ClientEarth celebrates the International Day of Forests 2016

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International Day of Forests

Monday marked the International Day of Forests 2016 – a day for all to celebrate forests and commit to securing their increased protection

What forests do for us

“1.6 billion people rely on forests (and specific tree species) for their livelihoods, and all of us rely on forests indirectly”

Forests are vital to our planet. They support an immense proportion of the Earth’s biodiversity and play an important role in addressing climate change by absorbing and storing large quantities of CO2. Forests also help with reliable and clean water flow, clean air, and soil stabilisation.

1.6 billion people rely on forests (and specific tree species) for their livelihoods, and all of us rely on forests indirectly. Despite their importance, the world’s forests are still declining – 13 million hectares of forest are lost annually.

“We need forests like we need air and water – because they are in part responsible for filtering the air we breathe and the water we drink”

The International Day of Forests

Celebrated on the 21 March every year, the UN’s International Day of Forests seeks to remind the global community of the benefits of forests.

The theme for International Day of Forests 2016 is “Forests and Water”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said, “To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world’s forests. That will take political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding.”

What do we do for forests?

The Forest team at ClientEarth works with civil society organisations, government authorities and the private sector to ensure the decisions made regarding forests and the laws that govern them are transparent and fair. We aim to build the legal capacity of key stakeholders in the countries we work in by ensuring access to relevant laws and information, and by providing legal training and briefings on forestry.

We also work with key stakeholders to ensure the trade in timber – to the EU, within the EU and beyond – is legal. We publish a quarterly newsletter on the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), a legal framework which seeks to prevent illegal timber from being placed on the EU market, and we publish briefings on how the EUTR is implemented in different EU Member States.

An agenda for EU action

It is vitally important that informed action continues to be taken at the EU level and beyond – if the EU is to fulfil its commitments regarding deforestation. So, as part of the International Day of Forests 2016, a consortium of international NGOs including ClientEarth has released a position paper entitled ‘Tackling illegal logging, deforestation and forest degradation: an agenda for EU action.’

See here for the full story and detailed recommendations.

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