9.01.02 - Communication and public relations



NEW: Communicating Forest Science Manual 2024

Over the last decade, significant change has occurred. Rapid technological innovation, shifting global dynamics and geopolitics, a worldwide pandemic, and a fracturing and reconstructing of communication approaches. Artificial intelligence, misinformation campaigns, podcasting, social media, and a recognition of the importance of science communication have all evolved. 

The previous 2014 Communicating Forest Science Manual was innovative for its time. Communicating effectively about forest science seemed more important than ever then and still does today. The role of forests in addressing the global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and human health issues are critical to convey. As populations move more to urban areas, keeping people connected to forests, and informed on forest science are of continued importance. 

We used the 2014 Manual as a basis for this new one – keeping the ‘evergreen’ chapters on topics such as communication strategies, but giving them a fresh look. We revamped the chapters on media engagement and social media – disciplines that saw drastic changes over the last decade. There is a wealth of new content in this edition, including a chapter on forest psychology and fresh perspectives on best practices illustrated through case studies.

This 2024 Communicating Forest Science Manual  will only be available in an online format – to allow it to be a living document, where hyperlinks can be updated and added and content modified based on the current context.


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Ewa Hermanowicz, Germany


Jennifer Hayes, United States

Sheila Mbiru, Kenya

Yasmeen Sands, United States

About Unit

Established in 2011, the Communication and Public Relations Working Party seeks to improve the ability of IUFRO members to communicate science. This Working Party facilitates the exchange of practical applications, existing knowledge, and new research in the fields of communication and public relations.


Building upon the popular 'Communicating Forest Science' manual published almost a decade ago, the IUFRO Working Party on Communications and Public Relations has set to revisit this precious resource to make it aligned with the latest trends. The new manual aims at equipping scientists and science communicators with knowledge on communication theory and practice. Drawing upon the digital tools, the revamped manual will be exclusively available online thus giving possibilities to easily link to external resources, embed other digital materials like podcasts and videos and finally make it a living resource to be updated as needed. 

The team is looking for additional volunteers to produce the revamped manual in time for the IUFRO Congress in Sep 2024. Ideally, candidates would come from within the IUFRO network or are experienced forest science communicators who know IUFRO. If you are interested, please contact me or any of the working party deputies. We particularly encourage applications from members from the Global South. IUFRO-SPDC will offer a full sponsorship for authors/contributors of the manual who are eligible for SAP for IUFRO Event Participation to attend IUFRO 2024.


Working Party Objectives:

  • Share communication and public relations knowledge, experiences, and best practices to enhance IUFRO members ability to communicate science and related forest-focused topics.
  • Foster the communication efforts of IUFRO scientists including with one another, non-IUFRO scientists, policy makers, and the public.
  • Understand communication technology and tool advances that can be applied to communicating science.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of science communication techniques in the science-policy interface.

Workplan Through IUFRO 2024 World Congress:

  • Update the Communicating Forest Science  manual with new case studies and more contemporary information
  • Create online mechanisms for engagement between members
  • Provide advice to IUFRO members on best practices for communicating forest science using the latest technologies
  • Create synergies with other IUFRO units of relevance to the WP
  • Prepare a technical session for the IUFRO 2024 World Congress that showcases and models best practices in forest science communication.

Subscribe to the IUFRO Working Party on Communications and Public Relations mailing list here.