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Celebrating World Forestry Day 2024: Nurturing Our Forests for a Sustainable Future

By: Prof. Edward Wiafe Debrah, Environmentalist and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the

University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Somanya, Eastern Region.

Worldwide celebrations of World Forestry Day, also referred to as International Day of Forests is marked on March 21 each year. This day emphasises the need for forest conservation and sustainable management by serving as a poignant reminder of the essential role that forests play in supporting life on Earth. As we celebrate World Forestry Day today, we have more reason than ever to acknowledge the priceless contributions of forests and to reaffirm our commitment to their protection in the face of mounting environmental problems and the pressing need for action on climate change.

The day aims to promote the sustainable management, conservation, and development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. The theme for World Forestry Day 2024 is “Forests and innovation: new solutions for a better world.

Importance of Forests

Because they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, forests are sometimes referred to as the “lungs of the Earth.” This is because they are essential in controlling the planet’s temperature. Numerous plant and animal species find home in them, contributing to ecological balance and biodiversity. Furthermore, for millions of people worldwide, especially indigenous and local groups that rely on them for their cultural and economic well-being, forests provide food, medicine, clean water, and a means of subsistence.


Deforestation, degradation, climate change, and unsustainable land use practices pose unprecedented risks to forests, despite their tremendous ecological and social significance. The loss of biodiversity, the fragmentation of habitats, and the depletion of ecosystem services are the results of the ongoing acceleration of the conversion of forests into agricultural land, urban areas, and infrastructural development. In addition, the health and resilience of forests are further threatened by invasive species, diseases, pests, and wildfires, all of which are made worse by shifting climate patterns.

Forestry Practices

Growing awareness of the critical need to advance sustainable forest management techniques that strike a balance between conservation and socioeconomic development in response to these issues has emerged. In order to meet the demands of both the current and future generations, sustainable forest management requires the prudent care of forest resources. This includes ensuring the long-term resilience, productivity, and health of these resources. This covers actions like community-based forest management, afforestation, reforestation, agroforestry, and the restoration of degraded areas.

Using the Power of Innovation

Technological and innovative developments are also significantly contributing to the improvement of forest conservation and management initiatives. Better monitoring and evaluation of forest cover, biodiversity, and ecosystem health are made possible by remote sensing technologies, satellite imaging, and geographic information systems (GIS). In addition, crowdsourced data, mobile apps, and digital platforms make it easier for citizens to participate in forest management activities through knowledge sharing and participatory decision-making.

International Cooperation and Partnerships

At the local, national, and international levels, cooperation and coordinated action are necessary to address the complex issues that confront our forests. Governments, private industry, indigenous peoples, and civil society organizations collaborate on projects like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) to support sustainable forest management and conservation. These collaborations help to achieve global forest-related goals and targets, such as those stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change, by promoting communication, exchanging best practices, and mobilizing resources.

Celebrating our forests, Preserving Our Future

Let us consider the priceless contributions that trees make to the health, wealth, and well-being of our planet when we commemorate World Forestry Day in 2024. Reiterating our shared obligation to preserve and responsibly manage these priceless ecosystems for the sake of present and future generations is what we should do. We can ensure that our forests continue to flourish as dynamic and resilient ecosystems that provide vital services and improve the lives of people everywhere by cooperating, welcoming innovation, and establishing partnerships.

As we mark World Forestry Day and subsequent ones, let us honour and enjoy the diversity, beauty, and resiliency of our forests together.