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The United Nations is serious about protecting the world’s trees. In a sweeping effort to garner more attention for sustainable forest management, they have declared 2011 to be the International Year of Forests.

This year of forest awareness kicks off with the first International Forest Film Festival hosted at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates from all 192 UN countries will vote on films highlighting stories of sustainability in action, the complex biodiversity of forest ecosystems, and personal tales of forests affecting the lives of individuals and communities. To watch some finalists’ video clips visit

A year’s worth of conventions and awareness campaigns such as World Wetlands Day, World Water Day, and International Day of the World’s Indigenous People are also being held in the name of forest conservation. Our own State Department’s Office of Ecology and Natural Resource Conservation has pledged to participate by renewing focus on issues such as climate change, water production, and ecosystem resilience through education and policy reform. Learn more about “Forests 2011” at the UN site and click here to see a series of event videos including actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Edward Norton’s public service announcement.

How Bamboo Conserves the World’s Forests

What can you do to help conserve forests around the world? Simple! Opt for bamboo products instead of wood. So many home improvement projects that traditionally call for timber – flooring, fences, decking, paneling, plywood and more – can be done easily and afforably with durable, planet-friendly bamboo.


-Forests cover 31% of all Earth’s land.

-Every year 22 million acres of forested land is lost.

-1.6 billion people’s livelihoods depend on forests.

-Forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity.

-Trees used for timber take 30 to 50 years to regenerate to their full mass, whereas one bamboo plant can be harvested every 3 to 7 years. It is believed that if bamboo were planted on a mass basis it could reverse the effects of global warming in just 6 years.


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