Secretary-General Stresses Need for Recommitment to Healthy Forests for Healthier Livelihoods, in International Day Message

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Forests, observed on 21 March:

Healthy forests are essential for people and the planet.  They act as natural filters, providing clean air and water, and they are havens of biological diversity.  They help to regulate our climate by influencing rainfall patterns, cooling urban areas and absorbing one third of greenhouse gas emissions.  They provide many communities and indigenous peoples with livelihoods, medicines, sustenance and refuge.

The commitments to halt deforestation have been loud and clear, and in some regions, deforestation is slowing.  Yet each year we still degrade and destroy some 10 million hectares of forest.  It is essential that the world implements the recent Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use and other instruments designed to protect our forests.

It is time we see tangible and credible action on the ground.  This means ending the unsustainable consumption and production patterns that jeopardize our forests.  And it means providing support for the sustainable management of forests to the countries and peoples who need it.

On this International Day of Forests, let us recommit to healthy forests for healthier livelihoods.

For information media. Not an official record.