The world’s largest ever gathering on forests has adopted Seoul Forest Declaration identifying priority areas with potential to lead to a green, healthy and resilient future.
About Seoul Forest Declaration
- The Declaration, signed by 141 participant countries, also urged the use of innovative technology and mechanisms to enable evidence-based forest and landscape decision-making and effective forest communication.
- New partnerships such as the Assuring the Future of Forests with Integrated Risk Management (AFFIRM) Mechanism, the Sustaining an Abundance of Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) initiative and the Platform for REDD+ Capacity Building were also undertaken at the Congress to boost international participation and cooperation.
- The Declaration also pointed out that the health of forests and humans was closely related and forest degradation can have “serious negative impacts on human health and well-being”.
- It stated that forests must be maintained in a healthy and productive state to reduce the risk of future pandemics and to provide other essential benefits for the physical and mental health of mankind.
- The Declaration added that the full potential of sustainably produced wood can be utilised to transform the building sector, along with providing renewable energy and innovative new materials as wood was “renewable, recyclable and incredibly versatile.”
- It added that forest-based solutions must be inclusive of the perspectives of family farmers, smallholders, forest communities, indigenous peoples, women and youth and respectful of their rights.
- The solutions must empower them to participate equitably in decision-making and sustainable forest value chains.
World Forestry Congress
- The World Forestry Congress is held every six years. Under the theme Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future, this year’s event, hosted by the Republic of Korea and co-organized with FAO, was the second congress held in Asia, with Indonesia hosting the first Congress in Asia in 1978.
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