The fourth International Congress on Planted Forests of “Planted Forests – A Solution for Green Development” was held by Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) at National Convention Centre in Beijing on 23rd Oct, 2018. The three-day congress is also the first International Congress on Planted Forests held in Asia.
Zhang Jianlong, Administrator of National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), Monique Barbut, executive secretary of The Secretariat of UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Dr. Marvin, representative of FAO to China, and Dr. Alexander Bark, Executive Director of IUFRO, attended the congress. The opening ceremony was hosted by Liu Dongsheng, the congress committee chairman as well as Vice Administrator of NFGA, and the welcome evening banquet was hosted by Zhang Shougong, the President of CAF, the academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and also the President of the Congress’s Academic Committee of CAF. In Addition, Shen Guofang, the academician of CAE, Ye Zhi, the Secretary of branch Committee of the CPC and Vice President of CAF, and Xiao Wenfa, Vice President of CAF also attended the opening ceremony.
Zhang Jianlong said that planted forests account for an important share of forest resources and ecosystem. The total area of planted forests in China has reached 69.33 million hectares with arduous work of Chinese government over past seven decades, ranking the top of the world.
According to Mr. Zhang, we would give priority to both quality and efficiency in planted forests development to meet the higher standards put forward by the Central Committee of CPC and State Council. We would renovate management system and optimize the operational system to explore and share advanced practices and new models for planted forests. More International cooperation in varied forms would be conducted to accelerate the spread of the newest technologies among countries as to deliver benefits to all.
Monique Barbut highly appreciated China’s ecological improvements in response to climate change through expanding its planted forests enormously. She emphasized that we human beings need to reverse the continuous declination of forests worldwide and pursue for zero growth of land degradation. For example, the successful implementation of the Three-North Shelter Forest Program gives us confidence that we could pass down green treasures to later generations through envisioned project.
Dr. Marvin said that planted forests provide varied forest products, improve carbon sequestration for environment, guarantee food security, promote livelihood and achieve 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. FAO is committed to high quality development of planted forests in Asia and other regions. Therefore, it was a pleasure for FAO to work with China on its Three-North Shelter Forest Program and other forestry projects. Dr. Ma also expected more ideas could be ignited at the congress to advance global development of planted forests.
Dr. Buck wished a great success to the Fourth International Congress on Planted Forests, and said that scientific solutions could be explored and shared to conceive a brighter future of planted forests beneficial to all. It has been proved that well-managed planted forests could balance the development of ecosystem, economy and society by promoting bio-diversity, increasing grain and forestry product supply, creating employment and raising income. FAO would continually focus on the efficient management of planted forests in order to meet people’s higher demand.
The International Congress on Planted Forests is launched by IUFOR and technologically supported by Planted Forests Project of FAO. The first two sessions were held in Chile and New Zealand in the year of 1999 and 2003 respectively. The third session was held in Europe in 2013.
Prior to the congress, a News Briefing was held by NFGA on 22nd Oct where Mr. Xiao, Vice President of CAF, gave an introduction to the theme of the Fourth Congress and China’s current situation of planted forests, and other issues to be discussed on the congress.
Four items would be discussed on the congress – genetic resources and forestry breeding; management of planted forests with multiple purposes; timer, wood fiber and non-wood forest products; and forestry policies and social economics related to planted forests. Details would be discussed concerning genetic resources and forestry breeding of planted forests, prevention and control against plant diseases and pests, the adaption of forestry ecosystem to climate change, environmental pressure and biodiversity protection, ecological degradation and methods to reverse its effect, innovation on bio-technology and bio-economy, “the Belt and Road” initiative, carbon market and its management, etc.
The congress includes a plenary session, a sub-plenary session with four main topics discussed, forty-three academic meetings, and four side events. On the whole, there are fifty-five parallel sessions during the congress. The congress brought together well-known experts from forest-related international organizations and research and education institutions across the world to discuss advances in planted forests and to strengthen interactions among countries. Nearly 700 participants of research centers, colleges and universities, government departments, NGOs, and enterprises in 66 countries attended the congress, including 270 foreign representatives.
The congress was organized by FAO, IUFOR, and NFGA, and was co-organized by INBAR, APF Net, China Green Foundation, China Green Carbon Foundation, and State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding.