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XII World Forestry Congress

Québec City, Canada | 21 - 28 September 2003


Congress Highlights for Sunday, 21 September 2003

Side events were held throughout the day, including those organized by the Indigenous Peoples' Forest Forum, the Youth Committee of the WFC, FSC Canada and the Canadian Institute of Forestry. In the evening, participants attended the opening ceremony and heard welcome addresses by dignitaries, including FAO Director General Jacques Diouf, and Jean-Louis Kerouac, Secretary General of the XII WFC. Cultural events and an exhibition opening also took place in the evening.

The XII World Forestry Congress (WFC) opened on Sunday, 21 September and will continue until Sunday, 28 September, in Quebec City, Canada. The Congress is held approximately every six years under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and serves as a forum to exchange views and experiences, discuss forestry issues and formulate broad regional or global recommendations. The theme of the XII WFC is "Forests: source of life."

Jean-Louis Kérouac, XII World Forestry Congress Secretary-General, underscored the WFC's objective to develop a vision for the future of forests, and welcomed participants to the Congress.

Opening Ceremony:

Wellie Picard, Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation, on behalf of Phil Fontaine, National Chief of Canada's Assembly of First Nations, stressed that the future of the majority of indigenous peoples depends on forests and announced indigenous peoples' determination to demand the recognition of their fundamental rights.

Jacques Diouf, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization, identified the relationship between forests and human well being, noting the role of forests in alleviating hunger, generating incomes, and providing environmental benefits


Left photo: Osman Pepe, Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Turkey, reaffirmed his country's commitment to protect forests, conserve biological diversity, and achieve sustainable forest management. 


Sam Hamad, Minister of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Parks in Quebec, on behalf of Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec, welcomed participants to Quebec and said the province is ready to share its positive experiences in sustainable forest management with the world.

Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, on behalf of Jean Chrétien, Canadian Prime-Minister, stressed the importance of forests to Canadians and expressed his country's commitment to worldwide dialogue and partnerships to ensure the sustainable future of forests.

Side Events:

Youth Side Event: What Should we do with our forests? Think Talk and take action

Catalina Santamaria (right), United Nations Forum on Forest (UNFF) highlighted the role of youth in international dialogue on forests.



Mia Söderland (left), UNFF summarized the day's discussions and called for a broader representation of youth at WFC.

Left photos: Youth dramatization depicting the plight of forests 

Canadian Institute of Forestry:

Len Moores (left), President of the CIF/IFC, discusses the organization's initiatives over the past year at the 95th Annual General Meeting.

Above photo: Members of the CIF/IFC from left to right: Don Gelinas, Michael McLaughlan, Richard Macnaughton, and Roxanne Comeau.

Forest Steward Council: Forest Voices, Common Choices 
Martin von Mirbach, chair of the Forest stewardship council Boreal Negotiating Committee, introduced the FSC Canada National Boreal Standard, and provided overview of the boreal standard negotiating process.

Indigenous Peoples' Forum:

(R-L) Chief Wellie Picard of the Huron Wendat Nation, and Regional Chief Ghislain Picard of the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, welcomed participants in the Indigenous Peoples Forestry Forum to their nations' traditional territories.

Antonio Jacanamijoy, member of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues, with other Latin American indigenous delegates who reworked the Wendake Action Plan.


Strengthening Global Partnerships to Advance Sustainable Development of Non-Wood Forest Products

 Presented by IUFRO, CIFOR, FAO


On Saturday, 20 September, the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organized a workshop on "Strengthening Global Partnerships to Advance Sustainable Development of Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP)." The aim of the workshop was to identify and prioritize emerging issues for the NWFP sector and develop policy recommendations. At the workshop more than 50 participants adopted the Québec Declaration, which recommends, inter alia, more research, information dissemination; education and public awareness; the development of policies and the provision of incentives to sustainably manage NWFPs; the creation of institutional capacity and the development of management practices for multi-purpose forest and agro-forest resource management. 


Links to more information:



Paul Vantomme:



Honourable Partners for the XII World Forestry Congress:

Canada Government - Natural Resources Canada.
Gouvernement du Québec – Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

World Forestry Congress.
Forest Products Association of Canada.
Sustainable Development's coverage of the XI World Forestry Congress.
Linkages forests, desertification and land issues page, including a brief introduction to global forest policy.

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