The world’s forests are essential to life in all its diversity and to attaining humanity’s biggest goals, such as reducing poverty, curbing climate change and achieving sustainable development. For these reasons, 2011 has been designated the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. Forests 2011 will be formally launched at the 9th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9) on 24 January, in New York.
“Forests 2011” will be an international celebration of the central role of people in the management, conservation and sustainable development of our world’s forests,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “The air we breathe, the food, water and medicines we need to survive, the variety of life on earth, the climate that shapes our present and future—they all depend on forests. 2011 must be the year when the world recognizes the vital importance of healthy forests to life on earth – for all people and biodiversity.”
Did you know that…
- Trade in forest products was estimated at $327 billion in 2004;
- Forests are home to 300 million people around the world;
- 30% of forests are used for production of wood and non-wood products;
- Forests cover 31% of total land area;
- Primary forests account for 36% of forest area;
- The livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people depend on forests; and,
- Forests are home to 80% of our terrestrial biodiversity.