Back in 2012, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the 21 March to be International Day of Forests.
The idea behind the day is "to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests." The UN wants countries to undertake efforts at a local, national and international level to organise activities which include forests and trees - tree planting campaigns is just one example.
However, I thought this year I would raise awareness of five appeals for forests or ways to help which you could share and/or donate to and/or find out more about.
1. The Woodland Trust
The UK's Woodland Trust has 3 appeals at the time of writing, one in Norfolk and two in Scotland in the West Highlands (the Couldoran appeal, next to Ben Shildaig) and the Loch Arkaig Pine Forest appeal in the Scottish Highlands.
2. Trees for Life
Trees for Life is turning bleak landscapes of grass which has been overgrazed back to forest that's bursting with wildlife. You can donate, plant a tree, volunteer, or shop with them and businesses can get involved as well. You can also plant a grove of trees, (which might be a great thing to do for a big birthday so that you can ask friends and family to plant a tree for you.)
Rainforest Trust has a mission - it "saves endangered wildlife and protects our planet by creating rainforest reserves through partnerships, community engagement and donor support." Find out the ways you can support them - why not take their Hug 100 Trees challenge? Many of their urgent requests for help carry 3x or 2x matches (e.g. if it's a 2x match, if you donate £10 it becomes £20 without any cost to you, thanks to someone who is matching your donation). Amongst their urgent projects are ones working to create wildlife corridors for tigers in Thailand, to save a bird island sanctuary in Indonesia, to save a Mozambique butterfly forest, and two appeals in the Democratic Republic for the Congo, one to save bonobos carbon-rich swamp forest and the other to save the Grauers gorilla.
4. The World Land Trust
WLT has a mission (or challenge) for young people at school: to measure your school playground or school or a space of some sort there and raise funds to save the same size area in Brazil! You can help save some of the last of Brazil's Atlantic Forest and preserve carbon-munching rainforest at the same time. Hundreds of species of animals are relying on you and your school to get involved in Operation Ocelot - find out more here
5. Rainforest Rescue
Rainforest Rescue is "actively committed to preserving rainforests, protecting their inhabitants, and furthering social reforms." It is active in many countries around the world and it supports its partners on the ground in tropical countries. I've signed many of their petitions myself putting pressure on companies and governments and they have plenty of news and updates
International Day of Forests website - this is the UN offical website for the day
Coalition for Rainforest Nations has a mission "to help tropical govenrments, communities and peoples responsibility manage their rainforests.
Global Forest Watch has the latest data and technology and tools that empower people to take action. Take a look at their Topics section - it has information on fires and water which personally I found really hit home.
Queen's Commonwealth Canopy - this has been set up to create a pan-Commonwealth network of forest conservation projects, to enable forests to thrive and conserve indigenous forests for future generations. See the projects here