The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness around the sustainable management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests. Forests provide valuable ecosystem services to support biodiversity and to stabilize water, soils, and carbon. They contribute to the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe. And forests provide recreational and cultural spaces worldwide. As we approach Earth Day 2011, we join with other partners in the United States and around the world in celebrating the special role of forests in our lives.
For more information on events and resources for the International Year of Forests, please visit the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Facebook page, celebrateforests.org, and the UN's website.
You can find Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel A. Reifsnyder's complete remarks here.