XV World Forestry Congress


Sub-theme 3: The green pathway to growth and sustainability

The sessions under this sub-theme will assess options for viable “green” and forest-based pathways that contribute to the achievement of global commitments such as the SDGs, the Global Forest Goals and the Paris Agreement. They will also assess the forest-based opportunities for an equitable green recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions will focus on new evidence and innovative approaches, tools and technologies available to governments, private sector and the civil society to assess, quantify and enable the contributions of forest and tree products and services to support the development of an inclusive circular bioeconomy and accelerate achievement of global developmental objectives.

Participants will learn more about the multiple forest value chains and the use of biophysical and socioeconomic evidence to support decision-making and monitoring frameworks to optimize forest contributions to society. Particular attention is given to forest finance and the ways evidence, innovation and a value chain approach can contribute to increase the amount and diversify the sources of forest funding.

Managing forests for the SDGs: Creating value, equality and resilience from forest products and ecosystem services

May 2, 2022 | 4:00 PM KST - 5:30 PM KST

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Session plan

Forests contribute to all SDGs in direct and indirect ways. Mapping and quantifying those contributions are necessary for scaling up public and private action to achieve the SDGs. The session will present the socioeconomic contributions of forests, focusing on available tools and approaches to measure these, show how different value chain participants can drive change towards sustainability objectives, and identify synergies, trade-offs and opportunities for effective policymaking. The session will cover the following topics: 1. Forest management for the SDGs: concrete approaches to address the needs of forest ecosystems and the bioeconomy. 2. Forest and livelihoods: Discussion of new evidence of the relationship between forests and poverty. 3. Assessing the impact of the forest sector on national economies. 4. Recent progress by the forest industry in contributing to the SDGs, with focus on ecosystem restoration.


  • Sharing recent developments, lessons and good practices for the creation of value, equality and resilience from forest products and ecosystem services.
  • Identifying key actions required to track progress of sustainable use of forests for the achievement of the SDGs. 

Advancing decent work, green jobs and sustainability in the forest sector

May 3, 2022 | 11:00 AM KST - 12:30 PM KST

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The forest sector provides employment to an estimated 33 million people globally, accounting for 1 per cent of total employment in all economic activities. Furthermore, they provide livelihoods, food, shelter, ecosystem services and many other benefits for millions of people around the world, many of whom are Indigenous and tribal peoples. Decent work is fundamental to ensuring sustainable and productive forestry operations that are efficient, environmentally friendly and safe for those working in them. Effective policies based on social dialogue and taking into account the needs of various groups of workers, including women and youth, are a precondition for achieving this.


This session will highlight approaches, opportunities and challenges of sectoral stakeholders, including employers’ and workers’ organizations, in promoting green jobs and decent work as a cornerstone for a viable contribution of the forest sector to growth and sustainability. Good practices will be identified that promote decent and sustainable work in the forest sector. 


Innovation in the forest sector: New paths to growth and sustainability

May 3, 2022 | 4:00 PM KST - 5:30 PM KST

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Innovation increases effectiveness, competitiveness and resilience with the goal of solving a problem. Across the forest sector, innovation is needed in science and technology as well as in cooperation models to move forward effectively in meeting a wide range of SDGs, from sustainably managing forests (SDG15) to sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG8).

Innovation can support a sustainable circular wood-based bioeconomy in a variety of ways. New innovative wood-based products, for example, can support the opening of new markets and allow substitution of products made of non-renewable resources (e.g., cement and steel) that are produced through consumption of fossil energy resources by wood-based products. Exploration of wood chemistry, from paper mills to biorefineries, can provide new intermediate renewable carbon products, for example nanocrystalline cellulose, that present new opportunities. And, innovation can support more efficient use of wood material as well as increased collection and recycling of wood products.


Opening remarks: Eric Hansen, Wood Science & Engineering, College of Forestry at Oregon State University (moderator)

  • Innovation in the Forest Sector: Duncan Mayes, Private consultant in Renewable and Sustainable Materials Innovation Expert and Chairman of Council of Experts InnoRenew CoE, University of Primorska, Slovenia. Previously, Management Executive Innovation and Emerging Business, Timberlink Australia and New Zealand and Vice President, Stora Enso Oyj, Group R&D & Technology (keynote speaker)
  • Illegal Logging and Trade of Illegally-derived Forest: Africa and the Sustainable Market: Olajide Joseph Alaba, BlackCamel Energy Ltd, Nigeria (voluntary paper, video)
  • Innovation in Forest Products: Heidi Brock, President and CEO, American Forest & Paper Association, Member Board of Directors The Bryce Harlow Foundation; Board Member The Center for Association Leadership; and Board of Directors, University of Puget Sound (keynote speaker)
  • Non-Timber Forest Products as Bioeconomy Drivers in Brazilian Forests: Sandra Afonso, Brazillian Forest Service, Brazil (voluntary paper, video)
  • Innovative technologies in forestry: James Roshetko, The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Indonesia. Leading the project on innovative technologies in forestry (keynote speaker)
  • Lessons learned in social innovation in forest and landscape restoration: Aurelio Padovezi, University of Padova, Italy (voluntary paper, video)
  • Reviewing tree collaterals –- a key innovation to finance smallholder forestry?: Marcel Starfinger, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany (voluntary paper, video)
  • Innovation in data collection and communication to support sustainable economic growth: Mokena Makeka, Principal, Dalberg Advisors, Azrieli Visiting Critic of 2020, Carleton University School of architecture and urbanism- Canada, Adjunct Professor Cooper Union- New York, Board member of the South African Green Building Council (keynote speaker)

Panel discussion: Sven Walter (coordinator)

Closing remarks: Eric Hansen (moderator)


This session explores technological innovation as well as the many other essential elements of innovation, e.g. initiatives to shift industry culture, and brings a particular focus on how data can support systematic and sustainable progress.

The goal of the session is to answer the question “What are the opportunities for facilitating innovation in the forest sector that will be an engine for sustainable economic growth?” 


Scaling up access to finance by smallholders and their organizations to promote sustainable landscapes

May 4, 2022 | 11:00 AM KST - 12:30 PM KST

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Smallholders, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and communities in low-income countries have historically struggled to access finance to improve and scale up sustainable practices. In recent years, greater attention has been given to government and market incentives for stakeholders operating at landscape level. These include a number of initiatives focused on producer organizations and SMEs to help them improve their skills to properly value their assets, integrate into value chains, scale up their operations and develop sustainable businesses. This session will take stock of these recent developments, lessons learned, and emerging good practices.


  • Scaling up access to finance by producer organizations and their contribution to SDGs. What have we learned in terms of dealing with risks, developing capacities, and the effectiveness of tools to scale up production through the organization of producers and investments in forest assets?
  • How can funding reach smallholder forest and farm producers in an efficient way allowing them to be agents of change at the landscape level?
  • What policies increase the resilience of rural economies and poor farmers to address climate change and rural poverty expansion, also in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic? 


Blending finance to support sustainable landscapes

May 5, 2022 | 2:30 PM KST - 4:00 PM KST

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Forest-based solutions promise to address the key interconnected challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and persistent poverty and inequalities. This session will discuss the status and trends in mobilizing finance for forests by exploring the potential of innovative and inclusive investment approaches. It will build on the findings of SOFO 2022.

The session will cover the following topics:

  1. De-risking investments, blended finance, including climate finance, with focus on forest financing strategies and de-risking investments in forests; typology of capital and instruments.
  2. The role of domestic finance and public policy instruments to mobilize private sector investments in forestry.
  3. Informing investment decisions in support of environment and socioeconomic goals.
  4. Status and trends of forest and landscape finance till 2030, linked to SOFO 2022.


  • Increased clarity on key levers to redirect investments and finance towards sustainable forestry investments.
  • Evidence on the effectiveness of alternative approaches and instruments.