XIV World Forest Congress 2015

Thursday 10 September highlights

Plenary session: Draft Congress statement

Key issues were presented from the Congress's high-level dialogue, six sub-theme dialogues and special events in this plenary session as the Congress moves towards its final outcome. Delegates in the audience also gave their input on the main messages to have come out of Congress sessions. The outcome, reflecting the diverse set of viewpoints presented at the Congress this week, will be announced on the final day.

Special events

CPF Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2015

Ugandan forestry activist Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi was today awarded the 2015 Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award in recognition of her efforts to promote the conservation and sustainable use of her country's forest resources. Given in recognition of outstanding efforts to improve and sustain forests, the award was established in 2012 by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), which is chaired by FAO. Its name honours the memory of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.

Press release: Ugandan community leader receives top forestry prize
Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) 
Video interview: Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi

Forests and climate change

This special event highlighted the role of forests in international climate change policy under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the influence that these climate agreements have on national forest policies and management. Representatives of public and private sectors, communities and indigenous peoples shared their experiences and discussed emerging issues in forest and climate change mitigation (particularly REDD+) and adaptation.

Innovation and Investment Forum

The forum examined the role of innovations in forests and forest products in alleviating global challenges related to climate change, water, energy, sustainable cities, decent housing, food security and packaging, with direct and indirect contributions to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

International TREEHOUSING Wood Design Competition

The winners of the TREEHOUSING International Wood Design Competition were announced today at the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa. More than 200 projects by teams from 60 countries were submitted for the contest, which was jointly organized by the Canada-based DBR | Design Build Research School and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Canadian architect Michael Green, author of The Case for Tall Wood Buildings, led a jury that also included British architect Andrew Waugh and South African architect Richard Stretton. “We could not be more pleased and impressed with the number and quality of the competition submissions,” Green said. “Wood in building design is seeing a resurgence around the world as architects and designers learn to work with it in more innovative and sustainable ways." Prizes for the competition were provided by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA), SAFCOL and MTO Forestry (Pty) Ltd, both from South Africa.

Press release | Photo gallery - winners' entries