Since 1926, the World Forestry Congress (WFC) has been a highly influential forum for discussion on forest issues and policy. On the basis of discussions between representatives of governments, international organizations, scientific bodies and other key actors in the forestry sector, the WFC formulates non-binding but authoritative policy recommendations. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) considers all outcomes and declarations of the WFC, and can endorse any of these by resolution. The Congress also serves to identify future areas of research and work, and to facilitate the development and acceptance of international technical standards.
Delegates to the most recent Congress, held in Quebec City, Canada, in 2003, endorsed a declaration calling on the global forest community to combat forest loss and degradation, and ensure sustainable development, through actions and strategies outlined in the XII WFC Final Statement.
Of particular relevance to the work of the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) is the Final Statement’s call for collaborative partnerships, one of five strategic categories proposed. Model Forests link a broad base of voluntary supporters in a neutral partnership within a given landscape over a long period of time. Forest industry and owners, governments, communities, researchers, farmers, indigenous peoples, youth groups, recreationists and others cooperate to manage natural resources in ways that make the most sense to them given their economic needs, their histories and their cultural identities, and which will not jeopardize the environment or future generations. Through these partnerships, thousands of Model Forest stakeholders around the world are translating sustainable natural resource management priorities and policy into action on the ground.
Just as importantly, the more than 50 Model Forests worldwide are crucial fora by means of which stakeholders in the international forestry sector can better understand and achieve the “vital balance” between forests and development that is the overarching theme of the upcoming XIII WFC, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 18 to 23, 2009.
This year’s Congress is thus an opportunity to raise awareness of the important work of IMFN members around the world and to share knowledge and experiences with other organizations engaged in the sustainable management of forest-based landscapes and natural resources. In this spirit, the IMFN will host two side events at the WFC and is affiliated to a third:
|SIDE EVENT_Biodiversity in Forest Landscapes.pdf||98.25 KB|
|SIDE EVENT_IMFN Circumboreal Initiative.pdf||78.29 KB|
Collaborative Science: Integrating Indigenous TEK and Natural Sciences for Sustainable Resource Management and Species at Risk