While the International Year of Forests had been observed in 2011, there was no globally-recognized date to raise awareness about sustainable forest management. In response, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the annual International Day of Forests. On the occasion of the 1st-ever celebration of the International Day of Forests (IDF), the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation in Ethiopia organized a workshop on 29 March 2013, in the highly biodiverse Bale region, Oromiya.
The IDF was celebrated in various ways. As an introduction, cultural dances and songs were performed by local people, and in particular by young environmental club members to celebrate the diverse and important values of forests, their importance in providing food, shelter, livelihoods and protecting against the effects of climate change.