7-11 September 2015, Durban, South Africa. The XIV World Forestry Congress, hosted by the Republic of South Africa, brought together the global forestry community to review and analyse the key issues and to share ways of addressing them.
The Congress – the first held in Africa – included government organization, NGO, private company, scientific or professional body, a forestry society, etc.
- Showcasing and bringing light to forest sustainability issues in Africa Providing a multi-stakeholder platform for interaction between policy makers, scientists and practitioners
- Open debates that set the context for Africa-relevant issues and themes within the larger framework of sustainable development in Africa Knowledge sharing among stakeholders working in Africa
- Promoting quality scientific research, field experience and evidence-based policy
The Africa Day programme provided an exclusive platform for governments, policy-makers, experts, private sector and practitioners to come together to share and debate ideas and exchange information in a bid to strengthen the common resolve and create partnerships for smart investments in African forests, 624 million hectares, which is more than 20 percent of the continent’s land area. Rich in biodiversity, the continent’s tropical forests are estimated to harbour 12,000 plant species, including 7500 or more that are endemic.
Additional to the day-long “Africa Day session”, African governments and partners have organised a series of side events and poster exhibitions under the theme, Addressing climate change through sustainable forest management. Although climate change projections for Africa are highly variable, the increase in temperature on the continent is likely to be higher than the average increase globally. There is a significant risk that the adaptive capacity of many African forest ecosystems will be compromised.
Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union, affirming the strategic importance of forests in Africa, shares her view on where they fit in “Agenda 2063”.
Professor Godwin Kowero has worked on forest economics in several universities in Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya. He explains his view on the economic challenge climate change poses to the African continent.
Dr James Kairo of Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, defining mangroves – ‘rainforests that grow in the sea’ – and sheds light on the benefits of mangroves in Africa.
The 14th World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa has concluded having formed a clear agenda, ahead of the upcoming COP21 Sustainable Innovation Forum in Paris. As Angelo Coppola reports, more than 3,000 delegates within the global forestry community came together to help ensure the sustainable future of forests throughout the world