XIV World Forest Congress 2015

Tuesday 8 September highlights

Plenary session: Investments that will help build a resilient future

Moderated by South African journalist and broadcaster Debora Patta, a high-level panel discussed investment in natural capital, a climate resilient economy and social human capital to achieve resilience. Ethiopia's Minister for Environment Belete Tafere gave a keynote speech, and panel members comprised Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity; Tony Simons, Director-General, World Agroforestry Centre; Godwin Kowero, Executive Secretary, African Forest Forum; Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN DESA; Mette Wilkie, Director, United Nations Environment Programme; Colin Dyer, Director, Institute for Commercial Forestry Research; and Laurence Argimon-Pistre, Head of the European Union Delegation.

Special events

Africa Day

African leaders, senior government officials and international development agencies as well as private sector, farmer organisations and civil society gathered in Durban, putting a spotlight on forests and sustainable forestry management as an integral part of sustainable natural resource use and management. 

Press release

More than heat! Future of wood energy

The potential of wood energy to contribute to a sustainable future was the focus of this special event. Paula Caballero, Senior Director for the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice at the World Bank, gave they keynote speech and a panel of experts highlighted ways to enhance the contribution of wood energy to  greener economies.

Two two-day special events also got under way: the International Forests and Water Dialogue and the Third Forum of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance.

Sub-theme dialogues

Sessions on the six Congress sub-themes discussed the following topics: 

  • Forests for food security and nutrition
  • World café - Building and maintaining resilience: best practices
  • Integrating forests and other land uses
  • Bringing wood from sustainable forests to our home and life
  • Lessons learned from forest monitoring
  • Connecting forests and people – building capacity to communicate

Speakers' Corner

Seven speakers gave 'lightning' presentations on their forestry research and projects at the informal Speakers' Corner event. Topics prompted discussion on  country policies for tackling forest degradation, the effectiveness of monitoring and the level of protection given in practice to high conservation-value forests, among others.


Three pavilions worth a visit at the Exhibition Centre:

FAO Pavilion - features FAO's work in countries and across the globe.

Southern Africa Pavilion - showcases the developments that have been made by southern African countries in the forestry sector.

Africa Pavilion - provides snapshots of forests, trees and forestry from east, west, central, north and southern Africa.

Photos of the Exhibition Centre