These meetings serve as a forum for governments, universities, civil society and the private sector to exchange views and experiences and to formulate recommendations to be implemented at the national, regional and global levels. The Congress also provides an opportunity to present an overview of the state of forests and forestry in order to discern trends, adapt policies and raise awareness among decision and policy makers, the public and other stakeholders.
The Congress has advisory rather than executive functions and participants attend in their personal capacity. The implementation of recommendations is a matter solely for those to whom they are addressed in light of their own particular circumstances – governments, international organizations, scientific bodies and forest owners, among others. The outcomes are brought to the attention of the FAO Conference which may consider endorsing, through a resolution, any declaration emanating from the Congress.
These prestigious events produce high quality papers, they are recognized for their insightful deliberations and are known for reaching broad consensus on authoritative, although not binding, policy and technical advice to governments and international organizations.
* Gathers knowledge and experience to give guidance on the formulation and implementation of environmentally friendly forest policies;
* Expresses points of views which may help research organizations to identify future study areas and encourages international organizations to plan future work;
* Promotes the elaboration and world-wide acceptance of technical standards such as an international forestry terminology, a uniform classification of forestry literature, and adequate research methods.