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 importance of   the 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 maintain 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 organise 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 pandemic like the COVID-19. We at NCCF are deeply concerned and impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. Health of the people and the health of the planet are inter-dependent, essentially one and the same thing and both can thrive in equal measure. We firmly believe that certification promotes sustainable management of natural resources and may contribute in a small way to keep at bay such pandemics in 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 a 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 endeavours to make the Indian wood and forest fibre-based industry competent and acceptable globally. NCCF has developed the first ever Indian scheme of forest certification that is endorsed by 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 the biodiversity.

The message of UN Secretary-General can be accessed here: