INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS
The United Nations (UN) has declared 2011 as the international year of forests to raise awareness on the sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The decision was taken by the UN General Assembly in recognition that forests and sustainable forest management can significantly contribute to sustainable development, poverty eradication and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, which include the Millennium Development Goals.
The UN said concerted efforts should focus on raising awareness at all levels to strengthen conservation of forests.
Forests make up about 31% of the total landmass of the globe. The livelihood of an estimated 1.6 billion people is dependent on forests, while 300 million people live in forests. The secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests of the Development of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat will serve as a focal point for the implementation of the year.
This is to be done in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests ' of which the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) serves as the chair ' and international, regional and sub-regional organisations.
The UN made a call for voluntary partnerships among member states, international organisations and major groups to facilitate and promote activities related to the year at local and national levels, including the creation of national committees or focal points in their respective countries.