Forest issues were first taken into the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) agenda in the first ASEM Science and Technology Minister’s Meeting held in Beijing, China on October 14-15, 1999. Key priorities for potential cooperation, including forestry, sustainable development of ecosystems and environmental protection, were incorporated in the Chairman’s Statement of the meeting.

In the 3rd ASEM Summit Meeting held in Seoul, Korea on October 19-21, 2000, the initiative for Scientific and Technological Cooperation on Forest Conservation and Sustainable Development was enrolled. As follow-up actions and outputs, the ASEM Symposium on Forest Conservation and Sustainable Development was held in Guiyang, China on July 16-20, 2001, and the ASEM Workshop on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Forests took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand on April 19-21, 2002.

The ASEM Symposium on Urban Forestry is of significant importance for promoting further cooperation and exchange among ASEM members in the rapid urbanization process and advancing urban ecologicalization and sustainable development.

On November 12th -13th of 2008, the 3rd Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Symposium on Urban Forestry was held in Guangzhou, which was jointly sponsored by Chinese Academy of Forestry, Planning and Research Center for Forest Landscape of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and Guangzhou Forestry Administration.

Communications and discussions were made on the theme of “Urban Forests and Life Quality” in the symposium.

Seven topics discussed were:

  1. Urban Forests and Tourism and Leisure;
  2. Urban Forests and Urban-Rural Harmony;
  3. Urban Forests and Ecological Culture;
  4. Urban Forests and Land Planning;
  5. Urban Forests and Climate Change;
  6. Urban Forests and Biodiversity;
  7. Mode and Experience of Guangzhou’s Urban Forestry Development.