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: