Celebrating healthy forests and healthy people this International Day of Forests 2023

International Day of Forests 2023

15 March 2023

Good for our health

Have you ever felt calm and refreshed after a stroll through a forest?

Forests play a huge role in our lives. Not only do they capture carbon to fight climate change, provide homes for wildlife, purify water, clean the air, and provide food and life-saving medicines, but they also improve our well-being. Research shows that spending time in forests is associated with various health benefits, including reduced stress levels and improved mental health [1].

Some cultures practice “Forest Bathing,” a therapeutic technique in which you immerse yourself in nature in a mindful way. The idea started in Japan in the 1980s and proved effective in overcoming the ill effects of a hectic life and stressful work environment.

But what about the health of our forests?

The health of our forests is fundamental to the health of our environment. Habitat destruction, such as deforestation, is one of the leading causes of wildlife extinctions. Queensland continues to record the highest land-clearing rate in Australia, with more than 400,000 hectares destroyed in 2019-20 [2].

Wildlife Queensland continues to fight for our wildlife and their habitats by campaigning for stronger environmental laws and protecting threatened species.

“At Wildlife Queensland, our projects help to conserve native forest through conservation and community programs, such as birdwing butterfly vine planting and the installation of nest boxes,” says Wildlife Queensland Project Manager Matt Cecil.


“Drastically reducing land clearing and deforestation in Queensland would have a significant and positive impact on our native wildlife and the state’s unique biodiversity.”

International Day of Forests

The United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. Countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

This year, the United Nations adopted the theme “Forests and health” to raise awareness of the importance of forests for human well-being and the environment. It is also a reminder of the urgent need to take action to protect and restore forests.

Healthy forests for healthy communities

Forests are more than just a collection of trees; they are complex ecosystems that play a crucial role in the planet’s health.

On 21 March, let’s appreciate the amazing health benefits of our forests but also reflect on the importance of trees, tree hollows and the need for reforestation and revegetation efforts. If you’d like to volunteer on our revegetation, planting or weeding projects, please email wpsq@wildlife.org.au.

It’s time for us to protect forests for the sake of our environment, our health and our future.


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8657257/
2.  https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/management/mapping/statewide-monitoring/slats/slats-reports/2019-20-slats-report/key-findings

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