Letter by the IUFRO President and Executive Director
Vienna, March 8th, 2022
We are deeply shocked and horrified by the ongoing Russian military assault on the independent sovereign democratic nation of Ukraine, the grave humanitarian crisis that it is creating, and the disastrous impacts it will have on the scientific community. We stand with the international community in condemning this invasion, and with our forest science colleagues in Ukraine and elsewhere, including in Russia, who have courageously raised their voices against this war and its associated violation of human rights.
IUFRO is a global, non-profit, non-governmental and non-discriminatory network that unites member organizations in more than 120 countries representing over 15,000 scientists. Throughout our 130-year history we have provided a vital platform for international science collaboration in line with the principle of free and responsible practice of science.
While remaining true to our fundamentally non-political identity, we cannot overlook the blatant disregard of international rule of law on display by the government of the Russian Federation and its disastrous impacts on the forest science community in Ukraine. For this reason, IUFRO has already cancelled the annual Board Meeting and Regional Conference that were to be held this September in Russia. Moreover, we are suspending our formal contacts with Russian State institutions.
The current situation challenges but does not alter IUFRO’s unshakable commitment to fostering international scientific dialogue and collaboration for the benefit of forests and people worldwide, and to supporting our member organizations and scientists, especially those affected by conflicts and war anywhere in the world. We are determined to support IUFRO member organizations and scientists in Ukraine along with other academic and research institutions worldwide that are offering opportunities for Ukrainian students and scientists at this critical time.
John Parrotta Alexander Buck
IUFRO President IUFRO Executive Director