R20 Austrian World Summit 2019

IUFRO at the R20 Austrian World Summit 2019

Hofburg, Vienna, Austria, 28 and 29 May 2019

The R20 Austrian World Summit on 28 and 29 May 2019 in Vienna will for the first time include a Breakout Session on forests and climate change. This session is jointly organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) and IUFRO.

On 29 May 2019, IUFRO co-organizes R20 Austrian World Summit Breakout Session on "Forest Responses to Climate Change: Why African Forests Matter"!

In this session policy makers and scientists will discuss the role of forests and trees and their sustainable conservation and management in limiting climate-related risks in the context of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the importance of forests in Africa will be underlined and examples of cooperation between Austrian and African partners will be highlighted.

Three renowned experts from Africa will talk about the opportunities and challenges for people and the environment related to forests, trees and forest products in the face of climate change. The Austrian Minister of Education, Science and Research, Mr. Heinz Faßmann, will present new science cooperation initiatives between Austria and partners in Africa. This is followed by a panel discussion which will look into the expectations of research and science cooperation as well as into opportunities of collaboration to support sustainable forest management. Concrete examples of forest research and development cooperation projects will finally be presented during a poster session organized by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.

Breakout Session FOREST RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE: Why African Forests Matter
29 May 2019, 09:00 – 12:30 h


The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is a long-term initiative to create a network platform that will help regions, states and cities implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and meet the global climate protection targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. https://www.austrianworldsummit.com/

Meet the Speakers

Emma Archer van Garderen, University of Pretoria, South Africa

I am a geographer, working on sustainable agriculture/managed ecosystems and climate in Africa. After my PhD at Clark University in the northeastern US, I undertook a NOAA Global & Climate Change postdoctoral fellowship at the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia University in New York; co-hosted by the Pennsylvania State University.  My research focus is on drylands, with experience throughout the SADC region and on the continent.  I have served as the co-chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Africa Assessment (www.ipbes.net), as a Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) on the Forests and Water Assessment of the Global Forestry Expert Panels (GFEP); and I am currently a Climate Change Channel Editor for PLOS (www.plos.org). 

Presentation at the Breakout Session: Environment and climate change in Africa – an overview

Ramni Jamnadass, Co-Leader, Tree Productivity and Diversity, World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), Kenya

Ramni Jamnadass is a Kenyan scientist driven to change the lives of small holder farmers and other communities.  She is the leader of Tree Genetic Resources (TGR) in the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) involving ICRAF, CIFOR, Bioversity and Forest Landscape Denmark (University of Copenhagen).  The TGR program aims to bridge production gaps and promote resilience by providing solutions for the more effective safeguarding, domestication and delivery of TGR by and to farmers, foresters and other stakeholders. This leads to diversified and more productive options for farming systems, to more varied diets and improved nutrition, to strengthened value chains for tree products, and to increased smallholder farm incomes.  Importantly, the right TGR management decisions play an important role in enhancing the adaptive capacity of farm and forest ecosystems to cope with climate change and in countering landscape degradation.  Within the TGR program she also coordinates the FTA- priorities of nutrition, orphan crops and biodiversity to support both smallholder farmers’ livelihoods and bring wider environmental benefits, including through forest restoration.

Within ICRAF, Ramni co-leads ICRAF’s global research program Tree productivity and Diversity: Realising economic and ecological value from tree genetic resources (TREEs).  This program also hosts the African Orphan Crops Consortium, http://africanorphancrops.org/, which is sequencing, assembling and annotating the genomes of 101 traditional African food crops (47 trees) with the intention to improve nutritional security in Africa.  The TREEs program also holds ICRAF Genebanks.

Ramni has great passion in building capacities and empowering young women and men.  When not at work, Ramni will be found hiking in wilderness or animal gazing in the wild African landscapes.

Presentation at the Breakout Session: The role of forests and trees for the livelihood of African people in a changing climate

Wubalem Tadesse Wondifraw, Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI)

Wubalam Tadesse is a senior researcher of the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI). From 2015 to 2018 he was the Director General of the institute after holding a position as Coordinator of Environment and Forest Research at the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment and Forest (MEF).

Wubalam Tadesse holds a Ph.D. in Forest Genetics from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain and an M.Sc. in Forestry from the Universidad de Pinar del Río, Cuba. In his most recent publications he focused on forest management in the face of climate change and looked particularly into managing forest ecosystems in the Sahel and Ethiopian Highlands. His special research interests are, among others, plantation forestry and rehabilitation of degraded lands as well as forest products utilization.

Presentation at the Breakout Session: Forest Landscape Restoration – Experiences on the ground from Ethiopia