Special Side Event of the 4th International Congress on Planted Forests, October 23 – 25, 2018 in Beijing, China

Forests are of great importance for attaining SDG through their provisioning (wood and non-wood products, ecosystem services, etc.), supporting (e.g. biodiversity conservation, etc.), regulating (e.g. adaptation to climate change, etc.) and cultural (aesthetics, spiritual) benefits. Planted forests constitute an important component of the world’s forest resources. Among the 3,999 million ha of forests worldwide (or 30.6% of the world’s land area), only 7.28% (291 million ha) are planted forests, but from 1990, planted forest area keeps increasing at an annual rate at more than 3 million ha.

China has been leading the world in terms of both its planted forest area (78.98 million ha, 37.91% of the country’s total forest area, GRFA 2015) and increase rate (the annual increase of 2015 was 4.36 million ha, China Forestry Development Report 2016). Currently, Europe’s planted forest area amounts 83 million ha, and the total planted forest area of the 16 CEE countries is 17.56 million ha (43.46% of CEE countries’ forest area in total, GFRA 2015 – the statistics cover 14 CEE countries except Bulgaria and N. Macedonia as such data was not provided in their country reports). Although the proportion of planted forest area of CEE countries in their total forest area is higher than that of China, the extents of planted forests vary significantly among the 14 CEE countries. For example, while Czech (99.62%), Poland (94.93%) and Hungary (79.85%) have the higher proportion, Montenegro (0.97%), Slovenia (2.72%) and Croatia (3.90%) have less planted forests.

The main mission of the Coordination Mechanism for the Cooperation in Forestry between China and CEE Countries is to play its role in promoting sustainable and multifunctional forest management, developing a green economy, forest innovative technologies and smart specialization in forestry. The establishment of a China and CEEC Technology & Innovation Demonstration Hub for forestry-wood products chain, as a model for international research excellence, industrial outreach, and public engagement, was proposed as one of the priorities of the 2018-2020 Biennial Programme of Work of the Coordination Mechanism. In line with such initiative, the proposed 16+1 special event aims at sharing research findings, industrial knowledge, technology and experience on multi-purpose forest management and approaches to maximize ecosystem services, functions and goods to meet people’s increasing demands in the context of climate change, population growth and urbanization expansion, and exchanging viewpoints and perspectives on the interface between science and industrial development.

The proposed 16+1 special event intends to invite representatives from various stakeholders, including research organizations, individual enterprises, industrial association, governmental departments, etc. Representative presentations from these stakeholders in China and CEE countries are warmly welcomed.