California Joins the UN International Year of Forests 2011 “Celebrate Forests. Celebrate Life.”
Sacramento, California – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has joined American Forest Foundation, the U. S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters in the year-long celebration of the official United Nations International Year of Forests during 2011. The theme of the U.S. campaign is “Celebrate Forests. Celebrate Life.”
The kick-off of the Year of Forests was celebrated during the opening of the ninth session of the U.N. Forum on Forests in New York City in early February. The program included high-level roundtable discussions, media activities, film screenings, the issuance of the U.N. commemorative stamp series and other side events.
This year-long, world-wide celebration will raise awareness and inspire actions to sustainably manage and conserve the world’s trees and forests. The U.N. objectives are to: reverse the loss of forest cover, enhance economic, social and environmental benefits, increase the area of sustainably managed forests and to mobilize increased financial resources.
Trees and forests provide a wealth of social, economic, environmental, aesthetic, cultural and health benefits. Because of forests, millions of Americans have access to clean drinking water, an abundance of recreational opportunities, cleaner air, and countless jobs. Urban trees and forests also make important contributions by enhancing neighborhood livability, increasing home prices, and reducing household energy use and the effects of climate change. In short, trees and forests improve the quality of life in urban and rural areas alike.
The International Year of Forests theme will be incorporated into many annual public events such as Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Walk in the Woods Day, National Get Outdoors Day, National Public Lands Day, and other community gatherings throughout the year in California and across the nation. The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) will launch an interactive website in early March to house all U.S.-based information, including a master events calendar, event host toolkit, and news on the
campaign. For more information on the International Year of Forests 2011, please visit:“Year of Forests”