World Wood Day – 21 March 2013

As some readers may already know, this blog is primarily about nature in Africa. We love trees and wood! So it is with great pleasure that I want to promote World Wood Day 2013.  The inaugural celebration of World Wood Day is being hosted in Tanzania with a series of specially designed events.

WWD image1

I had not heard about the World Wood Day celebrations, until I was contacted by Ru-an Hsu from the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS), in connection with a Mozambican wood sculptor/carver who was featured on this blog.

So what is World Wood Day all about?

Wood: Art, Joy and Culture

March 21st is officially designated and recognized as the International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly and 2013 is the first year of recognition. World Wood Day is celebrated on the same day as the International Day of Forests to raise public awareness of wood as a key role for a sustainable future. The idea for world wood day was first advocated in 2009 by International Wood Culture Society along with partners and friends. The idea behind World Wood Day is a cultural approach to realize the concept ‘Wood is Good’.

World Wood Day is an annual cultural event to raise public awareness on the importance and goodness of wood on March 21st. Wood, an eco-friendly and renewable biomaterial from nature, plays a crucial role in the development of human civilization and environment. We invites everyone to share their passion for wood and to acquire a more comprehensive knowledge of wood on this special day to better put the core concept of “Wood is Good” into practice in our daily lives.

Read more . . .

The celebrations planned include the 2013 World Wood Day Symposium (follow link for more information) which will be held in Tanzania on March 20th, 2013. The theme of the conference is: Wood in Africa – Cultural Distribution, Historical Utilization, and Future Sustainability and “aims to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences concerning the wood research, strategy and practice, in the cultural, historical and social contexts and development. Focused topics are designed to raise awareness of current issues and to enhance multidisciplinary discussions for the crucial role of wood in a sustainable world.”

Other events connected to 2013 World Wood Day  include a wood culture tour, tree planting and

 . . . three woodcrafting events in Tanzania, Woodcarving Competition, International Woodcarving Show and Woodturning Show, to support the theme of year, “A Cultural Approach to Achieve Wood is Good.” Outstanding artisans from Tanzania and other African countries, plus woodcarving and woodturning artists from other countries, will be invited to perform and exchange their excellent skills and creativity during the World Wood Day woodcrafting activities.

Read more . . .

There is a great video on this page of the World Wood Day site, which shows various African wood carvers at work. I think the artwork they produce is really beautiful and unique.

If you are a wood artist and would like to participate in the woodcrafting events, please contact:

Ru-an Hsu
Program Executive/ Editor

Some images of the Mozambican wood artist

The Woodcarver, Mozambique

The Wood carver, Mozambique


©Theo van Zyl

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Categories: Nature/Environment, Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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31 Comments on “World Wood Day – 21 March 2013”

  1. February 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    how beautiful pieces of wood work!!!!

    • February 2, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      They are beautiful aren’t they? Looking at the World Wood Day site, you can also see how different wood carvings are in different regions in Africa.

  2. February 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Reblogged this on Global Grazers and commented:
    Wood art is a very important (and beautiful) African tradition. It is certainly very relevant in West Africa, where artistic carvings take myriad forms — from the utilitarian to the whimsical!

    • February 2, 2013 at 8:06 am #

      Thank you for re-blogging the post! I also find it fascinating how wood carvings from differ in the different regions in Africa. How the local culture influences the artwork.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

      • February 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

        Pleasure!! Thank you so much for this wonderful — and important– post!

  3. February 2, 2013 at 12:06 am #

    Incredibly beautiful. I am in awe of the artistry involved in wood carving, just gorgeous!

    • February 2, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      They are beautiful, aren’t they? The African wood carvers have a very distinct style.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

  4. February 2, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    Beautiful wood carvings!

  5. Eha
    February 2, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    I shall be honest and admit this facet of Africa is entirely new and fascinating to me. More time for ‘homework’ is required and I also hope to put others ‘wise’ by sharing!

    • February 2, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Ha – that’s why you follow my blog! 😉 Even having lived here all my life, I’m constantly amazed by how creative people in Africa are. They produce the most beautiful artwork with very rudimentary tools. A sign of true talent?

  6. February 2, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    What a wonderful idea to have a special wood day in Africa where trees are indiscriminately chopped down for firewood each and every day.
    I remember reading your posts on Mozambique and admiring the way the woodcarver sits on the floor to work.

    • February 3, 2013 at 7:34 am #

      This is the first World Wood Day being celebrated. It’s really an international thing – March 21st has been officially designated and recognized as the International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly. WWD will be celebrated elsewhere each year. If you look on their site here, you’ll see that it is a celebration of world craft worldwide.

  7. February 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Such artistry! Thank you so much for spreading the word.

    • February 3, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      These craftsmen produce the most beautiful artwork with very rudimentary tools – a sign of true talent!

      Thank you for coming to visit my blog, and for your comment! 🙂

  8. February 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    The wood carvings are magnificent. They almost look like they’re hand-molded from clay. What a talented carver – an artist, really!

    • February 3, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      I’m just constantly amazed at how they can see a 3-dimensional figure in a block of wood!

  9. February 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Oh, wow, Lisa, who knew there was such an event. Sounds down-right “woodnerful.” But, really, the scultures are stunning–especially the fish! I love what I learn from your blog!

    • February 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      I didn’t know about the event either, until one of the organisers wrote to me! As far as I can gather, it’s going to be an international event with a different host country each year.

  10. February 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    World Wood Day? I”m adding it to my list of intriguing events. And I like the carved seahorses.

    • February 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      Well, officially it is the UN-declared “International Day of Forests”. But they’re calling the celebration World Wood Day. What other intriguing events are on your list?

      The seahorses are interesting – especially how they have been arranged like an audience. If you go to this post ( you will also see how big they are.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment! 🙂

  11. February 6, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Lovely photos – and those video clips on their website are great. Totally inspiring! I am also amazed at how a lump of wood can be transformed into such extraordinary works of art.

    • February 7, 2013 at 6:27 am #

      I especially like the first video of the African wood carvers, where they show the whole process of cutting up logs, then drawing on a piece and then carving it.

      • February 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

        Yes, it’s quite extraordinary, hey?

  12. February 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Interesting and beautiful.

    • February 12, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      If you like the carvings, you might enjoy the video in this post ( of a wood carving competition held in Kenya.

      • February 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

        I saw the video was there and I will confess to not watching video content on-line, I just prefer to read I guess. Really old school I know 🙂

      • February 13, 2013 at 7:52 am #

        Not complaining if you’re reading my blog! 😉

      • February 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

        Ha 🙂 I just like to be honest, particularly since you took the time to write a comment.

  13. February 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Très belles pièces.

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