The Global Network of Forest Science Cooperation
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Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO-WFSE)


We are a global, open, non-profit, collaborative network of scientist and experts steered by ten international research organizations. On the basis of existing scientific knowledge, we look for innovative solutions to support and advance the formulation and implementation of forest-related policies that promote sustainable development and human well-being. Our work is founded on objectivity and scientific independence.

The IUFRO-WFSE network shares existing scientific knowledge and participates actively in forest-related policy processes.

We promote global cooperation in high quality research and wide participation in the international discussions and processes. We produce books, policy briefs and capacity building material, participate in international events, and develop collaboration with other IUFRO working parties. WFSE actively supports regional and global policy processes related to forests and tree resources with cross-sectoral, critical analyses based on existing solid scientific knowledge. Through producing regional policy briefs we specifically aim at strengthen the focus on regionally critical issues of global importance in the forests-society-environment interface.

New Policy Brief: Making Boreal Forests Work for People and Nature

This brief highlights some of the key issues in securing the continued function of the boreal forests to work for people and nature. Future uncertainties certainly increase the demands for their innovative use and sustainable management. It was prepared as a joint effort of IUFRO-WFSE, the European Forest Institute (EFI), the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the Future Forests Research Program (FF), the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU), University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and Canadian and American collaborators. The policy brief is available for download here.

Policy Brief: Making forests work for people and nature – Responding to global drivers of change

This policy brief is based on the book Forest and Society – Responding to Global Drivers of Change. It conveys in a concise format some of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of this book. The policy brief is available for download in English, French and Spanish.

Book: Forest and Society – Responding to Global Drivers of Change

An increasing number of global, complex, interacting environmental and socio-economic drivers of change affect forests and society. This new book presents and discusses the challenges and opportunities related to the global drivers of change and the ways to reduce their adverse effects as well as to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities they might bring. The book was launched in August 2010 at the XXIII IUFRO World Congress in Seoul, Korea. The book consists of 24 chapters and can be downloaded here.

Policy Brief Asian Forests: Working for People and Nature

The fate of world's forests will be essentially impacted by the increasing demand and ongoing supply shifts for forest products and services in Asia. IUFRO's Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment  (IUFRO-WFSE) launched in COFO, in Rome this October their most recent policy brief "Asian Forests: Working for People and Nature". The brief was prepared together with FAO and RECOFTC- The Center for People and Forests.

We have also recently published policy briefs on Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Current activities

The WFSE network has now initiated the work to produce a new book to be launched at the IUFRO World Congress in 2014. The working title of the new book is "Forests under pressure: Local responses to global issues". The book will focus on i) local/regional level initiatives from different parts of world to shed light on what seem to be the conditions that have either enhanced or hindered sustainable forest management and sustainable forest-related development at the local level; ii) analyzing the linkages between global/regional processes and outcomes at the local level; and iii) apply the findings from these analyses to deriver possible future storylines or pathways visualizing a broader implementation of "more successful" approaches to sustainable forest management on one hand, and the failure to expand the utilization of these approaches on the other.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial contribution of the Finnish Forest Research Institute and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland to our activities.



Coordinator Pia Katila
c/o Finnish Forest Research Institute
PO Box 18 (Jokiniemenkuja 1)
FI-01301, Vantaa, Finland
Phone: +358 29 532 5331
Mobile phone: +358 40 801 5331
E-mail: pia.katila(at)  

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