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September 16th, 2015
14th World Forestry Congress (WFC XIV) – Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future

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The fourteenth World Forestry Congress (XIV WFC), convened in Durban, South Africa from 7-11 September 2015, with nearly 4,000 participants attending the meeting, representing governments and public agencies, international organizations, the private sector, academic and research institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community and indigenous organizations. The World Forestry Congress has been held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) since the establishment of the Organization in 1945. The first World Forestry Congress was held in Rome in 1926 and subsequent meetings have generally taken place every six years since then. The theme of XIV WFC was “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future” and aimed to show that investing in forestry results in investment in people, and consequently investing in sustainable development.

During the five days of plenary and thematic dialogue sessions, participants considered, inter alia: the role of forests in socio-economic development and food security; building resilience with forests; integrating forests and other land uses; encouraging product innovation and sustainable trade; monitoring forests for better decision making; and improving governance by building capacity. Other events included: the launch of the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2015; providing wood energy for the future; climate financing for the future; announcing the winner of the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2015; exploring the way forward for forest information, youth, community-based forestry and forest and farm organizations, and forest and land restoration.

The main outcome of the Congress, the Durban Declaration, states, inter alia, that: forests are fundamental for food security and improved livelihoods  and will increase the resilience of communities by providing food, as well as wood energy; sustainable forest management requires integrated approaches to land use in addressing the drivers of deforestation and conflicts over land use; forests are an essential solution to climate change adaptation and mitigation; and that greater attention to gender equality and the enthusiasm of the youth as a source of inspiration and stimulus for innovation are required for realizing the vision of forests.

The summary report from this meeting is now available in HTML format at: http://www.iisd.ca/forestry/world-forestry-congress/wfc-14/html/enbplus10num19e.html and in PDF format at: http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/sd/enbplus10num19e.pdf 

 

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