Republic of Korea to host XV World Forestry Congress in 2021

9 December 2016, Rome - The Republic of Korea will host the XV World Forestry Congress (WFC) in Seoul in 2021, it has been decided by the 155th Session of the FAO Council in Rome.

Held every six years and organized by a host country with support and co-sponsorship from FAO, the WFC is the most significant gathering of the global forestry community. The Congress serves as a forum for governments, universities, civil society and the private sector to exchange views and experiences and to formulate recommendations for implementation at national, regional and global levels.

©Korea Forest Service

Since its inception in 1926, the event has been convened in the Asia-Pacific region only twice before: in India in 1954 and in Indonesia in 1978.

"We are delighted that the XV World Forestry Congress will be hosted by the Republic of Korea, a country with an extraordinarily successful record of regreening and forest restoration and at the same time enhancing nutrition and food production,” said FAO Assistant Director-General, Forestry, René Castro Salazar. “We look forward to working with the Korea Forest Service on a vibrant Congress that will take stock of progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and help tackle major issues facing forests and the forestry sector.”

Won Sop Shin, Minister of the Korea Forest Service, said the Congress would also be an opportunity to share the Republic of Korea’s experience and know-how of forest restoration with the international community, and hoped that the event would “produce tangible results to ensure that future generations continue to enjoy the benefits of forests.”

“We will do everything we can to make the XV WFC a success,” Shin said.

The proposed venue of the XV WFC is Seoul’s COEX Convention Center, which hosted the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress in 2010 and has capacity for 10,000 people.

The Republic of Korea has expressed its desire to make the event “a paper-free, carbon-free, and language barrier-free Congress”.

The most recent WFC was hosted by South Africa in Durban in 2015 – the first time the event had been held in Africa. The largest gathering on forests this decade, the XIV WFC attracted nearly 4 000 participants from 138 countries.

Under the theme Forests and People: Investing in a sustainable future, the Congress resulted in the Durban Declaration, which set out a vision for forests and forestry to 2050 and the role they should play in ending hunger, improving livelihoods and combating climate change.

From a regional perspective, the last five World Forestry Congresses have been held in Africa (2015), South America (2009), North America (2003), Central Asia (1997) and Europe (1991).

last updated:  Friday, December 9, 2016