Happy new year everyone! This is a landmark year for forestry. The United Nations have designated 2011 as the International Year of Forests! The theme is “Celebrating Forests for People,” honoring the central role people play in sustainable management and conservation of forests.
According to the UN General Assembly, “The International Year of Forests represents a unique opportunity to increase public awareness of the key role forests and sustainable forest management in building a greener, more equitable and sustainable future.”
The International Year of Forests officially starts on Monday, January 24, during the UN Forum of Forests (UNFF) in New York City. To celebrate, local and international events are scheduled such as National Tree Planting Day in Jamaica, the ninth national forestry congress in Guatemala, a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation, and a meeting of the European association of state forest organizations. Also, the UNFF is collaborating with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival to create the first ever International Forest Film Festival (IFFF). The IFFF will showcase a selection of forest films as part of the global launch of Forests 2011 and subsequently at other festivals and events around the world. You can find more information at http://www.jhfestival.org/forestfestival/index.htm.
The U.S. Forest service will lead programs in the United States, with the grand finale and closing celebrations being in Honolulu, Hawaii. You can find out more and track the goings-ons at http://www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/
Marie Stadther’s life in Coachella Valley was void of trees. In 2001, she packed up and headed north. After a drive through the majestic redwoods, she arrived in Redding, where she immersed herself in horticulture as owner of her own landscaping company and as assistant to an arborist. She is now the lead gardener for Turtle Bay’s McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Her love of trees is a way of life, and she shares that passion with the community. Send the Tree Goddess your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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