UW Today

April 13, 2011

Forest resources special events mark UN International Year of Forests

News and Information

  • Forests cover 31percent of the earths total land area
  • More than 40 percent of the worlds oxygen is produced by rainforests
  • Forests are home to 80 percent of the worlds terrestrial biodiversity
  • More than 300 million people live in forest.
  • The livelihoods of 1.6 billion people depend on forest.
  • More than a quarter of modern medicines, worth an estimated $108 billion a year, originate from tropical forest plants
  • The carbon in forests exceeds the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere
  • By absorbing water and holding soil in place, forests reduce the risk of floods and mudslides that result from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes
  • Forests protect watersheds which supply fresh water to rivers—critical sources of drinking water.

– International Union for Conservation of Nature

The United Nations has declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness of the important challenges of sustainably managing, developing and conserving all types of forests.

In observation of the International Year of Forests, the UW School of Forest Resources has scheduled a series of programs including a forest film festival, a talk May 6 with three forest resources alums who are leaders in global forestry and a look at forestry education, research and management May 10 as part of the Denman Forestry Issues series.

The International Forestry Students Association is sponsoring the film festival with showings each Wednesday through May 25 at noon in the Forest Club room. Films include “The Queen of Trees” and “Climbing Redwood Giants.”

The schools distinguished alumni seminar series May 6, 2 to 4 p.m., in the Forest Club room will feature presentations by Kamoji Wachiira, ‘69, independent forestry consultant, former faculty member at University of Nairobi, Kenya, and leader of projects for the Canadian International Development Agency in South America and Southeast Asia; Jeannette Gurung, ‘85, founder and director of Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management and active in UN programs concerning forests, food security, gender issues and sustainable development; and Mark Wishnie, ‘98, managing director for Equator Environmental, an international environmental markets company.

“Celebrating the International Year of Forests 2011” is the topic of the Denman Forestry Issues series May 10, 1 – 5 p.m., Center for Urban Horticulture, UW Botanic Gardens. Nine faculty, students and staff will talk about on conservation and forest ecology in a global context in sessions covering international interdisciplinary education and research, sustainable forest management and forestry and urban ecology management, including carbon cycling and wildlife.