Resources for the Future

TF Resources for the Future

Task Force Coordinator:

John Innes, Canada


Jung-Hwan Park, Korea (Rep)

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"Sustainable management and protection of forests (including forest landscape degradation and restoration) will remain a dominant theme for the forest research community in the future. Innovation regarding forest products, goods and services together with sustainable and responsible operations will play an important role for future management options. Benefits and values of non-wood forest products to large portions of the world's population need to be accepted, realized and properly accounted for. Furthermore, changes in governance and the understanding of governance structures against different socio-cultural conditions will play an important role for the sustainable management and use of forests in the future. This includes the resilience of social structures towards ecological and economic changes (e.g. caused by climate change)." - IUFRO Strategy 2010-2014

The background to this Task Force, as described in IUFRO's current strategic plan, is broad. To achieve its goals, the Task Force will concentrate on the new products and services coming from forests and the governance issues associated with the effective management of these product value chains. This will involve identifying the products, potential markets, most appropriate fibre sources to maximize value and assessing how they may best be managed. The development of some of these products may generate competition with other products, both inside and outside the forest. Examples include competition for feedstocks between pulp mills and biorefineries, the conversion of natural forests to plantations, and the conversion of agricultural land to biofuel plantations. Consequently, new governance modalities and even new institutions may be necessary.

Specific lines of inquiry will be developed into the following:

  • What are the consequences of the shift from natural to anthropogenic forests?
  • What are the effects and implications of increasing globalization (in commerce, travel, supply chains, etc.) on the future supply of forest resources?
  • What are the new services needed from forests, and what can be done to meet these demands?
  • How are product developments (biosubstances, biomaterials, engineered forest products, traditional forest products, etc.) encouraging the future use of forest resources?


The aim of the TF is to work with the IUFRO Divisions to promote a cross-disciplinary but focused approach for addressing this topic, and building support and alignment of the objectives and process. A number of deliverables are envisaged, including a major conference and a state-of-the-art report to be published prior to the 2014 IUFRO World Congress. The report will clearly lay out the issues, opportunities and impediments and recommend a specific course of action.


Task Force Executive Committee

John Innes (Coordinator), Dean, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia
Jung-Hwan Park (Deputy Coordinator), Director, Division of Microbiology, Korea Forest Research Institute
Hosny El-Lakany (Executive Committee), Former Director, Forestry Department, UN-FAO
Ian de la Roche (Executive Committee), Former CEO, FPInnovations

Task Force members

Division coordinators have nominated the following individuals to serve on the Task Force:
Division 1: Kevin O'Hara, University of California – Berkeley, USA
Division 2: Om Rajora, University of New Brunswick, Canada
Division 3:
Division 4:
Division 5: Dave Cown, Scion, New Zealand
Division 6: Dorothy Anderson, North Carolina State University, USA
Division 7: Sandy Liebhold, USDA Forest Service, USA
Division 8: Alex Mosseler, Natural Resources Canada, USA
Division 9: Liu Jinlong, Renmin University, China

Additional Members

Gan Kee Seng (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia).
Gert-Jan Nabuurs, European Forest Institute
Others, as identified by the Steering Committee

Pathway to Completion

The Task Force will be divided into four sub-groups, each addressing a specific topic. These will be:

  • Implications of the changes in fibre supply from natural to anthropogenic forests
  • Implications of globalization on forest resources
  • The evolving demands for forest services
  • New products


The Task Force will primarily co-operate using electronic communication. Funding for specific activities will be sought from appropriate sponsors.

Send comments to John Innes (Task Force Coordinator)