Selenge Aimag (province), Mongolia. Source: UN REDD Mongolia Programme

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. 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. This year, International Forest Day is celebrated internationally under the theme “Forests and sustainable production and consumption”.

Mongolia has been celebrating the International Day of Forests since 2015. The day is celebrated with the aim of raising public awareness, recognizing the role of ecosystems, and educating the public to protect and restore forest resources. With a total land area of 1.6 million square kilometers, only 7.9 percent of Mongolia is covered by forests, while 77 percent of the country has been subject to desertification and land degradation. Mongolia’s forests are under threat due to climate change and illegal human activities.

Amid rapidly increasing desertification and the growing threat from the climate crisis, in October 2021, Mongolia has launched a national campaign to plant a billion trees by 2030, pledging to spend at least one per cent of its GDP each year on a comprehensive national program to combat climate change and deforestation. The campaign is part of Mongolia’s efforts to reduce the impact of planet-wide climate change and to bolster the country’s contribution to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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