World Wood Day 2023 Opening Speech by Dr. Howard Rosen, Chairman of International Wood Culture Society



     As Chairman of the International Wood Culture Society, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2023 World Wood Day celebration.  WWD is an exciting and unique cultural event, celebrated annually on March 21st to highlight wood as an eco-friendly and renewable biomaterial and to raise awareness about the key role wood plays in a sustainable world through biodiversity and forest conservation.  Each year’s celebration has a theme, and 2023’s is Wood and Cultural Heritage. WWD was first introduced in 2010 beginning in-person in 2013 in Dar Eslam, Tanzania.  The in-person meetings were stopped after Austria in 2019 because of Covid.  These meetings have been virtual each year since and are planned to begin again in-person in Tokyo, Japan in 2025.


     Historically, founded in the United States in 2007, the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) is a non-profit, non-    governmental, global international network of wood enthusiast, dedicated to the research, education, and promotion of wood culture.  IWCS recognizes the importance of wood and wood use in our daily life and attempts to raise public awareness of wood as an ecologically important material.  The IWCS established the World Wood Day Foundation to hold World Wood Day and communicate the benefits of wood and wood products.


     Wood culture has a broad definition. The basic concept conveys the values and ways we use wood in our society.  Wood culture explores the human usage of and activities with wood in our society, as well as the human value towards wood, wood products and wood-related environments. The motto “Wood is Good” helps raise public awareness of wood as an eco-friendly biomaterial.


     WWD Celebrations haven been held in different places around the world.  For example:

                    Xianyou, China 2014

                    Odunpazari, Turkey 2015

                    Kathmandu, Nepal 2016

                    Siem Reap, Cambodia 2018

     These celebrations provide several days of programming and include symposia, woodcraft workshops, activities of youth and children, tree planting, wood carving and turning, wooden musical instrument performances, folk arts, furniture making, and many more. Thousands of people have attended these celebrations.  Smaller regional celebrations have also been held.

     So, again, enjoy the virtual celebration and remember “Wood is Good.”