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FAO celebrates International Day of Forests

By JT - Mar 23,2021 - Last updated at Mar 23,2021

 The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations , in cooperation with Jordan Environment Society, on Sunday participated in the celebration of the International Day of Forests, where a group of FAO employees visited the Centennial Forest in Ajloun Governorate (Photo courtesy of FAO)

AMMAN — The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with Jordan Environment Society, on Sunday participated in the celebration of the International Day of Forests, where a group of FAO employees visited the Centennial Forest in Ajloun Governorate.

This participation came to enhance partnership with the Jordan Environment Society in order to implement targeted activities and programmes that contribute to achieving agricultural and environmental development, according to a FAO statement.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Forests to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. 

On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. 

The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The theme for 2021 is “Forest restoration: A path to recovery and well-being”.

Nabil Assaf, FAO Representative in Jordan, said: “The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest each year and land degradation affects almost 2 billion hectares. Forest loss and degradation emit large quantities of climate-warming gases, and at least 8 per cent of forest plants and 5 per cent of forest animals are at extremely high risk of extinction.”

“The restoration and sustainable management of forests, on the other hand, will address the climate-change and biodiversity crises simultaneously while producing goods and services needed for sustainable development,”  Assaf added.

In coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment, FAO in Jordan office has developed plans to increase the number of trees in the forest and protect it against illegal logging, fire incidents and overgrazing through the National Afforestation Plan.

Furthermore, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Forestry Department and technicians in Rome, have recently prepared a Technical Cooperation Project Facility (TCPF) to support the national efforts in controlling forest fires and alleviate their effects, as well as to improve the sector’s capacity and contribute to the national development process to conserve and sustainably manage Jordan forest resources and ecosystems with involvement of key stakeholders to better contribute to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, food security, arresting desertification and land degradation and climate change effects.

The protection of forests and expanding them fall within FAO’s second strategic goal “Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable.” 

Under this objective, FAO supports the government in shifting towards a “green national economy”, in a country suffering from dwindling forestation, estimated at 88 000 hectares, less than 1 per cent of its overall area.

Forest protection is a pillar of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15: “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”, the statement concluded.

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