Durban, South Africa, 7–11 September 2015
Vision 2050 for forests and forestry – Launch of Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015
The need for governments, civil society and the private sector to boost investment in forests as a key to sustainable development will be the focus of the XIV World Forestry Congress taking place in Durban, South Africa, from 7 to 11 September 2015.
Under the theme Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future, participants will discuss ways to unleash the full potential of forests to lift rural populations out of poverty, act as buffers against climate change and inspire new technologies and renewable products.
Ministers and heads of international and national agencies will be among several thousand people gathering for the Congress, which takes place every six years.
This year’s event is hosted by the Republic of South Africa with support from FAO, and marks the first time the Congress will be held on African soil since its inception in 1926.
Highlights include the launch of FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, which will show how the world’s forests have changed over the last 25 years and provide the latest information on the state of sustainable forest management.
The Congress outcome, Vision 2050, is set to reinforce the contribution of forests and forestry to a sustainable future and help pave the road to a new climate change agreement at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December.
Main Congress proceedings will be in English, French and Spanish and will be webcast.
Monday 7 September
Opening of conference and high-level dialogue on the global forest agenda
Prince Laurent of Belgium, Special Ambassador to FAO for Forests and the Environment, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva are among high-level speakers confirmed so far.
Launch of the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2015
The foremost global forest data assessment will reveal how the world’s forests have changed over the last 25 years. Updated every five years, FRA provides comprehensive information on the state of sustainable forest management, the percentage of forests lost and gained, and other trends by region, country, income category and climatic domain.
Wednesday 9 September
Launch of the Five-year Forests and Water Action Plan
Worldwide, more than one in six people still do not have access to safe drinking water. As global demand for fresh water rises and water grows scarcer, the Five-year Forests and Water Action Plan will call for action in areas of science, policy, economics and forest practices.
Thursday 10 September
Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2015
The winner of the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2015 will be announced at a special ceremony. The USD 20,000 prize was established by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests in 2012 and recognizes extraordinary efforts by an individual to improve and sustain forests and the people who depend on them.
Friday 11 September
Launch of Vision 2050 for forests and forestry
The Congress outcome, Vision 2050, is set to strengthen the role of forests and forestry in sustainable development and pave the road to a new climate change agreement at the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris in December.