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Welcome Letter by Won Sop Shin

It is my sincere pleasure to welcome everyone here for the 2nd International Conference on Forests for Public Health.

Traditionally, forests have been providing us with numerous values and benefits. Besides producing wood and other resources, they control and preserve the environment as well as function as important places for relaxation and leisure. They have also recently been drawing attention as an important resource for “personal human health and public health,” which is also the theme for this international symposium. Of course, there have been countless examples of recognizing and utilizing the relationship between the forest and our health throughout the ages in the East and West. However, scientific and systematic research on this, and efforts to apply and present policies in various areas of society based on the research results are relatively recent.

Therefore, this conference will serve as a platform for all stake-holders around the world who research, implement, as well as educate and formulate policies on ‘forests, health and well-being’ to exchange views and strengthen new cooperation.

Based on successful forest restoration over the past half century, Korea, where the second symposium is taking place, has been making efforts since the 2000s to use its forests as a resource for people’s health and happiness. Many countries and international organizations around the world are determined to support and spread our efforts. I’m hopeful this symposium will serve as an opportunity and platform for expanding such attempts.

The COVID-19 Pandemic we have experienced is deepening our concerns regarding the importance and utilization of forests in relation to our health. In the post-covid era, the role of forests, especially in terms of ‘public health’, will become greater and more significant. I hope that these issues will be addressed in depth in this symposium and that it will present an opportunity to harness international solidarity for the resolving of these issues and administering of the solutions.

Thank you

Won Sop Shin, Ph.D., Co-chairs
The 2nd International Conference on Forests for Public Health

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Welcome Letter by Jang Jae Lee

First of all, I am pleased to host the 2nd International Conference on Forests for Public Health (Forest Welfare) in Korea. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to those involved in the conference, such as the co-hosting, sponsoring organizations, and everyone who took an interest in this conference.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives and livelihoods around the world. Various viral diseases such as COVID-19 are sending us a message that human is intertwined with the nature environment and the animals living in it. They say that not living by going with the flow of nature has caused climate change, infectious diseases, and unequable society etc. Therefore, it is necessary for the global community to live by going with the flow of nature.
At this point, the 2nd International Conference is meaningful to present a new challenge: to provide a global platform that not only appreciates the value of nature and forests but also brings together cross-sectorial stakeholders from the public and private sectors to share knowledge and experience. I look forward to sharing global perspectives, and to identifying future policy directions for better life with forest.

South Korea had been successful in re-greening degraded land over the past 50 years. On the basis of that, South Korea is systematically carrying out policies, laws, and legislations to provide forest welfare services which have helped the welfare of human beings. I am pleased to share the case of forest welfare in this conference.

I sincerely welcome all of you who have taken an interest in this event.

Thank you.

Chang Jae, Lee

22

Welcome Letter by Dr. Christos Gallis

During the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic all countries around the world implemented restrictions in citizen’s freedom of movement. At the same time the demand for forest and green spaces from the citizens critically increased. Forests and Green spaces, during COVID-19 pandemic, provided a safe place for people to walk, to relax, and to have recreational activities. Those areas served as an important public health service, both for the physical and the mental health of the citizens.
In light of those developments our World Conference “Forests for Public Health” becomes more important than ever, in our effort to serve the national Public Health systems and policies both for the mental and physical health of people. Additionally, the conference aims to assist International Organizations (as for example the United Nations and the World Health Organization) to implement relevant public health policies globally.
Our World Conference is now a well-recognized multidisciplinary global scientific event repeated every 2 years in different countries around the globe.
I warmly invite you to participate and actively support the 2nd World Conference on “Forests for Public Health”, 24-27 October 2021, organized by the Korea Forest Welfare Institute and the Korea Forest Therapy Forum, Republic of Korea.
COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are still implemented to a certain degree around the globe; thus, this conference will be a virtual one. Our 3nd World Conference in 2023 will be with in-person participation. Then, we will meet again in person!
I gratefully thank the Korea Forest Welfare Institute and our Korean colleagues for their decision and the successful effort to organize the 2nd World Conference in this difficult period of COVID-19 pandemic. I also very much thank IUFRO for supporting the Conference.
Warmly Welcome!

Dr. Christos Th. Gallis

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