The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. With support from the U.S. Forest Service, NASF has partnered with the American Forest Foundation to act as co-chairs of an ad-hoc steering committee to develop, guide and facilitate plans for the U.S. celebration. Life as we know it depends on sustainable practices and protection of our primary forests. Edward Norton, UN Goodwill Ambassador, states, ““Without large healthy forests there would be no oxygen to breathe, no clean water, much less water and almost no medicines to heal us when we are sick,” and with millions of acres of the world’s  forests destroyed yearly, deeming 2011 the International Year of Forests is not only ground breaking, but urgently necessary in order to restore and recover from the unsustainable practices associated with forests across the globe. Forests are home to about 300 million people, and 1.6 billion people depend on forests across the world. The United Nations’ celebration of and campaign for the world’s forest is well under way and ushering in important positive changes.

See how you can participate in events and programs planned for the International Year of Forests here