IMFN Successes at the XIII World Forestry Congress, Argentina

The International Model Forest Network’s (IMFN) participation at the XIII World Forestry Congress in Argentina Oct 18-23 included several successful events demonstrating the role Model Forests have in addressing sustainability issues in forest landscapes both domestically and internationally.

Under the WFC theme of Forests and Biodiversity, the IMFN, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) hosted a side event on “Biodiversity in Forest Landscapes: Partnerships for Conservation and Sustainable Communities”. Representatives of these organizations discussed their efforts to establish the “vital balance” between ecosystems, economies and communities and examined how their work reflects international priorities, policies and agreements on the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. The complimentarity of the work presented led to an agreement among presenters that further discussions on collaborative opportunities are needed.

Two additional side events supported by the IMFN included:

  1. A side event on the IMFN Circumboreal Initiative: Addressing Transnational Boreal Issues Through Collaborative Research brought together representatives of Russia, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and the IMFN Secretariat to consider the sustainability challenges that each country is facing in their respective boreal forest zones. This set the context for consideration of the potential value of transnational collaboration that would allow boreal nations to leverage one another’s contributions to strengthen understanding of the issues, such as those around climate change, and ultimately also strengthen the impact of our interventions.
  2. The development and implementation of local level criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management for Argentina's network of Model Forests — a collaborative pilot project between the Argentine Secretariat for Environment and Sustainable Development and the Canadian Forest Service based on sharing Canada's Model Forest experiences and expertise.

A number of Model Forests also presented papers and posters. Canada’s Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest had its own booth where its successful collaboration with Campo Ma’an and Dja et Mpomo Model Forests in Cameroon featured prominently. The IMFN Secretariat would also like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Canada and other Model Forest countries for allowing distribution of IMFN materials from their booths.

The principles of a Model Forest — broad-based partnerships, a large landscape, a commitment to sustainability, good governance, a broad program of activities reflective of stakeholder needs and values, and a commitment to knowledge sharing, capacity building and networking — clearly aligned with the XIII WFC outcomes and the repeated message that partnerships and networking are required to address forestry challenges and suggested a promising future for Model Forests around the world. Thanks and congratulations to all who helped make this event a major success for the Network!