World Forestry Day

World Forestry Day, observed annually on March 21, serves as a poignant reminder of the vital role forests play in sustaining life on Earth. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and to celebrate the ways in which they contribute to our lives. It is a day when organizations and individuals come together to reflect on the health of our forests and to reaffirm their commitment to conservation and sustainable management practices.

The origins of World Forestry Day trace back to the 23rd General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971, where the concept was introduced and later adopted globally.

Since then, it has become a pivotal moment each year for governments, communities, and true environmentalists to spotlight the pressing issues facing forests – from deforestation and climate change to biodiversity loss.

Forests cover about one-third of the Earth’s land surface and are crucial for the survival of many species, including humans. They provide essential services such as carbon sequestration, oxygen production, and soil conservation.

Moreover, forests are the backbone of the livelihoods of over a billion people worldwide, offering food, medicine, and fuel. World Forestry Day emphasizes the need to foster a harmonious relationship between humans and these terrestrial ecosystems, urging for actions that align with ecological principles and sustainability.

Celebrations and initiatives on this day often include tree planting ceremonies, educational workshops, and discussions on the latest in forest conservation strategies. It’s a day for reflecting on the progress made and the long journey ahead in achieving global forestry goals.

Through collective efforts, World Forestry Day aims to ensure that forests continue to thrive for future generations, playing their critical role in Earth’s ecological balance and human well-being.

It is the day of the Sun when it leans towards the western azimuth, yes, very close to it as World Forestry Day arrives. And that belongs to the one of the oldest exploitative arms of the colonial government of Assam: the Assam Forest Department also known as Environment and Forests department.

Though an inherent subject of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, the department could not exert on its own; the Hamren sector was controlled by the Nagaon Forest Division till 1967 and so was the Karbi Anglong East and West by the Dhansiri Division headquartered in Dimapur.

With the Memorandum of Settlement signed in 1995, the Forests became a transferred subject of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council; however, the autonomy expressed through the department was badly injured by political penetration and interference. And the officers, barring a few, were too supine and noncommittal to boot.

Leadership Needed

Now, the new breed of officers in the department; are foresters by training but hardly any leadership material. Many non forestry activities have come to pass.

Hardly anybody had the guts to protest on the fear of political reprisals. Be it withdrawal of preliminary notification of Rani Garbhanga WildLife Sanctuary, de-nonfiction of Pobitora WildLife Sanctuary ad nauseam have not met with internal resistance.


The 80% of the substantial reserve Forest areas are under squatting and encroachments undermining the very existence of the colonial day’s legacy.

It is not all good in the environmental frontier in the districts of Karbi Anglong East and West. When the pitch of election fever is picking up, can the timber and coal Mafiosi be far behind? In danger are the pristine forests of Karbi massif and the tropical pine forests of Karbi Anglong west districts.

World Forestry Day is a global call to action for the preservation and sustainable management of forests, emphasizing their irreplaceable role in maintaining ecological balance and supporting human life. Its observance is a reminder of our shared responsibility to protect these vital ecosystems for present and future generations.

garbhanga wildlife sanctuary world forestry day. Photo: Dr. Jaydev Mandal, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Garbhanga Wildlife Sanctuary, World Forestry Day. Dr. Jaydev Mandal, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons