From the conference website:
“General subject of the conference:
Forests are the most diverse terrestrial living systems on Earth, which harbour high shares of terrestrial biodiversity. They are essential not only to the survival of numerous organisms, but – via a range of ecosystem services – are indispensable to human well-being. Yet forests, on the global scale, are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Deforestation, permanent removal of tree cover, constitutes the most visible form of forest destruction, but intensive forest management can be equally disastrous. For the majority of specialised forest organisms intensively used commercial forests, though still tree covered, constitute uninhabitable places. To enable the survival of forest species it is necessary to set aside patches of pristine or at least close-to-natural forests, large enough to ensure sufficient space for forest shaping processes to operate, and to keep them free of direct human intervention. However, the preservation of primeval and remnants of close-to-natural forests as dynamic biological systems, despite its importance and urgency, does not constitute a conservation priority. Current management policies and existing legal tools do not provide adequate protection for ecological and evolutionary processes in forest ecosystems.
The conference has two main goals. First, to stress the urgent need for the preservation of Białowieża Forest, the last temperate forest on European lowlands, where substantial fragments of close-to-primeval forest have survived, but are continuously threatened by forest management practices. Second, to emphasize the ubiquity of this issue and the crucial importance of the preservation of natural forests worldwide. Such forests are irreplaceable: they protect the diversity of specialized organisms and processes, provide valuable ecosystem services and priceless outdoor labs for ecological and evolutionary sciences, and ensure unique benchmarks for conservation science and modern forestry.”