XIV World Forestry Congress Newsletter: Issue Four

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XIV World Forestry Congress Newsletter: Issue Four

Updates on the largest forestry event of 2015 and key occasion for the world’s foresters and forest supporters to gather, share their expertise and experience, and project a new vision for the future.

In this issue:

  • Speaker update
  • Over 900 entries received for Forests and People photo contest
  • More than 190 teams registered for TREEHOUSING International Wood Design Competition
  • Tell the world about your work on the #Forests2015 blog
  • Book your place at the Business Network Special Event
  • Spotlight on pre-Congress events: Research symposium and Building Momentum
  • Do you require a visa to visit South Africa?
  • Are you inoculated?
  • Durban in September

Speaker update

More high-level and keynote speakers have confirmed their attendance at the Congress, including

  • Noël Nelson Messone, Minister for Forestry, Environment and Protection of Natural Resources, Gabon
  • Siti Nurbaya Bakar,  Minister for Environment and Forestry, Indonesia 
  • Paula Caballero, World Bank
  • Luther Bois Anukur, International Union for the Conservation of Nature
  • James Astill, The Economist (moderator)

Have a look at previous newsletters for other confirmed speakers, including many of the heads of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.

Over 900 entries received for Forests and People photo contest

Thanks to everyone who sent in their photos for the World Forestry Congress Forests and People photo contest – we received over 900 entries from around the world. Award-winning Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin is selecting six finalists and ten runners-up, all of whose photos will feature in an XIV World Forestry Congress calendar. The six finalists are going to the public vote on FAO’s Facebook page, and one lucky winner will receive a trip to the Congress (travel, accommodation and registration fee), as well as a portfolio review by Stuart Franklin. Check FAO Facebook to vote for your favourite.

More than 190 teams registered for TREEHOUSING International Wood Design Competition

WoodThere are already 196 teams registered for the TREEHOUSING International Wood Design Competition, including teams from Morocco, Egypt and South Africa. The TREEHOUSING competition challenges architecture students, professional architects and designers to develop innovative and sustainable wood housing and urban building solutions. For more information on registration, competition requirements and prizes, please visit ourTREEHOUSING webpage.

 Tell the world about your work on the #Forests2015 blog

The #Forests2015 blog run by the Congress' social media team had  67,000 views just last month. Take advantage of this popular platform to showcase your research or project by entering a blogpost of 500-1,000 words in the blog competition. Blog posts should be written in a short, enticing and story-telling fashion, inviting discussion and stirring up interest in your projects. Guidelines on how to write a good blogpost can be found here. The winners of the blog competition will be announced live at the Congress. Read more

Book your place at the Business Networking Event

Over 70 participants have registered for Business Networking Event that will take place as part of the Congress on Thursday, 10 September 2015. The Business Networking Event marks a unique opportunity for the leading forest product companies gathering in Durban to discuss investments in the forests of Africa and the world. The event is designed to strengthen private sector participation in the Congress by offering a platform for scoping investments, scouting business partnerships, and seeking leads to financing trade and investments. You can register for this event when you register for the Congress. Read more

Spotlight on pre-Congress events: Research symposium and Building Momentum



A draft programme for the one-day pre-Congress research symposium, Underpinning sustainable tree plantations in Southern Africa, is now available online. Keynote and invited speakers will focus on research initiatives and the critical role of research in supporting decision-making at all levels across both public and private sectors. The two-day pre-congress Building Momentum event will meanwhile focus on putting people and their organizations at the heart of the XIV World Forestry Congress, bringing together  representatives from community-based forestry, forest and farm organizations, government and non-government organizations and other relevant stakeholders. Find the full list of pre-Congress events here.

Do you require a visa to visit South Africa?

Once you have registered to attend the Congress and booked your plane tickets, don’t forget to check if you require a visa to visit South Africa and to apply as soon as possible. For more information regarding South African visa requirements please see here, and for details on how to apply for a South African visa see here. The XIV World Forestry Congress Secretariat will gladly provide a personalised visa support letter should this be required for your visa application. You can request a visa support letter when you register.  Read more

Are you inoculated?

If you’re coming to Durban, please double check any inoculation requirements based on your point of departure and any places you may travel through to arrive in South Africa. Recently some travellers were denied entry into the country because no yellow fever inoculation certificate could be produced.  More information can be found on the website of the Western Cape Provincial Government here .

Durban in September

During the month of September, Durban is sunny and warm with the very occasional light and steady rainfall. South Africa typically has an average of 320 days of sunshine per year. The air is heavy with humidity and the subtropical latitude of the city brings long, hot summers with rainfall, and very mild winters. During the summer months from September to April, temperatures range from 23 to 33º C. The warm Mozambique current flowing along the coast means the water temperature averages 21 degrees all year, providing possibilities for a diversity of aquatic activities in any season, including diving, fishing, swimming, boating and surfing. 

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