Ministerial call for sustainable timber at the World Forestry Congress in Seoul


At the end of the XV World Forestry Congress held in Seoul from May 2 to 6, 8 ministers signed a text calling for the production and consumption of sustainable wood. We relay it here.

Sustainable production and consumption of wood promotes forest conservation, enhances the value of forests and mitigates climate change. Building and living with wood responds to an increased demand for renewable materials and provides impetus for green recovery. Sustainable wood offers solutions across multiple value chains, including construction, furniture, packaging, renewable energy, biomaterials for clothing and biochemicals.

Scaling-up bio-economies by using sustainable wood replacing carbon-intensive materials has high potential to become a cost-effective and innovative contribution at scale to achieve carbon neutrality and build more resilient economies.

Sustainable wood-based solutions build synergies with broader aims for economic recovery, growth of rural areas and circular economy innovation. Sustainable wood-based solutions need to build on sustainable forest management and address risks of trade-offs with the multiple other roles of forests, such as carbon storage in forests, loss of biodiversity and of other essential forest services, including through enhanced management, restoration and afforestation efforts.

Building on our national policy experiences and commitments to use wood resources sustainably, and conscious of the need for cost-effective and equitable solutions at scale for value-added and carbon-neutral products, we have come together in the Ministerial Forum on Sustainable Wood to call for scaling-up sustainable wood-based pathways:

− to address the lack of awareness of their potential;

− to enhance global and regional policy dialogues on pathways and related synergies and trade-offs and ways to strengthen investments;

− to improve modalities to promote technical exchange, sharing of experiences and learning in order to drive innovations, from sustainable forest management and efficient wood value chains to sustainable wood use;

− to significantly increase the use of sustainable wood-based solutions within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by 2030.

We also commit to join forces together to promote enhanced policy and technical dialogue and exchange among producer and consumer countries and key stakeholders to develop the necessary momentum and actions at scale, and invite the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and members of the Collaborative Partnership of Forests (CPF) to support our efforts.

We are convinced that mobilizing the full potential of sustainable wood will enable us to build more carbon-neutral and resilient economies and progress towards more sustainable societies.

The World Forestry Congress Ministerial Call on Sustainable Wood was initiated by the following country representatives on 3 May 2022, at the XV World Forestry Congress:

- Hon. Choi Byeong-Am, Minister of Korea Forest Service, Republic of Korea

- Hon. Jules Doret Ndongo, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Republic of Cameroon

- Hon. Orita Hiroshi, Deputy Director General of Japan Forestry Agency, Japan

- Hon. Maria Patek, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Republic of Austria

- Hon. Hilario López Córdova, Executive Director of the National Forest and Wildlife Service, Republic of Peru on behalf of Hon. Óscar Zea Choquechambi, Minister of Agricultural Development and Irrigation, Republic of Peru

- Hon. Lee White, Minister of Water, Forest, the Sea and Environment, Gabonese Republic

- Hon. Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy, Republic of Congo

- Hon. Alfred Giuchu, Head of Forest Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kenya on behalf of Hon. Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Kenya