Liu Zhenmin, head of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), issued the call during a virtual event to commemorate the International Day of Forests, observed annually on 21 March. He said, “Despite their obvious importance, forests continue to be under threat”, Mr. Liu said. “Every year, seven million hectares of natural forests are converted to other land uses such as large-scale commercial agriculture, and other economic activities. And while the rate of deforestation has slowed over the past decade, tree-cover loss has continued unabated in the tropics – largely due to human and natural causes.” The UN believes sustainable management of forests is critical to combating climate change and to ensuring a better future for all. The theme for this year’s International Day – “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being” – also aligns with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, from 2021-2030. “If we fail to act now, we risk a point of no return”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned in his message for the Day, though noting it is not too late to act.
By UN News. March 20, 2021.