XIV World Forest Congress 2015

Wednesday 9 September highlights

Plenary session: Inspiring solutions for a sustainable future

Channel 4 presenter Matt Frei moderated a high-level panel exploring new mechanisms and tools that could help to build a sustainable future. Panelists were Luther Bois Anukur, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, International Union for the Conservation of Nature; Sergio Zelaya, Special Advisor to the Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification; Edith Vries, Director-General, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa; Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organization; and Roberto Waack, Founding member and Chairman, Amata S.A. and Brazilian Coalition on Climate Forest and Agriculture.

Special events

Wildlife Forum

Organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW), the 1st Wildlife Forum addressed challenges and opportunities in sustainable wildlife management, showcasing the experiences of countries, organizations, indigenous peoples, local communities and the private sector in addressing poverty alleviation and livelihood security issues while safeguarding the world’s rich and diverse wildlife.

The CPW launched two factsheets, as part of the CPW factsheet series.

Factsheet 3: Sustainable wildlife management and animal health

Factsheet 4: Sustainable wildlife management and human-wildlife conflict

Press release: Wildlife discussed at XIV World Forestry Congress in South Africa 


Forests and Water Five-Year Action Plan launched

Worldwide, more than one in six people still lack access to safe drinking water. As global demand for fresh water rises and water grows scarcer, the Five-Year Forests and Water Action Plan called for action in the areas of science, policy, economics and forest practices. The plan was developed by a network of international organizations from around the world, including FAOIUFRO, the World Agroforestry Centre and INBAR.

Read more

Forests and people photo contest award ceremony

Magnum Photos photographer Stuart Franklin presented the top entries in the XIV World Forestry Congress Forests and People photo contest, showing how forests and trees are important to the well-being and livelihoods of people everywhere. Over 900 people from 78 countries entered, and almost 4,000 people voted online through FAO’s Facebook page to choose the winning photo. Peru's Sofía Alvarez Capuñay was the final winner and received her certificate from Edith Vries, Director-General, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa.

Winning images photo gallery

Youth - Forests for the future

Following a dance flash mob, young people took the stage with the Forests for the future event, organized with the specific aim of bringing the youth perspective to the Congress. As vital stakeholders in sustainable development, participants debated the forestry issues of greatest concern to young people in order to generate actionable ideas to help define the way forward for forests and forestry. 

Sub-theme dialogues

Building effective forest and farm producer organizations: primary actors for a sustainable future

"It is time for a change in consciousness," Evelyn Nguleka, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation and the Zambia National Farmers Union, told delegates during this session on building effective forest and farm producer organizations. "It is a fact that agriculture and forestry can no longer be treated in isolation. Linking the two is imperative for socioeconomic development in the 21st century," she said. "Forest-dwelling farmers need to be looked at as producers, not just drivers of deforestation."

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

  • Critical insights into resilience
  • Ensuring enabling economic environment to enhance multiple social benefits
  • Connecting local and global governance – building capacity to implement the post-2015 development agenda
  • Perspectives on planted forests
  • Improving forest governance by strengthening public forestry institutions
  • Role of agroforestry and trees outside forests in integrated land use
  • Urbanization: Forests and trees in the urban and peri-urban environment
  • Innovation in energy, financial markets and investments in forest and land
  • Integrated approaches to landscape restoration and sustainable land management
  • What is the future of forest monitoring?
  • Small & medium forest enterprises as drivers for sustainability
  • Sharing benefits equitably  learning from experience