World Wood Day

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World Wood Day (WWD) is a cultural event celebrated every year on March 21 to highlight wood as an eco-friendly and renewable biomaterial. World Wood Day celebrations aim to raise awareness and understanding of the key role wood plays in a sustainable world through biodiversity and forest conservation. This unique celebration will remind people of the importance and true value of wood and its responsible use.


Wood plays a crucial role in the development of human civilization and the natural environment. The idea of World Wood Day was first proposed and advocated in 2010 by International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and operational partners. WWD is concurrently observed on the same day as the International Day of Forests, which was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013. 2013 WWD worked in concert with the International Day of Forests to bring the idea of applying a cultural approach to disseminate the concept 'wood is good' and incorporate it into people's lives.

Everyone is invited to share their passion for wood and to acquire a more practical and comprehensive knowledge of wood to better put the core concept of "Wood is Good" into practice.

Yearly operation[edit]

2013 World Wood Day[edit]

After years of preparation, World Wood Day commenced its inaugural celebration[1] on March 21, 2013 in Tanzania with a series of specially designed events with the theme "A Cultural Approach to Achieve Wood is Good". This operation led to the necessity of establishing the World Wood Day Foundation, which has since been established and has obtained 501(c)(3) status in the US.

World Wood Day Symposium
The two-day World Wood Day Symposium took place in Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam with the theme “Wood in Africa: Cultural Distribution, Historical Utilization and Future Sustainability.” The 2013 theme reflects the commitment to raise awareness on current issues and to enhance multidisciplinary discussions on the crucial role of wood in a sustainable world.
Bringing on-the-spot woodcarving experiences to audiences was one of the aims of the Woodcraft event and reflected the Woodcraft event theme of “Wood: Art, Joy, and Culture.” Four activities were organized during the Woodcraft event – Local Woodcarving Competition, African Woodcarving Competition, International Woodcarving Demonstration and Woodturning Demonstration. Local regional woodcarving competitions were held in four different African countries prior to 2013 World Wood Day as preliminary competitions for the African Woodcarving Competition.
Youth and children's events
Several fun activities were planned for the children and teenagers. Youth Wood Work Competition provided young apprentices an opportunity to sharpen their skills and prepare for the future. Activities for children were also organized on site. The 2013 World Wood Day drawing competition was open to local children to show their appreciation for wood with their imagination and talent. Playing with wooden toys and learning simple practical knowledge of wood were also set up for the children.
A tour exploring specific wood culture spots around Tanzania in accordance with the IWCS Tour Program was added to the agenda. Three different routes (North, West and South) were organized for local wood-related cultural features. More information and videos can be found on the IWCS Tour website.
Online program
Two online programs were designed for those unable to join the event in person to join in the celebration. Virtual tree planting was set up to attract attention to gain photo contributions in an effort to raise sponsorship for actual tree plantings for 2014. This is a long-term program and is expected to reach the prearranged target each year. The online eCards program enables anyone to send an e-card of wood-related photos.
Tree planting
A nominal tree planting was briefly taken place during the ceremony. On 22nd March, a proper tree planting event assembled participants from all over the world to plant 1000 saplings in Kisarawe District in the hope of contributing to the environment in a sustainable way.[2]
Celebrations in other countries
The Philippines and Thailand were invited to organize activities to celebrate the 2013 World Wood Day as part of the WWD operational network. In the Philippines, University of the Philippines Open University held WWD activities with the support of IWCS and the UPOU Foundation Inc.[3] Thai Timber Association worked in conjunction of King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUNB), Bangpho community, Handicraft center and Chiengmai center to accomplish the WWD events in Thailand.[4][5][6]
Publicity report for 2013 WWD
With the purpose achieved, 2013 World Wood Day was a success accompanied by a great deal of recognized publicity that is emerged in various forms of media and languages. In Japan, a report is published in the Journal of Japanese Wood Industry,[7] and IUFRO where IWCS is affiliated to also makes an operational report available.[8][9] There are more news reports appeared in different organizations,[10][11][12][13][14][15] in various nations and different languages[16][17][18][19][20] and nonetheless, in passionate individuals’ blogs.[21][22][23][24]

2014 World Wood Day[edit]

2014 World Wood Day, themed ‘wood in a changing culture’, was held in Classical Art Exposition City in Xianyou, Fujian province, China. This international event included a symposium, woodcraft activities, children events, and post-event tours. In addition to the main event, other countries were welcome to hold regional events to celebrate World Wood Day in their own way. In 2014, Italy, the Philippines and USA joined World Wood Day regional celebration for the first time.

World Wood Day Symposium
With the theme ‘Wood in a Changing Culture: Sustainability Research and Multidisciplinary Approaches’, the World Wood Day symposium demonstrated scholars’ awareness of current issues and initiated discussion of important topics.
Activities included in Woodcraft were Collaborative Wood Sculpture Exhibition, Woodcarving Exhibition, Woodcarving Show, Woodturning Demonstration, Folk Art Show and Exhibition, Wooden Music Fair, Carpentry Competition and Furniture-Making Event.
Children's Event
Children need hands-on experience to learn and absorb new things. The designated activities including children drawing, fun educational session, wooden toys and puzzles play aroused children’s interests in wood.
Woodcarving Exchange Program
Having abundant resources all over the country, China has developed woodcraft enterprise to a mature level. World Wood Day committee arranged different groups of woodcarvers visiting those cities of great woodcraft enterprise, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming, Lu Shan and Wenzhou, to learn experiences and skills from each other.
Research Grant
A unique research grant related to wood culture was offered to scholars/researchers/students from 2014 World Wood Day. Five outstanding researchers who had won the award were expected to present their research project in the next World Wood Day symposium.
Celebration from other countries
Grand celebration of 2014 World Wood Day in China was joined by Italy, the US, the Philippines and Tanzania holding regional events of various activities on 21st March to disseminate the core value that this event carried.
All information and photos/videos can be found on 2014 World Wood Day official website.

2015 World Wood Day[edit]

2015 World Wood Day was celebrated in Turkey and was chosen for its geographic and symbolic cultural bridge between the East and the West. The 2015 theme was “Wood and Humanity” that aimed to showcase the beauty of wood in various cultural settings and perspectives. The celebration successfully demonstrated that wood can be a great medium to learn different cultures from each other.
World Wood Day Symposium
The symposium focused on an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development in terms of “Wood & Humanity.” This symposium attracted scholars from both scientific and social fields and created a unique opportunity for discussion.
The Woodcraft Program included a woodcarving show, woodturning demonstrations, a unique collaborative project of creating a large piece by a diverse group of carvers, and a youth furniture making competition that also had an element of group collaboration. New this year, public attendees were invited and encouraged to learn and carve alongside the invited artisans.
Music Festival
The music festival with 12 individual musicians and 11 music groups, all with different wooden instruments from all over the world, made the event more approachable and fun. A formal concert took place that showcased the musicians’ talent. They also had an opportunity to speak about the history of their instruments and music at designated speaking sessions.
Folk Art Workshop
11 groups of artists from different countries showcased and demonstrated their work representing one type of folk art from their culture from different eras, traditional, ancient and contemporary. These included puppetry, paper cutting, toy, printing, automaton and others.
A large and varying collection of woodcarvers’ artworks that were completed on-site was exhibited in a newly built gallery and that collection will become a permanent exhibition in a museum in Odunpazari, Eskişehir.
Children's Event
The program for children included drawings, fun wooden toys and a lesson of why wood is good, interesting wood experiments, a chance of learning more about woodcarving and a taste of wooden instruments. For underprivileged children and children with disabilities who cannot attend the children event on-site, musicians and folk artists paid a visit to the school to entertain and have fun with them.
Research Grant
Each year, the WWD Foundation awards research grants to candidates for their outstanding proposal in regards to wood and culture. In 2014, grants were awarded to 5 recipients and they presented their research work in the 2015 WWD symposium. For 2015, grants were awarded to 3 recipients who will present their work in the 2016 WWD symposium.
Tree Planting
Invited participants and local citizens gathered together to plant approximately 2,000 new trees as part of the program for a sustainable future and creating a better environment.
Post Event
WWD extended its celebration to Istanbul with activities including a symposium of wooden architecture, a small concert of wooden instruments, a music festival, some visits to special groups for cultural exchange, and a documentary plan of “Traditional Music of Turkey with Wooden Instruments.”
Regional Event
Countries joining in the World Wood Day celebration in 2015 are Australia, Benin, Ghana, Tanzania, Latvia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Switzerland, Syria and Taiwan. World Wood Day and WWD related events will continue throughout the year in different and more regions and countries.
All information can be found in the official website of 2015 World Wood Day.

World Wood Day Foundation[edit]

2013 World Wood Day was organized by IWCS in conjunction with other organizations and governmental bodies. After the first celebration of 2013 World Wood Day in Tanzania, a need for fund raising became imperative and therefore, the necessity of a managing body was given priority. The World Wood Day Foundation is a non-profit organization established in California in response to the result of 2013 World Wood Day to manage funds and grants to carry out the foundation’s missions. The foundation has obtained 501(c)(3) status.

World Wood Day Foundation missions:

  1. To raise public awareness of wood as an eco-friendly material and encourage academic research and responsible wood usage for a sustainable future
  2. To advocate and annually celebrate World Wood Day on March 21
  3. To manage funds and grants for World Wood Day and global research, education and promotion of wood culture.

Programs and activities are organized throughout the year in different regions that lead up to the annual celebration of World Wood Day on March 21, including international and regional symposiums, woodcraft activities, wood and forest culture tours, youth activities and charitable events, tree plantings, exhibitions and auctions, documentary videos, educational and promotional website, publications and online streaming videos.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]