Time to Act
Each year more than 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests are lost, an area roughly the size of England. As go the forests so goes the plant and animal species they embrace – 80% of all terrestrial biodiversity. Most importantly, forests play a crucial role in climate change: deforestation causes 12-18 percent of the world's carbon emissions – almost equal to all the CO2 from the global transport sector. Equally crucial, healthy forests are one of the world's primary 'carbon sinks.'
It is not too late to reverse this destructive trend if we act now. Forests still cover more than 30% of all the world's land and contain more than 60,000 tree species, many still undiscovered. The forests support the livelihoods of 1.6 billion of the world's poorest people by providing food, fiber, water and medicines, as well as regulating environments. Those supported include indigenous peoples with unique and precious cultures.
Forest Day is one of the world's leading global platforms for anyone with an interest in forests and climate change to come together with others and exchange their views.
More than 1,500 people including over 350 Climate negotiators attended Forest Day 4. The event took place on December 5 alongside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancún, Mexico.
Previous Forest Days focused on placing the role of forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change at the forefront of climate negotiations. The theme for Forest Day 4 was "Time to Act," highlighting the urgency of ensuring the survival of the world's forests, the biodiversity they embrace and the hundreds of millions of people who depend on them. The event served as a bridge between the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the 2011 International Year of Forests. Forest day 4 was hosted by the Government of Mexico, through the National Forestry Commission, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and CIFOR.