. Forest food provides healthy diets.
3. Restoring forests will improve our environment.
4. Sustainable forests can create millions of green jobs.
5. It is possible to restore degraded lands at a huge scale.
6. Every tree counts.
7. Engaging and empowering people to sustainably use forests is a key step towards positive change.
8. We can recover from our planetary, health and economic crisis. Let’s restore the planet this decade.
The key messages of IDF 2021 are aligned to the three (3) umbrella programs of the Philippine Master Plan for Climate Resilient Forestry Development 2016-2028 (Forestry Master Plan) -- SHIELD for climate change impacts, SERVE the needs of people, and SHARED responsibility.
The Forestry Master Plan is the national framework plan for the forestry sector with a vision towards climate-resilient and sustainably-managed watersheds and forest ecosystems. It was developed in response to the present forestry landscape in the Philippines characterized by changing climate conditions, the expanded role of forests as provider of ecosystem services, and the institutional challenges in managing forest resources. The Forestry Master Plan is the outcome of the project entitled “Climate-Proofing of the Philippines Revised Master Plan for Forestry Development” which was developed by the Forest Management Bureau (FMB), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Republic of the Philippines with financial support from the Korea Forest Service (KFS), Republic of Korea.
The adoption of the Forestry Master Plan, by virtue of DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-06 on 06 June 2019, ensures that all programs and projects of DENR, as well as local government units, and other government agencies in the development and sustainable management of forests and forestlands are strategically anchored to the targets of the Forestry Master Plan.
To learn more about the International Day of Forests and the Philippine Master Plan for Climate Resilient Forestry Development, you may visit http://www.fao.org/international-day-of-forests and https://forestry.denr.gov.ph.