The World Forestry Congress (WFC) is a once-in-six-year opportunity to exchange views and formulate recommendations to be implemented at the national, regional and global levels. Organized by the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of South Africa, the XIV WFC took place on 7-11 September, 2015, and was held in Africa for the first time ever. The Congress was attended by nearly 4,000 participants from 142 countries. 

WWF participated in the official plenary sessions and organized a number of side events on topics as diverse as plantations, landscapes, climate smart forestry and "deforestation-free" pathways

The Congress showed that forestry is coming out of its "wooden box" into the wider landscape – mixing more with farming and responding more directly to the diverse aspirations of people, from local communities to urban consumers. 

Rod Taylor - Themes from WFC 2015 from WWF Forests for Life programme on Vimeo.

There are still many challenges facing the forestry sector. The FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment, released at the Congress, reconfirmed that devastating deforestation continues in the tropics. WWF's projections show that the world stands to lose up to 170 million hectares of forest between 2010 and 2030. WWF used the WFC to challenge global forestry leaders to help stop deforestation and tell us what they are doing for forests by joining WWF’s “Forests for Life” campaign. From responsible forest management to landscape approaches, the campaign results show that a wide variety of solutions are needed to safeguard forests, and partnerships are critical to that process. 


VIDEOS: WFC2015 participants share their views on issues facing forestry

WWF's "Forests for Life" campaign

"The campaign is about what we can do together to make change happen. The solutions are out there between us all. Let's open up the space for dialogue, learning and hearing different viewpoints, so that we can co-create the future that we want. Let's co-create solutions that work for all of us."

Fred Kumah, Director, WWF Regional Office for Africa

The world has lost forests the size of South Africa - around 129 million hectares - in the last 25 years. Though the rate of deforestation has slowed down, we still have unacceptable levels of forest loss, particularly in the tropics. And WWF's projections point to a further worrying trend. 

Forests the size of Germany, France, Spain and Portugal could be wiped out in 20 years if urgent action isn’t taken to halt deforestation. But WWF recognizes that no one organization can tackle this task alone. 

To advance the debate, inspire action and pave the way for future partnerships, WWF organized a campaign to challenge participants to take bold actions to stop deforestation and tell us what they are doing for forests. Nearly 250 people - including leaders such as Greenpeace's Kumi Naidoo, FSC's Kim Carstensen, IKEA's Mikhail Tarasov, and numerous other representatives from NGOs, civil society, universities, government agencies, financial institutions, companies and community groups - filled out "solutions" postcards. 

The common message throughout the campaign was collaboration and that we have a shared ambition and a shared determination, but must now take this forward together to achieve the kind of significant progress that people and the planet need.

View campaign results here

Word cloud generated from WWF solutions postcards,


How can you join the campaign?