2011: The International Year of the Forests

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Half of the forests that existed at the dawn of agriculture has since been destroyed.

Watch this stunning 7-minute film, Of Forests and Men–the official film for the launch of the International Year of the Forests, a global platform to celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests.

The United Nations mandated Yann Arthus-Bertrand to produce this film, which will be shown during the plenary session of the Ninth Session of UN Forum on Forests (24 January – 4 February 2011) in New York. It will be available to the public, at no charge, starting February 2 for worldwide distribution.

More forest facts.

  • Forests cover 31% of total land area.
  • 30% of forests are used for production of wood and non-wood products.
  • Forests are home to 80% of our terrestial biodiversity.
  • Forests are home to 300 million people around the world.
  • The livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people depend on forests
  • We are cutting trees down by the millions to plant soybeans and produce millions of tons of meat.

Of Forests and Men is filled with aerial images from HOME and the Earth from Above television series.

Here’s the trailer for Home:

HOME is the first film that’s been made using aerial-only footage and marks artist-activist Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s feature film directorial debut. The movie is carbon offset. For more information, visit www.homethemovie.org

About the International Year of Forests.

Forests cover a third of the Earth’s surface. They are home to over half of terrestrial species and hundreds of millions of human beings. Forests provide part of one in four people’s incomes. For 7 billion people, most of the world’s population, forests are resources for the food they eat, the air they breathe and the medicines they consume. And yet, forests remain unknown and and wrongly loved. And most of all, they are in danger.

The United Nations declared the International Year of Forests, 2011. It is an opportunity to discover, rediscover, celebrate, cherish, describe, protect and use these ecosystems more sustainably. These ecosystems were formed hundreds of millions of years ago before the first humanoids. Today, we threaten them.

Forest destruction is not inevitable: throughout the world, men and women fight to save them. Citizens, scientists, politicians and businessmen warn us about the threats forests face and suggest alternatives to protect them. This year is an opportunity to celebrate their initiatives and their efforts.

GoodPlanet Foundation, chaired by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, shares the same goal. Through its awareness programs, such as Action Carbone, GoodPlanet aims to protect 510 000 hectares in Madagascar. This year, the foundation decided to go further and launch several new initiatives on its website and celebrate the words of the Turkish poet, Nazim Hikmet, “to live in a tree, lonely and free. To live as brothers like trees in a forest.” ~ via goodplanet.org

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