From May 2 to May 6, the XV World Forestry Congress 2021 took place, one year later than originally planned due to the COVID19 pandemic, in the COEX Exhibition Hall in Seoul, South Korea under the theme of "building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests". The event was supposed to offer an opportunity to consider the state and future of global forestry with special regard to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Outgoing South Korean president Moon Jae-In opened the congress by providing a keynote speech in which he recalled the Korean successful history of afforestation.
On Monday and Friday, in a booth in the exhibition pavilion, HSF Korea alongside its partners from Korea University OJeong Resilience Institutes (OJERI) provided information to the congress’ participants regarding the foundation’s efforts in the fields of afforestation and also about the cooperation with OJERI. Among other materials, they were able to present the jointly created environmental textbooks in North Korean language. OJERI is engaged in research on sustainable development, particularly in the mid-latitude region. HSF Korea staff were given the opportunity to explore other booths and to learn interesting facts about forests and their protection.
On Thursday, Pierre Clinquart from Hanns Seidel Foundation DPR Congo, the representative of HSF Korea, Dr. Bernhard Seliger and Dr. Hyun-ah Choi, Senior researcher at HSF Korea, visited the exhibition pavilion after Dr. Seliger had provided insightful information during a presentation about the cooperation for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas in the DMZ and borderlands in a special session by the Korean National Arboretum and the Korea Forest Conservation Association. In addition, an HSF session was held on the final day of the event regarding the topic of building a green, healthy and resilient future on the Korean Peninsula – afforestation and reforestation in North and South Korea.
We would like to thank the organizers and participants of XV World Forestry Congress and especially Korea University OJeong Resilience Institute for the great opportunity to share information on our work through the exhibition booth as well as show gratitude for all the interesting presentations and newly gained impressions through the event.