On Thursday, May 5th, XV WFC entered its fourth day, with participants taking part in many special events, sub-theme sessions and side events, as well as informal networking events.
The morning kicked off with a special event that explored how to encourage more young people to choose a career in the forest sector, and ways to support career development, such as mentorship, and providing opportunities to showcase their talents. It culminated in the launch of the Global Network for Forestry Young Professionals (ForYP), a new platform for connecting and supporting young professionals.
In a special event on the contribution of a forest circular bioeconomy to sustainable development, participants dug into case studies and lessons learned on how to foster the increased use of sustainably produced wood products, as well as non-timber products, in a way that supports local livelihoods.
In a special event on rural finance, participants addressed the need for more diversified and inclusive rural finance mechanisms that reach small-scale producers and ensure they continue to contribute to biodiverse production systems, forest conservation and landscape restoration.
In the afternoon, participants met for the fifth and final parallel Sub-thematic Session.
Under Sub-theme 1, the latest research on methodologies for assessing deforestation and forest degradation was presented, and the role of data in combating deforestation and forest degradation was discussed.
Under Sub-theme 2, participants explored how genetic diversity and integrated pest management can help forests adapt to climate change.
Under Sub-theme 3, participants discussed mobilizing finance for forest management, and how to ensure this supports environmental and socio-economic goals.
Under Sub-theme 4, Indigenous People, experts, practitioners and policymakers met to develop recommendations on ways to improve the contribution of forests to health, well-being and peace.
Under Sub-theme 5, participants discussed how to better communicate the value of forests to create greater impact and reach broader audiences, and discussed the status of forest education globally.
Under Sub-theme 6, participants took part in a multi-stakeholder dialogue, and reflected on how to enhance partnerships in support of sustainable forest management.
Later on in the day, a ceremony was held to present the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award, which honors individuals who have made extraordinary efforts to improve the world’s forests and the lives of the people who depend on them. The 2022 award was presented to Cécile Ndjebet, Founder and President of the African Women's Network for Community Management of Forests, in recognition of her numerous leadership roles and accomplishments in promoting gender equity and reducing deforestation.
This was followed by a special event in which participants were able to hear from past winners of the Wangari Maathai Award, who reflected on the successes and challenges they have experienced in their work.
In the evening, participants gathered for a closing dinner, featuring cultural performances by local artists.