World Forestry Congress


Painting by I.I. Shishkin 'The Mast-tree Grove', 1898The first World Forestry Congress was held in Rome in 1926 and has generally taken place every six years since then. Gatherings serve as a forum for governments, universities, civil society and the private sector to exchange views and experiences and to formulate recommendations for implementation at national, regional and global levels. The Congress also provides an opportunity for the sector to produce an overview of the state of forests and forestry in order to discern trends, adapt policies and raise awareness of issues among decision-makers, the public and other parties concerned.


Its functions are advisory, not executive, and participants attend the Congress in their personal capacity. The implementation of recommendations is a matter solely for those to whom they are addressed in light of their own particular circumstances - governments, international organizations, scientific bodies and forest owners, among others. The outcomes are brought to the attention of the FAO Conference which may consider endorsing, through a resolution, any declaration emanating from the Congress.


These prestigious events produce high quality papers, are recognized for their insightful deliberations and are known for reaching broad consensus on authoritative, although not binding, policy and technical advice to governments and international organizations.


The Congress:

         brings together knowledge and experience to give guidance on the formulation and implementation of forest policy;

         expresses views which may help research organizations to identify future areas of study and international organizations to plan future work;

         promotes the elaboration and world-wide acceptance of technical standards such as an international forestry terminology, a uniform classification of forestry literature, and consistent research methods.


Past congresses


1. Rome, Italy 1926

2. Budapest, Hungary 1936

3. Helsinki, Finland 10-20 July 1949

4. Dehra Dun, India 11-22 December 1954

5. Seattle, United States 29 Aug. - 10 Sept. 1960 Multiple use of forest and associated lands

6. Madrid, Spain 6-18 June 1966 The role of forestry in the changing world economy

7. Buenos Aires, Argentina 4-18 October 1972 Forests and socioeconomic development

8. Jakarta, Indonesia 16-28 October 1978 Forests for people

9. Mexico City, Mexico 1-12 July 1985 Forest resources in the integral development of society

10. Paris, France 17-26 September 1991 Forests, a heritage for the future

11. Antalya, Turkey 13-22 October 1997 Forestry for sustainable development: towards the 21st century

12. Quebec, Canada 21-28 September 2003 Forests: source of life

13. Buenos Aires, Argentina 18-23 October 2009 Forests in development: a vital balance


The Congress and FAO


FAO Council selects the host country in accordance with established criteria. Under the guidance of the Council, it is fully involved in the preparation of the Congress, although the main responsibility for organization lies with the host government. In addition, FAO establishes an advisory committee of experts around the world to consult on the theme of the Congress, the structuring of the Technical Programme, and on the identification of invited speakers and authors. It also appoints an Associate Secretary-General to work with the Secretary-General from the host country to prepare for the Congress.


FAO further assigns technical secretaries to collaborate with those designated by the host country to deal with aspects related to the technical programme, including the review of invited and voluntary papers and the servicing of Congress sessions. The Organization also assists the host country to widely disseminate outcomes and facilitates any follow-up, including monitoring and reporting at the next Congress on the implementation of recommendations.





The activities on forestry on the FAO website.

The World Forestry Congress in Wikipedia.



Related subjects


5th World Forestry Congress, Seattle









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last revised: 9 September 2010