ONLINE MEDIA SEMINAR „Building a green, healthy and resilient future
with forests -How to report on the role of forests in times of crises
  was organised from 28–29 April 2022 ahead of the World Forestry Congress in Korea, with the aim to help journalists from around the world in learning and connecting with leading scientists and experts. The media seminar was hosted by: Global Landscape Forum (GLF), World Forestry Congress (WFC), FAO, and CIFOR.

 One of the sessions of the seminar was announcing the Launch of publications and an award:

  • Launch of the State of the World’s Forests
  • Launch of the Global Forest Resources Assessment Remote Sensing Survey
  • Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 

This session was presented by Ewald Rametsteiner Deputy Director Forestry Division FAO, Anssi Pekkarinen, Global Forest Resources Assessment, FAO and Theresa Loeffler, Associate Forestry Officer, FAO Forestry Division.

Ewald Rametsteiner presented the State of the World’s Forest publication for 2022 (SOFO 2022). Even though the rate of deforestation is declining, we nevertheless lost 30% of the world’s forests in 10 years. He stressed that it is necessary to empower and mobilise small producers, local communities, and indigenous people, also it is necessary to better use the agricultural subsidies and that this report focuses not only on the problems but also on the solutions.

Anssi Pekkarinen talked about the remote sensing survey, which is the very first global remote sensing survey, and it was based on a participatory approach for regional statistics, local people were involved in doing the survey.

Theresa Loeffler presented Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award which was established by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), in 2012 in memory of Kenyan environmentalist, founder of the Green Belt Movement, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. The Forest Champions Award recognizes inspiring individuals who have helped preserve, restore and sustainably manage forests. The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an environmental organization that empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods. In Kenya alone, since 1977, GBM communities have planted over 51 million trees, in watersheds in the highlands of Mt. Kenya, the Aberdares, and the Mau Complex- three of the five major mountain ecosystems in Kenya, as well as on private lands.


FAO launched “The State of the World’s Forests 2022”  on the 2nd of May, during the XV World Forestry Congress, Seoul, Republic of Korea, and virtually. According to the publication, the rate of deforestation is declining, but we nevertheless lost 30% of the world’s forests in 10 years. It is crucial to reverse this trend, as forests play crucial roles in building inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies. The report outlines three pathways for achieving green recovery and tackling environmental crises. Local actors and smallholders, including women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples, have a leading role in achieving these forest pathways.

  1.  Halting deforestation and maintaining forests
  2. Restoring degraded lands and expanding agroforestry
  3. Sustainably using forests and building green value chains

The Remote Sensing Survey, part of the Forestry Resources Assessment 2020, was also presented at the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul. The FAO-led study is based on the consistent analysis of 400 000 samples by more than 800 local experts from 126 countries and territories. It has helped to build capacity at the national level by training the experts in the visual analysis of remote sensing imagery to monitor forest and land-use changes.

FAO developed the methodology in collaboration with the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. It used freely available satellite data, and the open-source Collect Earth Online tool developed together with Google, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Spatial Informatics Group of University of San Francisco, SilvaCarbon, and the US Forest Service. The survey received funding from the EU and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).

Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award – the award was announced during the ceremony at the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 5th of May. It was presented by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), which is chaired by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Activist Cécile Ndjebet from Cameroon won the 2022 Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to preserving forests and improving the lives of people who depend on them.
This award celebrates Cécile Ndjebet’s energy and dedication over three decades in promoting women’s rights to land and forests. She has actively shown that women’s participation in forest governance and preservation is fundamental to achieving sustainable forest management,” announced FAO Deputy Director-General and CPF Chair Maria Helena Semedo.

Cécile Ndjebet receiving the award ( source: FAO)

Through the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests, which she co-founded in 2009, Ndjebet has become a leading voice in Cameroon and internationally in building global recognition on the importance of gender equality in forest management. The organisation now has 20 member countries across Africa.

Ndjebet has long been a driving force in implementing forestry law and good governance in Cameroon and establishing a new approach to community forestry and the restoration of degraded lands and forests through Cameroon Ecology (Cam-Eco), which she founded in 2001. Cam-Eco has worked to inform, train and support women to understand sustainability issues and to get involved in for

(source of the photo: CPF)

Previous Wangari Maathai Forest Champion Award winners are Nepalese community forestry movement leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha (2012), Mexican environmental campaigner Martha Isabel ‘Pati’ Ruiz Corzo (2014), Ugandan forestry activist Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi (2015), Brazilian forestry activist Maria Margarida Ribeiro da Silva (2017), and Burundian forestry activist Léonidas Nzigiyimpa (2019).