Issue14 - Feb 2011       Back to newsletter | to TOS website

UN themes for community activities

The United Nations was built on spiritual principles and universal values such as peace, human rights, human dignity and worth, justice, respect, good neighbourliness, freedom, respect for nature and shared responsibility.

When you are planning your group activities for 2011, you might be inspired by the United Nations themes for the year.
2011 is the International Year of Forests and the International Year of Youth (12 August 2010 to 11 August 2011). Both these topics are related to focuses of service within the TOS.

Earth Hour is celebrated each year at the end of March.



International Year of Forests

Did you know that:

  • forests cover 31% of our planet’s land area
  • primary forests account for 36% of the forest area
  • forests are home to 80% of our terrestrial biodiversity
  • the livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people depend on forests
  • forests are home to 300 million people around the world.

The International Year of Forests celebrates people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
For more information see the UN website:


International Year of Youth (12 August 2010 to 11 August 2011).

In an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world’s youth in overcoming the challenges facing humankind, from enhancing peace to boosting economic development, the United Nations proclaimed an International Year of Youth starting on 12 August 2010.
The year has three main areas of activity:

  • creating awareness (increasing commitment and investment in youth)
  • mobilising and engaging (increasing youth participation and partnerships)
  • connecting and building bridges (increasing intercultural understanding among youth).
For fact sheets, information on events and invitations to participate on-line, see the UN website

Plan to celebrate Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour is all about the small changes that everyone is capable of making in their lives and building the Earth Hour ethos into each day’s living. Turning the lights off, represents turning the lights on in your mind, and consciously reducing greenhouse emissions. Imagine the result if everyone around the globe switched off their lights for one hour?

Watch the videos of past Earth Hour celebrations and keep in touch with what is happening around the world at

Show the world you care with one simple action. Plan to join in individually, as a family or with friends on Saturday 26 March 2011 at 8:30 pm.


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