World Wood Day
World Wood Day (WWD) is a day to spotlight and bring awareness to the importance and cultural value of wood and its responsible uses with woodworking activities and academic symposiums. The idea and concept of the event was first introduced by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and has subsequently been sponsored by the World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) since 2014. One main international event is organized annually and regional event(s) may be organized. The structure of the main international event has evolved over the years since the inception, with core programs comprising of woodcraft, symposium, music, folk art, education, and tree planting. The woodcraft program consists of carving, turning, furniture making, and a collaborative project.
WWD is inherently a platform that provides a cultural exchange of wood knowledge, bringing people of different and various backgrounds, cultures, and skills together to explore and learn from each other.
WWD is on 21 March, as is the International Day of Forests which was officially recognized by the United Nations Assembly in 2013. The inagural celeration (2013) of WWD was held in Tanzania. and its conclusion spurred the initiation and ultimately the establishment of the World Wood Day Foundation, a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The first WWD was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 19-21 March 2013 with the theme “A Cultural Approach to Achieve Wood is Good.” The organizers were the Ministry of National Resources and Tourism (MNRT) of the United Republic of Tanzania and the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS).
Sponsors of the two-day symposium and woodcraft program had their own themes, “Wood in Africa: Cultural Distribution, Historical Utilization, and Future Sustainability” and “Wood: Art, Joy, and Culture” respectively. Activities were organized in the Philippines and Thailand as part of 2013 WWD. The University of Philippines Open University held WWD activities with the support of IWCS and the UPOU Foundation Inc.The group, Thai Timber Association, worked in conjunction with King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUNB), the Bangpho community, the Handicraft Center and the Chiengmai Center to organize WWD activities in Thailand.
The second WWD took place in Xianyou County, Fujian Province of China from 20-25 March 2014 with the theme “Wood in a Changing Culture." Participants in a two-day symposium discussed topics on the theme “Wood in a Changing Culture: Sustainability, Research, and Multidisciplinary Approaches.” Regional activities were organized in the USA, Italy, and the Philippines.
The third WWD took place in Odunpazari, Eskisehir, Turkey from March 17-25, 2015 with the theme “Wood and Humanity." Participants in a three-day symposium discussed topics on the theme “Wood and Humanity: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainable Development.” Regional events were organized in Australia, Benin, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Latvia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Switzerland, Syria, and Taiwan
The President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari, inaugurated the fourth WWD festival in which one hundred countries from around the world took part in Kathmandu, Nepal at the Nepal Academy from March 20-26, 2016 with the theme “Nature and Culture.” Participants in a three-day symposium discussed topics on the theme “Nature and Culture: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Peaceful Coexistence and Sustainable Development.”
The fifth WWD took place in Long Beach, California, USA at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center from 21-26 March 2017 with the theme “Roots." A three-day symposium discussed topics on the theme “Roots: Appreciating and Valuing Diversity from Interdisciplinary Approaches.” Programs expanded once again with the Temple Bus and Special Movie Project making their first appearances in 2017.
The sixth WWD took place in the Greater Mekong Region, starting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from 21-26 March 2018 with the theme "Life.". Participants discussed topics on the theme "Wood for Life: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainable Development" at the three-day symposium and the 1st IUFRO Forest Products Culture Research Group Colloquium. Core programs returned with the addition of a photo exhibition from the "Wood and Life" Photo Contest. The component of collaboration was further explored and incorporated into a cross program cooperation with IYAFMI, Woodcarving, Woodturning, and Wood Design Following the conclusion of the event in Cambodia, smaller scale WWD events took place in Vientiane, Laos (29 March - 1 April 2018) and Mandalay, Myanmar (6-8 April 2018) . Wood carving and music were the primary programs at both Laos and Myanmar events. Events will be held in Vietnam, Thailand, and China in the summer of 2018 to round out the celebration in the Greater Mekong region.
The seventh WWD will be held in Graz, Austria at the Austrian Open Air Museum Stübing with the theme "Change". Discussions regarding programs and agenda are underway and will be announced soon.
The eighth WWD will be held in Tokyo, Japan with the theme "Legacy." A press conference will be held in Tokyo in 2019 to announce 2020 WWD.
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- Local news report for Laos event
- ໂທລະພາບແຫ່ງຊາດລາວ Lao National Television (3 April 2018). "ENGLISH NEWS: World Wood Day celebration begins in Laos aiming to raise profile of forests.30/3/2018" – via YouTube.
- "IUFRO: News Detail / News". www.iufro.org.
- International Wood Culture Society - iwcs.com
- World Wood Day - worldwoodday.org
- International Union of Forest Research Organizations - iufro.org
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