24–28 May 2021 Coex, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Sharing information and Progress: Preparations and priorities for the XV World Forestry Congress Information Webinar Series

  • 2020-08-05

Government representatives, civil society, youth, and members of local and international organizations recently participated in ‘Preparations and priorities for the XV World Forestry Congress’ webinars, hosted by the XV World Forestry Congress Secretariat, which is comprised of the Korea Forest Service (KFS) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The webinars, which had similar programmes but were offered in two time zones to reach diverse stakeholders, were held on 14 July and 28 July, and welcomed a broad range of the global forestry community. 

The webinars shared information on the Congress, which will be hosted by the Korea Forest Service (KFS) in Seoul, Korea, from 24 – 28 May 2021, and held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). It also offered participants the chance to ask questions regarding participation, thematic areas, and other Congress details. 

Throughout the webinars, speakers outlined how the Congress will be able to provide a venue for the global forestry community to consider the state and future of the world’s forests, in line with the theme ‘Building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests’. 

The webinars also invited broad participation and encouraged all those interested to submit abstracts for papers, posters and videos, as well as side event proposals, which relate to the Congress’ theme and sub-themes. 

Mr Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General of FAO Forestry Department, opened the 14 July event outlining the real challenges we are facing today and the opportunities that the XV World Forestry Congress will bring for the forest community to showcase how forests can help meet current global challenges.  “We cannot tackle climate change, food insecurity, biodiversity conservation or sustainable forest management as standalone issues. We need to look at issues in their complexity and search for integrated solutions, to do things differently to ensure transformational change. All stakeholders … should be included in the transformative decision-making process, which must occur particularly for the COVID-19 recovery’.

Ms Christine Farcy, Chair of FAO European Forestry Commission, shared her valuable perspectives on the contribution of the World Forestry Congresses to the global dialogue on forests, and the unique opportunity the Congress can have in 2021.  She underlined how current climate and environmental concerns bring forests to the centre of the political agenda, and that the scientific, economic, as well as ethical and symbolic dimensions of forests should be given the place they deserve in international dialogue. She concluded that “the World Forestry Congress undoubtedly has a great opportunity to show the way and guide the progress in such a direction”.

The FAO secretariat team introduced the process of consultations which led to the sub-themes of the Congress, and briefed the participants on programme structure and opportunities for participation. The Korea Forest Service laid out logistics, venue, registration, exhibitions, and study tours information and shared the plans and safety precautions at the venue, including the thorough preparation for safety protocol for COVID-19 at the venue ‘Coex’ in Seoul during the Congress. 

The Associate Secretary-General, Mr Peter Csoka also described the way forward in preparing the Congress and moderated questions from the audience.

In closing on the 14 July webinar, The Secretary-General of the XV World Forestry Congress, Mr. Kiyeon Ko, outlined how the Congress will help re-shape the future, responding to the challenges to turn them into opportunities. 

He also added in his comments that KFS, on behalf of the host country,  will seek to hold a Congress which can be practical and supportive to international cooperation, and will seek proactive solution to the challenges international communities jointly face.

He welcomed participation from a wide range of stakeholders including governments, international organizations, civil society, NGOs, CSOs, forestry societies, representatives from the agricultural sector, climate change response related entrepreneurs, and environmental and forestry organizations. He also invited private sectors’ participation to share their knowledge and ideas for innovations to picture a green future.

A link to the 14 July webinar can be found here.

A link to the 28 July webinar can be found here.

For more information on the World Forestry Congress, please visit the website here.