World Forestry Congress - South Africa

Director, Paul Bradbury travelled to Durban to attend the 14th World Forestry congress, Durban South Africa. This is was the first time the FAO sponsored congress had been held on the African continent and attracted over 4000 delegates. Although impossible to attend many of the concurrent sessions an effort was made to participate in presentations and workshops involving biosecurity, market access, standard setting, agro-forestry and ecosystem services provided by forests.


The international view on the role of forests, their preservation and restoration is quite different to New Zealand approach. In New Zealand, preservation and the exclusion of economic activities in natural forest areas is favoured but this is quite an alien concept elsewhere in the world, where communities live in and interact with their forests. The FAO acknowledges that forests are vital in providing ecosystem services that include or enhance agricultural activities and other sustainable uses. As good conservation outcomes are difficult without economic resilience. (How refreshing)

Further reading

The four outcome documents of the XIV World Forestry Congress, Durban, South Africa, 7–11 September 2015.

The Durban Declaration, including actions recommended by Congress participants to implement the 2050 vision for forests and forestry. Message from the XIV World Forestry Congress on the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Message on climate change from the XIV World Forestry Congress

XIV World Forestry Congress – action points presented in plenary on 10 September