GS Paper - 1 Geography

The United Nations observes 21 March as the International Day of Forests, commemorating the green cover around the world and reiterating its importance. The theme of the International Day of Forests for 2021 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012.


  1. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
  2. On this day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.
  3. The Day is celebrated by the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organisations in the field.
  4. This year’s theme aims to emphasise how restoration and sustainable management of forests can help address climate change and biodiversity crisis.
  5. It can also help produce goods and services for sustainable development, fostering an economic activity that creates jobs and improves lives.
  6. Themes of the International Day of Forests are aimed to fit into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), which calls for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world.

Forest cover in India

  1. Since Independence, a fifth of India’s land has consistently been under forests, despite the population increasing more than three times.
  2. As per the biennial State of Forest Report, 2019, India’s forest cover has increased by 3,976 sq km or 0.56% since 2017.
  3. For the second consecutive time since 2007, the report recorded a gain — an impressive 1,275 sq km — in dense forest (including very dense forest with a canopy density of over 70%, and moderately dense forest with a canopy density of 40-70%).