Press Release 97/38

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Press Release 97/38

ELEVENTH WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS IN TURKEY


ANKARA, October 1 - Concerns vital to the future of the world’s forests and forest-related industries will be discussed during this Eleventh World Forestry Congress to be held in Antalya, Turkey, Oct. 13-22 on the theme “Forestry for Sustainable Development: Towards the XXI Century” and based on one of the most important concepts of our time, “sustainable forest management.”

“Forests have been at the heart of intense international debate for the last five years since the Rio Summit. Between 1990 and 1995 the area covered by natural or semi-natural forests in developing countries decreased annually by 13.7 million hectares of which only 0.7 million hectares have been replanted,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today in the lead up to Congress to be attended by up to 4 000 participants, including minusters of forestry from some 50 nations.

“Forests provide habitats to about two-thirds of all species on Earth. Tropical rainforests, which cover only 7 percent of the Earth’s land area, contain as much as one-half of all known plant and animal species while other kinds of forest such as dryland and temperate forests also contain plants and animals of important actual and potential value,” said Assistant Director-General of the FAO Forestry Department, Mr. David Harcharik.

“The challenge for the future will be to find efficient and cost-effective means of conserving and protecting, on a sustainable basis, this vulnerable natural resource for coming generations and to assist countries to add value to the products which are being extracted from forests and from which the lives of millions of forest inhabitants and others depend in both developed and developing countries while also ensuring that important natural habitats are not exploited. ”
The Congress will provide an opportunity for the forestry sector to provide a technical response and to identify actions at the global, regional and national levels

to ensure that the forestry sector is oriented on the path to sustainable development well into the third millenium.
Forty-three technical sessions of the Congress, lasting from 90 minutes to six hours each, will be held in parallel in four different auditoriums. Divided into eight major programme areas and 38 topics, the body of documentation includes seven position papers, 70 special papers and 1 000 abstracts of the 1 400 voluntary papers which have been submitted to the Congress.
The Congress will consider a wide-ranging variety of subjects including: forestry resources assessment, protecting forests against wildfire, pests, diseases and air pollution, biodiversity and genetic resources, watershed management and land rehabilitation, afforestation, forest harvesting, and certification and trade. Questions of sustainable forest management will be examined in the six major forest eco-regions e.g. boreal, temperate, mediterranean, dry-tropical, humid-tropical and coastal forests.
Among the special programmes, there will be satellite meetings on community forestry, on combatting desertification, and on special mediterranean concerns. There will also be two special plenary sessions devoted to the question of “Youth in forestry” and “Women in forestry”.
The Antalya Fair and Cultural Centre in the Turkish resort city of Antalya will play host to the 3 000 to 4 000 participants expected to attend this major international meeting which was last held in Paris six years ago. Ministers of Forestry from 50 countries, and designated representatives from a further 24 countries, have already confirmed that they will be attending an Informal Ministerial Meeting to be held on the opening day of the Congress.
The President of Turkey, Mr. Suleyman Demirel will inaugurate the XI World Forestry Congress on 13 October. On the same day, the President will also open the World Forestry and Forest Products exhibition.

The technical documentation is available on the Internet at the followingsite:
http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/forestry/wforcong


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