International Day of Forests and World Wood Day on 21st March 2021
NCCF joins hands with the FAO of United Nations and International Wood Culture Society in celebrating the International Day of Forests and World Wood Day on 21st March 2021
The United Nations General Assembly announced 21st March as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The day celebrates and raises awareness about the importance of forests. The theme for this year is “Forest restoration: A path to recovery and well-being”. Forests provide us with different ecosystem services and also contribute to maintaining the health of the planet and the people. The benefits of forest restoration extend way beyond forests. Successful restoration generates a wide range of benefits not only forest quantity and quality, but enhanced food security, improved air and water quality, climate change resilience, job creation, and other equivalent aids. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national, and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.
Climate change, habitat fragmentation, land-use changes, biodiversity loss, and illegal wildlife trade, among other factors, are often identified as possible reasons for emergence pandemics like the COVID-19. We at NCCF are deeply concerned and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health of the people and the health of the planet are interdependent, essentially the same thing, and both can thrive in equal measure. We firmly believe that certification promotes the sustainable management of natural resources and may contribute in a small way to keep at bay such pandemics in the future.
Further, World Wood Day, conceived by the International Wood Culture Society, is celebrated on March 21, coinciding with the International Day of Forests, to raise awareness about the importance of wood in a sustainable world and to promote harmonious coexistence between people and nature.
To promote and ensure sustainable utilization of wood, many developed countries have adopted sustainable procurement policies (SPP) for wood-based products like timber, paper, and packaging. As a part of its policy advocacy, NCCF has been pushing for SPP in India.
NCCF endeavors to make the Indian wood and forest fiber-based industry competent and acceptable globally. NCCF has developed the first-ever Indian scheme of forest certification that is endorsed by the international certification organization, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), giving it global recognition. NCCF’s Trees outside Forest Certification Scheme is the first of its kind and ready for use. This scheme will bring much-needed recognition to the wood and timber produced by the farmers on their lands and ensures better markets and higher income for their agroforestry produce. NCCF has been advocating to promote Wood-based Industries in India. Large-scale adoption of certification will certainly contribute to doubling the farmers’ income and facilitate implementation of ‘Make in India Programme’ and ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
On this International Day of Forests, 21 March 2021, let us pledge to protect our planet by preserving our environment, forests, and biodiversity.
The message of the UN Secretary-General can be accessed here: