World Congress Urges Shared Responsibility Over Forests for Multiple SDGs – IISD
Delegates at the 15th meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) called for immediate action to protect forests, forestry, and forest stakeholders as providers of nature-based solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, hunger, and poverty. They encouraged “actions for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests” as a contribution to the SDGs, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organized by the Korea Forest Service (KFS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), XV World Forestry Congress took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 2-6 May 2022. Convening in a hybrid format, the Congress brought together representatives from governments and public agencies, international organizations, the private sector, academic and research institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community and Indigenous organizations.
The main outcome of the Congress – the Seoul Forest Declaration – conveys urgent messages on sustainable forests. The Declaration calls for shared responsibility over forests across institutions, sectors, and stakeholders. It stresses that “[i]nvestment in forest and landscape restoration globally must be at least tripled by 2030” to implement global commitments and meet internationally agreed targets and goals.
The Declaration underscores the need for sustainable production and consumption supported by policies that “foster innovative green financing mechanisms to upscale investment in forest conservation, restoration and sustainable use.” It recommends transforming the building sector by using legal, sustainably produced wood, which can “provide renewable energy and innovative new materials” and support the “move towards a circular bio-economy and climate neutrality.”
The Declaration also highlights the role of healthy forests in preventing future pandemics and supporting human well-being, and calls for innovative technologies to enable evidence-based decision making and effective communication on forests and landscapes.
The WFC Bulletin by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) notes that the main outcomes of the Congress also include:
detailed action proposals following the six sub-themes of the Congress, namely: 1) reversing deforestation and forest degradation; 2) nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation; 3) green pathways to growth and sustainability; 4) forests and human health; 5) managing and communicating forest information, data, and knowledge; and 6) enhancing management and cooperation;
a Ministerial Call on Sustainable Wood; and
a youth call for action.
Key events included: the launch of FAO’s State of the World’s Forests 2022 report; the High-Level Roundtable on the Peace Forest Initiative (PFI); the Ministerial Forum on Financing; the Ministerial Forum on Sustainable Wood; the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) Dialogue; two full-day forums on forest fires and on private sector investment; the launch of the Assuring the Future of Forests with Integrated Risk Management (AFFIRM) Mechanism for fire management; and the Sustaining an Abundance of Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) initiative.
Special events on investing in young forestry professionals and career development, on forests in a post-COVID-19 world, and on sustainable forests and green energy also convened. The Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2022 went to Cécile Ndjebet, African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests.
This thematic summary and Compendium serve to compile the discussions, recommendations and conclusions reached over 4 intensive days of work in thematic ateliers (Streams), plenary, side events and political discussions.
Mr Christophe Guilhou, Director of Sustainable Development, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France, and Mr Ghislain Moussavou, Director General of Forests, Ministry of Water, Forests, the Sea and the Environment, in charge of the Climate Plan and the Land Use Plan, Gabon, were officially installed as CBFP Facilitators on 12 July 2023 during a ceremony to hand over the CBFP Facilitation from Germany to Gabon and France, presided over by Prof. Sanctus Niragira, Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Burundi, and current Chairman of COMIFAC.
At the 11th Meeting of the Governing Council of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) on 12 July 2023, the Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck presented to the members of the said Council an 11 point summary of the activities carried out by the CBFP Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany during its mandate....
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The 11th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council was held on July 12, 2023 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This "statutory" meeting in the organised by the CBFP, of which the objective was to present the Roadmap of the Franco-Gabonese Facilitation to the members of the CBFP Governing Council, took place just after the handover of the CBFP Facilitation from Germany to France and Gabon.
M. Christophe GUILHOU was recently appointed Co-Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) by the Government of the French Republic for the period July 2023 to 2025. Please download his biography...
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Dear Panelists, dear Guests, You are invited to take part in the sharing and reflection workshop that IOM Cameroon and KAS are organizing on the theme: "Practical solutions to migration, security and climate change: Initiatives and commitments by civil society and the United Nations to address and resolve challenges". As part of the Second International Ministerial Conference on Transboundary Transhumance - Nexus.
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Geneva and Yaoundé, 26 May 2023. The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Planning of Cameroon (MINEPAT) and CAFI are launching two Calls for Expressions of Interest today to all relevant implementing organisations concerned, representing a maximum of 60 million US$.
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