XV World Forestry Congress Ends with Great Success

DATE : 2022-05-16

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Republic of Korea's largest international event since the coronavirus has concluded
- The 15th World Forestry Congress's closing ceremony was held on the 6th.

□ The five-day congress concluded with the closing ceremony, which was held on May 5th at COEX.

World Forestry Congress, hosted by FAO and held every six years, is the largest and most influential forest sector gathering to share worldwide forest-related and environmental problems, like climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification, and devise solutions through forests.

□ The closing ceremony started with the announcement of outcomes across the five days, followed by comments from forest sector representatives. Korea Forest Service Minister Choi Byeong-am's closing declaration concluded the ceremony following closing remarks from Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw of the UNCCD, Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo of FAO, and Her Royal Highness Princess Basma Bint Ali of Jordan.

The Seoul Forest Declaration, prepared by the host country, the Republic of Korea, was announced among the major outcomes. The Declaration highlighted that future sustainable forest management responsibilities should be integrated among various agencies and stakeholders. Additionally, the need to build new partnerships, like AFFIRM Mechanism, SAFE initiative, and REDD+, and establish financing for sustainable forest management was announced.

※ AFFIRM: Assuring the Future of Forests with Integrated Risk Management mechanism
※ SAFE: Sustaining an Abundance of Forest Ecosystems initiative
※ REDD CBP: REDD+* Capability Building Platform
* REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus) is a mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries, considered important under the UNFCCC.

□ In the Ministerial Forum on Sustainable Wood, the 'Ministerial Call on Sustainable Wood' was announced. The declaration says solutions for using wood sustainably should be built into sustainable forest management, with each country agreeing to contribute to achieving NDCs (nationally determined contributions) by 2030.

□ Meanwhile, the 15th World Forestry Congress was recorded as the largest world forestry congress ever held despite the coronavirus's worldwide spread. Around 10,000 participants from 141 countries participated, a record high, which far exceeded 7,000, the 13th congress's total.
This congress was held online and offline for the first time considering the global coronavirus pandemic. The Secretariat provided online streaming services for overseas participants unable to attend in person due to the spread of the coronavirus.

□ The congress was attended by forest officials from all over the world, such as delegates from each country, including around 50 high-level officials and leaders of international organizations, academia, and civic society organizations. These officials covered various programs, such as plenary sessions, special events, sub-theme sessions, side events, networking events, exhibitions, and poster sessions.
In particular, Korea shared its excellent forestry policies with the world and strengthened its position as a forest-advanced country that leads global forest issues through special events, including the fire management forum and PFI roundtable, which were held under its leadership.

□ Minister Choi Byeong-am of the Korea Forest Service expressed his will by saying, 'Korea will take the lead in implementation for making a sustainable green future that was discussed in the congress and in building close partnerships with forest officials around the world after the XV World Forestry Congress. The minister also expressed his sincere thanks to all participants from countries around the world for sharing his insights and wisdom at the congress.'

For video of XV WFC Opening and Closing ceremony, please go to the website below.

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