From the 19th of January to the 10th of March in the exhibition hall of The Round Tower (Rundetaarn), Købmagergade 52A, 1150 Copenhagen K.
The festival celebrates the forests’ multiple benefits and functions. It also focuses on how and why we should protect forests around the world.
This is a festival for everyone; children and their grandparents, scientists, students, companies and for YOU who simply wants to learn more about forests, conservation and their importance.
The photo exhibition
The Forest festival is built around a photo exhibition illustrating forests in Denmark, Poland, Finland, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Most of the pictures are taken by the main organizer of the forest festival biologist Inger Kærgaard. The photo exhibition is divided into four themes:
What is a forest?
Everybody has some kind of relationship with the forests and cannot imagine the world without them. The more difficult question is how to define a forest. Is it enough to have five trees standing together in order to be able to talk about a forest? Should a forest consist of more than only one tree species? And can a forest area still be called a forest when it is momentarily clear-cut?
When we are considering the definition of ‘forest,’ it is not only subjective but also a political issue. In some countries a tiny patch of trees or an oil palm plantation fit into the definition of a forest. If an oil palm plantation is considered as a forest, it is easy to create a false illusion of a high forest coverage and effective forest protection.
The definition of a forest takes place at many levels, at the individual, the national, and the international level. All the different levels are presented at the Forest Festival.
Why are the forests important?
Everybody is dependent on forest in one way or another. As recreational areas, forests provide us a place for relaxation and enjoyment. For one, it can mean a meditative and relaxing walking trip, and for another, an adrenalin rush on a mountain bike. Forests provide us with food products such as mushrooms, berries, fruits, and honey. In many countries the forests have had a major influence on the local food culture and in some places the forests’ goods are necessary for people’s survival. Besides that, forests are home to a countless number of animal species. There are big animals such as orangutans and small ones such as insects, so innumerable that not all of them have been given names.
Forests have a central role in affecting our climate both locally as giving shade for the sun and globally as carbon dioxide sinks.
Why do forests disappear?
Despite our dependence on them, forests disappear at alarming pace. In many developing countries massive forest areas are cleared to make space for agriculture and oil palm plantations with economic growth as a goal. Also in Denmark and many European countries the balance between agriculture and forest is difficult and complicated. In Denmark, almost all the forests were cut already 200 years ago.
There is financial gain to be found in forests, involving sums so large, that in some countries it is life threatening to work with forest conservation.
Sometimes the reason for clearing is to get access to resources under the forest–for example, gold or coal.
What can be done to conserve the forests?
There are many ways to contribute to forest conservation. Consumption in general should be decreased. When we do consume, we should demand sustainable timber and paper products with a forest certification, along with products that contribute to forest protection and the survival of the people living in the forests. As consumers we play an important role and we should express our concern by refusing to buy products associated with illegal logging and forest destruction. We have to take global responsibility and show the rest of the world and the politicians that forest conservation affects us – we can simply not live without forests!
At the same time, we can support the important work that organizations and politicians do to ensure forest conservation. This includes conservation of existing forest areas and the maintenance and planting of new trees in areas where forests have either degraded or completely disappeared. In new EU-legislation it is forbidden to import illegal timber or timber products to the European markets. This is a huge step towards forest conservation and shows an important sign against the illegal logging industry. The next step is to turn down products that do not ensure the conservation of animals and people living in the forests.
In short, the photo exhibition will cover forests and their importance to people, animals, and the climate. Besides the exhibition the Forest Festival presents many exciting events and lectures concerning forests and their conservation that will bring you deeper into different aspects involved.
When and where
The Forest Festival is taking place at the old and beautiful Library Hall of the Round Tower from the 19th of January to the 10th of March, 2013.
The Round Tower’s Library Hall, Købmagergade 52A, 1150 Copenhagen K.
The opening hours for the Round Tower and the Forest Festival:
Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 a.m. -5 p.m. and again from 7p.m. -10 p.m.
Other days (including weekends): 10 a.m. – 17 p.m.
The hall was built to house the entire book collection of University of Copenhagen and opened as a library in 1657. Afterwards the hall was restored and today it is used for exhibitions and concerts. Entrance to the Library Hall is situated half way up the spiraling walk towards the tip of the Round Tower.
The Forest Festival’s various evening events will be held in the back of the Library Hall.
Read more about the Round Tower on their website: www.rundetaarn.dk
Take a tour
You can now book tours of the exhibition for your group! Groups from companies, retirement homes, all ages of school children, and kindergartens can take a tour during the exhibition period. Please contact the organizers for more information and bookings.
The festival is organized by two independent forest enthusiasts, Inger Kærgaard and Marie Sigvardt. Both of them are driven by a love for the forest, the frustration over deforestation, and the desire to pass on knowledge about it.
Inger Kærgaard is a biologist with many years of experience in forest conservation, teaching, and other educational work. In 2009-2010 she had a photo exhibition about the deforestation happening in Borneo,Indonesia. Because of the great interest, the exhibition was shown six different places in Denmark covering the mainland Jutland, the island of Funen, and Copenhagen. See the website: http://wheredidtheforestgo.org/pictures. The Exhibition was supported by Danida in connection with COP15. Inger has also arranged a series of lectures at the Folk University about the forests of the world, worked with forest restoration in Thailand and later with forest protection in Indonesia for BirdLife Denmark (DOF). Besides being the main organizer and initiator of the forest festival, Inger works as a part time biology teacher in the upper secondary institution HFC Efterslægten in Copenhagen. With a few exceptions, all the photographs at the Forest Festival exhibition are taken by Inger Kærgaard.
Marie Sigvardt (cand.scient.soc) has an educational background in technological and socioeconomic planning and international development supplemented with a certificate in Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management. Many childhood moments spent in nature have led to her affection towards forests, as well as interest in sustainable forest management and forest certification. Marie is specifically engaged with the social aspects of forests, such as indigenous people’s rights to the forests. Marie has worked in Danida’s environmental program in the Malaysian part of Borneo, Japanese organization–Friends of the Earth, ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization) with FSC, and forest management in Malaysia. Besides arranging the forest festival Marie is working for the Danish NGO Save the Orangutan where she is involved in development projects concerning local people in forest areas in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.
Special thanks to the organizations Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Danish Society for Nature Conservation for their collaboration and contribution to the Forest Festival.
We also want to thank many people and several organizations in Denmark and abroad that have contributed with information and in events.
Special thanks to: Danish Ornithological Society, Burung Indonesia, FSC Poland, WWF Cambodia, Non-Timber-Forest-Products Exchange Programme for South and South-East Asia and Save the Orangutan.
Thanks to our sponsors who have made the Forest Festival possible; Danida’s oplysningspulje, Brødrene Hartmann Fonden, The Polish Embassy, Polish Tourist Organisation, Podlaskie Tourist Organisation, Nordea Fonden og Indre By Lokaludvalg.