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