World Forestry Congress

Article, 17 October 2009

This must be a world record year for forestry meetings. Food security, biofuels, rights to forests and, above all, climate change, have between them generated more meetings than ever before for those foresters who can be tempted out of the woods. This makes the World Forestry Congress — the forest sector’s premier ‘big bash’ every six years — even more important since it brings all the findings of this activity together. 

Old problems, new Opportunities

Forests continue to be trashed in many places. One recent estimate, admittedly ‘on the back-of-an-envelope’, indicates a global natural capital loss of US$2.5 trillion a year, of which forests represent a substantial part. We have all recently become used to hearing about trillions of dollars being wiped off the world’s ‘virtual economy’, but this natural capital is real, and its loss is permanent.

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Changing who gets to decide what in forestry

If REDD is going to succeed, and if locally controlled forestry is going to become a reality, then finding the practical ways in which forest governance can be improved is top priority. The Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG) has been working on this since 2003.

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Forest Connect: sustainable enterprise at the forest frontier

At many of the world’s remaining forest frontiers, pitched battles for profit from farming and forestry are playing out. Forests generally lose: some 130,000 square kilometres still disappear yearly. Meanwhile, an estimated 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest people depend on those frontiers. Solutions that both avoid deforestation and reduce poverty are urgently needed.

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Growing Forest Partnerships: Where does it come from and who is involved?

The idea originated from a review that IIED carried out on a World Bank proposal to develop a “Global Forest Partnership”. A wide range of forest actors responded, suggesting that partnerships for forests were important but that they wanted to see such partnerships growing from the local level, building on what’s already in place, and responding to the needs of people who really live in and make use of forests.

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