H.M. Konungens öppningsanförande vid International Union of Forest Research Organization's World Congress 2024

Stockholmsmässan, Älvsjö

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you all to the International Union of Forest Research Organizations World Congress 2024. This year hosted by Sweden in collaboration with the Nordic and Baltic countries.

The last time Sweden hosted the congress was in 1929, when my great-grandfather Gustaf V was King. Back then, the forest played a crucial role in fostering stability in rural areas, providing both economic and social security.

The most recent forest conference was held in Brazil in 2019. The difference between boreal forests and the Amazon might seem big. But this week, many examples of similarities as well as common challenges will be discussed too.

To manage forests sustainably, whether they are in boreal forests or the South, we need certain basics in place to create resilient systems. These include stable institutions like government agencies, robust markets, and solid research to help us make smart decisions supporting a greener future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This conference aims to build bridges between continents and people, addressing common challenges and showcasing forest solutions for a sustainable society.

I have had the privilege to travel across continents during several decades. It is evident how interconnected forests are and how crucial they are for the health of our planet.

As we all know but cannot be emphasized enough: Forests serve as carbon sinks in helping to combat climate change. Protecting and sustainably managing forests is essential to maintaining their role in capturing carbon.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Sweden has a proud tradition of sustainable forestry. This includes family forestry, where families manage forest lands over generations. It also involves the unique right of public access, allowing everyone to enjoy the forests. Our hunting and wildlife management practices help keep ecosystems balanced and diverse, which is crucial for protecting nature.

Sweden has also created a sustainable countryside through long-term ownership and collaboration among forestry stakeholders, industry, and local communities. This has created stable markets for forest products and services, making forestry a vital part of our economy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I extend my sincere gratitude to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), which has served as the host organization for this conference. Now, the hosting responsibilities will move on to Kenya and Nairobi.

Finally, I would like to welcome you to the Royal parks at Drottningholm and Hagaparken on Wednesday, where you will experience and discuss forest and individual tree management in urban areas.

Thank you!