Eleventh World Forestry Congress discusses the future of forests

Concerns vital to the future of the world's forests and forest-related industries are being addressed at the Eleventh World Forestry Congress, which is being held in Antalya, Turkey, 13 to 22 October, on the theme "Forestry for Sustainable Development: Towards the XXI Century".

Forestry's future is under discussion at the Eleventh World Forestry Congress

The Congress, which is held every six years, provides an opportunity for experts to prepare 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.

"Our task is to discuss, debate and develop ideas over the next eight days, using the best knowledge from around the globe to arrive at a declaration and set of ideas that will carry world forestry into the 21st century, stronger, more secure and more able to meet the challenges before it", said David Harcharik, Assistant Director-General and head of FAO's Forestry Department, in his keynote speech to the first technical session of the Congress.

In his address to the opening session, Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO - co-organizer of the event - focused on the direct link beween trees and forests and food security. Although he noted that forests and foresters cannot single-handedly resolve the food security problem, he urged those gathered to consider how the sector can help alleviate the suffering of more than 800 million hungry people in the world: "I believe that the role of forestry in food security bears underlining, especially in the context of its contribution to sustainable development".

Some 4 000 participants are expected to attend the Congress, including ministers of forestry from some 50 nations. Special programmes on the agenda include satellite meetings on community forestry, desertification and Mediterranean concerns. There will also be two special plenary sessions devoted to the topics "Youth in forestry" and "Women in forestry".

14 October 1997

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