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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. Here are a few interesting UN forest facts: 

  • Forests are home to 300 million people around the world
  • 30% of forests are used for production of wood and non-wood products
  • Forests cover 31% of total land area
  • Primary forests account for 36% of forest area
  • The livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people depend on forests
  • Forests are home to 80% of our terrestrial biodiversity
  • Trade in forest products was estimated at $327 billion in 2004
To join in this global celebration, Sustainable Tourism Online has profiled a number of exciting initiatives that range from government policies and community events to tourism operations, greening communities, and the film industry.  

The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival brings together the world’s best natural history broadcasters, producers and filmmakers and other industry professionals with leading scientists, journalists, and conservationists, for one remarkable week each autumn. They gather from around the world in the heart of Grand Teton National Park to explore new media technologies and emerging market opportunities, exchange ideas, and honor notable achievements that have been made in environmental conservation and media.

To celebrate the International Year of Forests, 2011, the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFFS) has collaborated with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival with the International Forest Film Festival (IFFF). 

The film festival is a key part of the UN's outreach efforts, enabling it to raise awareness on the importance of forests, their relationship with people and the planet we share, and consequently, to inspire a sense of personal responsibility/stewardship for a greener, more equitable, sustainable future. This visual showcase will take place October 3-7 at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

Click here to download the Forest Film Guide or visit for more information. 

Sir David Attenborough has been the respected face and voice of natural history programs for more than 50 years. Here he is discussing the important role forests play in our battle against climate change.

The Garden City Fund (GCF) is a registered charity and Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) in Republic of Singapore. It was established in 2002 under the patronage of the then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and who, as Minister Mentor, is still GCF’s Patron today.

The GCF is supported by but independent of National Parks Board (NParks). It complements the NParks in its efforts to monitor and coordinate measures to ensure the health of Singapore’s biodiversity, supporting the overall thrust of the urban conservation model and leading in the continuing upgrade of the landscape Industry in Singapore – all towards its Vision, which is, “Let’s make Singapore our Garden”.

Greenfleet, an environmental charity, works with Australian landholders over an extended period to revegetate vast tracts of land. Battery Creek – a catchment for South Gippsland Water in Victoria – is an example of a site that has been planted over a number of years. Greenfleet has progressively planted trees in the Battery Creek catchment every year since 1999.

Over eleven years, more than 44,000 trees have been planted at the 45 hectare site with a 91% survival rate overall. 

The site demonstrates the growth of Greenfleet's forests over time, with each year's planting showing an increase in height and trunk diameter. Trees planted in 2006-07 are still saplings, however those planted in 2000 are now well over 10 metres tall, many 15-20 metres, and have established dense canopy coverage.

A rich, biodiverse native forest has grown that is helping to improve water quality in the Battery Creek Catchment area. Species include a variety of eucalypts, wattles and tea trees native to the area. In addition, the hills have been stabilised and the forest is providing shelter for wildlife and capturing greenhouse gas emissions.

Here's Edward Norton, two-time Academy Award-nominated actor, and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for biodiversity, discussing the International Year of the Forest 2011.

Forests are home to 300 million people. 1,6 billion people live off them. And as we know, forests are vulnerable. 

This video is part of a research project, funded by FPInnovations, looking at ways to provide positive messaging for the BC forest products industry.

Forestry Conferences

1620 OCTOBER 2011

SilviLaser 2011
11th International Conference on LiDAR
Applications for Assessing Forest Ecosystems 
University of Tasmania
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

8–11 NOVEMBER 2011

International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
Forestry Protection Joint Meeting
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
South America

23–24 NOVEMBER 2011

International Conference Forests 2011
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Ku Leuven University
Leuven, Belgium, Nederlands


Forest Day 5

Durban, South Africa

In 1994, Banyan Tree Phuket rehabilitated an abandoned toxic tin mine, turning Laguna Phuket into a lush tropical lagoon now widely recognised as one of Asia’s most awarded destinations. True to the guiding ecological philosophy of Banyan Tree, the Singapore-based group introduced its 10-year Greening Communities Programme a decade later.

The Programme aims to offset a significant amount of carbon emissions created by resort operations and guests’ international travel through planting trees.

Says Michael Kwee, Banyan Tree Group’s Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility: “Greening Communities is a programme we are enthusiastic about, both internally to bring about conservation awareness to our own associates, as well as externally to send a strong message. Each native tree we plant supports not only the local natural biodiversity but also helps our planet cleanse human-caused pollutants from the ecosystem."

Greening Communities During the 10-year period, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts across the globe will plant 2,000 trees per year per resort throughout the local communities of their operational sites. This group-wide programme strives to offset a significant amount of carbon emissions created by resort operations and international travel thereby help to sustain the long-term future of the industry and global community.

Planting Trees As Global Lungs Banyan Tree is not just a participant but also an innovator in the bid to reduce and reverse environmental degradation. While the 1980s saw the threat of rainforest loss and effect on global air quality, and the 1990s presented the hazard of depleting ozone layers, the new millennium offers the highest level of alert yet with the accumulated effects of climate change. Trees have grown increasingly important not just as the foundation of natural living systems but also as carbon sinks to absorb the effects of modern living.

Taj Safaris Pashan Garh (Pashan Garh) was recently awarded at the Ecotourism award 2010-11 for Best Eco Friendly Lodge/Resort by the Board. The lodge features a cluster of stone cottages huddled atop a small hill, with panoramic views of Panna forest. Pashan Garh is the latest of the Taj Safari Lodges to open and is located close to the world-renowned temples of Khajuraho and Panna National Park.

The lodge fulfiled various parameters like minimum land used for construction, eco-friendly design of the lodge, the fact that no trees were cut, and that rain water harvesting was promoted via an artificial lake. 

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Forestry is an Australia-wide joint venture supported by the forestry industry, research organisations, state agencies, and the Australian Government. It's mission is to support a sustainable and vibrant Australian forestry industry through research, education, communication, and collaboration.

The CRC for Forestry has produced a number of valuable research papers and case studies, some of which you can download direct here:

National Tree Day was held on Sunday 31st July 2011 across Australia, with Schools Tree Day taking place on the Friday 29th July 2011. Last year over 312 000 people at 3,500 sites dug deep to improve their natural surroundings. Tree Day shows children how easy and fun it is to help our environment. 

To find out how you can be involved next year, visit