IUFRO News, Volume 53, Double Issue 2/3

International Day of Forests 2024: Forests and Innovation – New Solutions for a Better World

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), of which IUFRO is a member. The theme for 2024 is forests and innovation.

Innovation and technology have transformed countries' ability to monitor and report on their forests; they can empower Indigenous Peoples through mapping and securing customary land; they are needed to halt deforestation and forest degradation; and they are advancing ecosystem restoration as a powerful nature-based solution to multiple global challenges.

Visit the IDF webpages and watch the IDF video:  https://www.fao.org/international-day-of-forests/en/

One of the key messages of IDF 2024 specifically highlights the role of research and science:  "Research and science are pushing the boundaries of what we can do with wood and other forest products."

From construction to medicine, innovations in forest products are helping create alternatives to unsustainable materials such as concrete, steel, plastics and synthetic fibers, while sustainable wood products store carbon for their lifetime.

Innovation Is at the Heart of the IUFRO World Congress 2024 in Stockholm

The IUFRO World Congress with the theme FORESTS AND SOCIETY TOWARDS 2050 will take place on 23-29 June 2024 in Stockholm, Sweden. It provides a unique opportunity to gather leading scientists and stakeholders from all over the world to contribute and co-create for a sustainable future. The Congress will offer arenas for innovations, forward-looking dialogues, and the foundations for collaborations.

Be part of it and sign up at:  https://iufro2024.com/

Innovation is indeed a cross-cutting topic at the Congress, encompassing all types of innovation, not only the development of new forest products or the use of novel technological and digital tools, but also innovative forest education, new business models, policy innovations, institutional and social innovations. At the same time, emphasis will be placed on weaving the traditional knowledge into modern science perspectives.

The Congress is arranged along five important themes:  Forests for sustainable societies; Strengthening forest resilience and adaptation to stress; Towards a responsible forest bioeconomy; Forest biodiversity and its ecosystem services; Forests for the future. All these themes will be introduced by eminent keynote speakers in the daily plenaries.

Congress themes:  https://iufro2024.com/iufro-world-congress-2024/themes/
Keynote speakers:  https://iufro2024.com/keynote-speakers/

While innovation is a core element of all sub-themes, "Forests for the future" is specifically targeted at showcasing innovation on forest research and emerging methodologies. It will, among other things, address the paradigm shift from a highly manual and analog approach to a system with digital data capture and planning precision forestry. It also focuses on education as a critical step to safeguarding natural resources for future generations. As technology, society, and climate are rapidly changing, it is necessary to create and strengthen new paths at all levels of education.

The Innovation Stage

Also, in addition to the scientific sessions, poster presentations and stakeholder discussions, this Congress offers a dedicated space to showcase innovation to a global audience, the Innovation Stage. Visionaries from around the world have the opportunity to present their pioneering work to a broad spectrum of policymakers, industry leaders, researchers and other delegates.

Click to find out more:  https://iufro2024.com/innovation-stage/

New Report on the Future of Wood Supply in Europe Highlights Importance of Innovation

On the occasion of the International Day of Forests themed "Forests and Innovation", IUFRO proudly presents a new evidence-based synthesis report titled "Europe's wood supply in disruptive times". The report was published on 14 March as IUFRO World Series Vol. 42 by TEAMING UP 4 FORESTS, a science-business platform initiated by IUFRO and Mondi Group.

The study author team comprised of forest scientists and experts across Europe. Dr Metodi Sotirov from University of Freiburg (Germany), chaired the study team and comments, "Although this is an evidence-based publication with a strong scientific component, it aims to inform decision-makers that operate mainly outside scientific and academic circles, and to contribute to bridging the gap between science, business and stakeholders in the forest and wood-based sector."

Forests in Europe are strongly affected by climate change, with far-reaching consequences for forest health and ecosystem services including the supply of wood. Tree species of great commercial importance are significantly impacted by disturbances such as extreme drought events, bark beetle infestation, and frequent heatwaves and wildfires. Forests and wood-based industries also face other challenges such as political uncertainties and a fragmented forest landscape caused by alterations in land use and wildfires, among others. The report analyses these factors and offers response options including technological and digital innovation and new value-added wood-based products.

One of the conclusions is that to successfully navigate the uncertainties and changes ahead, cooperation and partnerships are paramount for the future of wood supply in Europe. Interdisciplinary, transnational, and cross-sectoral collaborations facilitate the implementation of successful strategies and can guide the wood-based industry towards innovation, adaptability, and resilience amid evolving challenges. Beyond cooperation, the study shows that education and communication within and outside the forest-based sector are crucial for sustainable forest management and engaging future generations.

Link to study report, a business brief and a fact sheet:
Looking back on webinar on 18 March 2024:
Click to learn about TEAMING UP 4 FORESTS:  https://teamingup4forests.com/ 

Webinar: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Report by Joséphine Queffelec, Deputy Coordinator, IUFRO Research Group 7.03.00 Forest entomology https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-7/70000/70300/

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated on 11 February every year. To recognize the contribution that women make to forest health research, Division 7 organized a webinar event on 12 and 13 February made up of three two-hour sessions to highlight the work of 21 female researchers. The times of the three sessions were chosen so that people in every time zone could attend at least one session.

This event was free and online and attracted 215 participants from all over the world. It was kindly hosted and supported by Natural Resources Canada, University of Pretoria, and Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute.

Meeting website  https://div7idwgs.carlamani.com/?page=0

Speakers were chosen to represent the diversity of the forest health research community in terms of geography (North America:  3 speakers, South America:  3 speakers, Europe:  2 speakers, Africa:  4 speakers, Asia:  4 speakers, Oceania:  3 speakers) and career stage. Out of 19 speakers, 15 used English as a second or third language and 12 worked at research institutes within the Global South.

Most of the speakers presented their research on topics related to forest pests and pathogens, forest ecology, soil microbiome, invasion biology and climate change. Two of the speakers also gave presentations on gender-related issues in academia and in the forestry sector in Benin and Nepal.

Many of the speakers highlighted that the field of forest health research would greatly benefit from an increase in data availability and standardization. This observation was made regarding records of the spread of invasive species at the local, regional, and continental scales. Other speakers also highlighted the importance of publishing sequencing data from small scale studies to facilitate large scale phylogenetic studies focused on pathogen evolution.

Due to the positive feedback already received by Division 7 following this event, there are plans for another webinar in 2025. Additionally, some of the speakers will be attending the 26th IUFRO World Congress in Stockholm.

Session 1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kfRIAJjdyI&list=PLEiQAOwzgQmTi1sdbMSkNmXUX5FR5YmbI
Session 2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__jD9jQIfoE&list=PLEiQAOwzgQmTi1sdbMSkNmXUX5FR5YmbI&index=2
Session 3:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAvyRymTIdo

Webinar: AI in Forest Education

Report by Mika Rekola, Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 6.09.00 Forest education https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/60900/

AI has been a hot topic since the launching of ChatGPT last winter. Especially among teachers, students in schools and at universities an active discussion has emerged. The IUFRO webinar on 23 January 2024 offered a briefing what AI services such as ChatGTP are all about. It also provided some guidelines and projections for the future learning and working life in general.

Here are some major applications of AI in education:

  • Virtual counselling without human intervention
  • Assessment managers for designing tests with AI
  • Personalized recording and evaluation of academic achievement
  • Strengthening personalized education through crowdsourcing
  • AI support for designing customized learning materials

Click to read the report and find out more about the benefits and challenges identified in this webinar!


Forest Knowledge Exchange: Advancing Innovation with Tradition

Report by Robert Bardon, Antonio Brunori, William Hubbard, Ales Poljanec, Francisco Marini, Janice Sitzes, leadership team of IUFRO 9.01.03 Extension and knowledge exchange (EKE) https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90100/90103/

Professionals who work with stakeholders on education and knowledge exchange have a plethora of new and emerging educational technology tools at their disposal today. Flipped classrooms, online learning management systems (OLMs), virtual reality and other high technologies are expanding and enhancing the ability to reach new and current audiences with vastly different educational experiences than those that were available just a few years ago. While these tools are being valued, the customs and traditions that come with local and indigenous knowledge and stakeholder involvement are equally cherished.

The Forest Knowledge Exchange conference on October 8-14, 2023, in Padua, Italy, focused specifically on advancing innovation with tradition, starting with the history of forest management and the importance in the history of the Serenissima (Venice Marine Republic). It addressed the fusion of new tools and technologies with the inclusion of local information and traditions. For example, participants had the chance to look at the old maps and the old management plans of The Cansiglio forest stored in the Venice State Archive, with a following visit to the same forest, now managed and harvested in a sustainable way.

Key topics of discussion

  • Current and emerging techniques and technologies in Extension and education for forest stakeholders
  • Successful measurement of impacts and outcomes of forestry Extension programs
  • Continuing education and development needs and opportunities for Extension forestry professionals
  • Overcoming barriers to successful knowledge exchange

The utilization of scientifically tested Extension and knowledge exchange practices and protocols is important for the advancement of the profession. These areas of communication within the international forestry community are typically underrepresented, and the professionals who work in this arena are overstretched, but their desire to learn from each other and to improve the skill sets they need to have a broader and deeper impact remains critical to the field.

Generally, there is a need to continue to find ways to incorporate and integrate traditions and indigenous knowledge along with Western science and new technologies when reaching out to various stakeholders, particularly to those who have been traditionally underserved or marginalized.

The meeting was kindly hosted and supported by PEFC Italy, North Carolina State University and the online journal "Forests" and attracted 35 participants from Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Great Britain, China, Ireland, and the United States. PEFC Italy organized the event in collaboration with Veneto Agriculture, accompanying the group to the regional forests of Cansiglio, which are certified according to the PEFC Italy scheme for Sustainable Forest Management. A study tour was offered to the Karst region on the Slovenian-Italian border.

The meeting website https://www.iufro-eke.org/  lists all presentations as well as photos and a video of the field tour.

IUFRO-EKE will hold a business meeting in Stockholm at the IUFRO World Congress in June. The IUFRO-EKE leadership team is also taking requests for a meeting location in 2025.

2023 IUFRO International Symposium on Pine Wilt Disease

Report by Jianghua Sun, Deputy Coordinator, IUFRO Working Party 7.02.10 Pine wilt disease  https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-7/70000/70200/70210/

Pine wood disease has become a serious threat to the health of pine forests in Europe and Asia. At present, research on the prevention and control of pine wilt disease requires interdisciplinary integration. More efficient technological means are currently needed to prevent the spread of pine wilt disease and bring new hope for the future of pine forests around the world.

The 2023 IUFRO International Symposium on Pine Wilt Disease on October 25-28, 2023, in Nanjing, China mainly addressed the prevention, theory, technology and management of pine wilt disease. The conference highlighted latest research progress on pine wilt disease including pathogenic mechanisms, genetic diversity of pine wood nematode, insect-vector development, multispecies interaction infection, diagnosis, monitoring and early warning, prevention and control technology, resistance breeding, and disease management. There was unanimous agreement that scholars over the world should unite to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, propose better prevention and control technologies for pine wilt disease, and address the challenges brought by pine wilt disease.

The meeting attracted 358 participants from 17 countries. It was kindly hosted and supported by Nanjing Forestry University; Chinese Academy of Forestry; Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Hebei University. A study tour was offered to Nanjing Pingshan Forest Park.

Meeting website:  https://www.bagevent.com/event/8443317
Conference pictures:  https://www.pailixiang.com/album_ia4689870609.html

A dedicated session on pine wilt disease will take place at 2024 IUFRO World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

Forest Mensuration and Modelling Chat on Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Ghana

Report by Bianca Eskelson, Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 4.01.00 Forest mensuration and modelling https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40100/

The webinar titled "Assessment of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in CREMAs in the Northern Savanna Zone of Ghana" held on 24 October 2023 was part of the webinar series "Forest Mensuration and Modelling Chats" hosted by Research Group 4.01.00. Participants came from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Canada, USA, Hungary, Nigeria and India. This webinar series is meant to highlight forest mensuration and modelling research across a variety of research areas and allow for scientific exchange across the globe.

The guest speaker in this webinar, Dr. Stella Britwum Acquah, Senior Research Scientist, CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, presented about the assessment of deforestation and forest degradation in the Northern Savanna Zone.

The study examined the trends in forest cover changes and identified the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Ghana's Northern Savanna Zone (NSZ) using satellite images from 1992 and focus group discussions respectively.

This study is particularly pertinent for the successful execution of the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLERP), the second subnational initiative striving to rehabilitate degraded off-reserve forests in the NSZ, ultimately boosting carbon stocks.

The findings revealed a positive shift, with forest cover in the NSZ increasing by about 0.8 million hectares in 2020. Nine direct drivers of DFD were identified by the participants with the top four being bushfires, wood harvesting for fuelwood and charcoal, overgrazing, and illegal logging. The underlying drivers identified included poverty, limited non-farm livelihood opportunities, population growth, and weak law enforcement.

To address these drivers of DFD, the study proposes a comprehensive set of interventions. These interventions are expected to instigate positive transformations in the NSZ by mitigating risks and bolstering ecosystem resilience. Overall, the research contributes valuable insights for informed decision-making towards the sustainable management of forest resources in the NSZ.

Video recordings of the webinar:  https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40100/
Direct link to the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8L7i06f2e0&feature=youtu.be

Role and Fate of Forest Ecosystems in a Changing World

Report by Pierre Sicard, Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 8.04.00 Impacts of air pollution and climate change on forest ecosystems https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-8/80000/80400/

For the first time, the biennial conference of Research Group 8.04.00 was held in Southeast Asia. It took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 15-19 January 2024, with 82 participants from 30 countries.

Air pollution and climate change are tightly linked, and remain a threat to natural ecosystems, urging for international cooperation and unified research efforts. Asia has achieved one of the highest economic growth rates in the second half of the 20th century, leading to many environmental problems, and resulting in substantial changes in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Southeast Asia, which is particularly vulnerable to climate change and air pollution, is a key region for addressing issues related to forest ecosystems. To date, the impact of climate change and air pollution on natural habitats for the whole region of Southeast Asia has not been quantified, and knowledge on ozone impacts on tropical and subtropical ecosystems is still limited.

The conference featured 64 talks, 3 keynote speeches, and 17 posters, to share the current state of knowledge and discuss scientific gaps in the understanding of the interaction of climate change, air pollution and atmospheric deposition and their integrated effects on forest ecosystems. Presentations covered the following topics:  Ozone effects (23%); Greening cities (20%); Monitoring, modelling & risk assessment (17%); Air pollution & climate change (13%); Genetic & physiological processes (9%); Atmospheric deposition (9%); Multiple stressors effects (9%). Participants reviewed the current knowledge on air pollution and climate change effects on plant ecosystems and identify future strategies and key priorities (roadmap) to improve health, sustainability, and productivity of plant systems worldwide.

Key priority areas:

  • Long-term monitoring & experiments:  better understanding of biogeochemical & physiological processes under climate change.
  • Development of models integrating air pollution and climate change.
  • Generation of flux-based critical levels, especially in tropical region.
  • Studies addressing combined effects of biotic & abiotic factors.
  • Quantification of air pollution removal capacity of trees & mitigation of ambient temperature in cities.
  • Establishment of efficient greening strategies & transfer to policymakers.

The conference was organized by ARCHES-Conseils and KMUTT with the financial support of the LIFE project AIRFRESH (LIFE19 ENV/FR/000086), and the Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited, Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center. The Forestias field trip and experience at real urban forests for human well-being was offered.

A special issue of "Forest Science for People and Societal Challenges" will be published in Environmental Research (IF 8.3) with the deadline on 1 April 2024.

The Roots of Innovation – Setting the Course for Innovation and Sustainable Growth in the Forest Sector

FOREST EUROPE organized a webinar on 14 March 2024 in the run-up to the International Day of Forests 2024, with the theme 'Forests and Innovation'. The webinar was specifically designed for members of the FOREST EUROPE signatories, observer organizations and countries, private sector, industry, students, research organizations, or just an interested person in innovation.

Event website  https://foresteurope.org/event/the-roots-of-innovation-setting-the-course-for-innovation-and-sustainable-growth-in-the-forest-sector/

Veronika Juch, coordinator for the Secretariat of the European Wood Policy Platform (woodPoP) hosted by IUFRO, was one of the speakers at the event and presented about woodPoP.

The platform aims to enhance multilateral policy, knowledge and experience exchange between public and private actors from the wood sector at national and regional level.

Building on best practices, it focuses on developing policy solutions to enhance the sustainable production and consumption of wood and its contribution to an innovative, circular bioeconomy.

More about woodPoP:  https://www.iufro.org/science/partnership-projects/woodpop/

What Forest Model Do We Want in Europe?

Climate resilience, forest fires, circular bioeconomy...

On 14 March, Nelson Grima, Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO´s Science-Policy Programme https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/, spoke at an event in San Sebastián, Spain, organized by Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa (USSE). He delivered a talk titled "Forests in a global policy context".

Link to program:  https://usse-eu.org/en/eventos

He also contributed to a roundtable discussion with regional and national forestry authorities, Commission representatives and other experts, about what opportunities and challenges exist in Europe for our forests and what forestry model we want in Europe. One of the discussants, Helga Pülzl (European Forest Institute) is among the authors of the upcoming report on "International Forest Governance" to be launched by IUFRO's Science-Policy Programme in May 2024 at UNFF19 in New York.

About International Forest Governance study:

News from IUFRO-WFSE: World Congress Session Plans / Web story on Finland's Support to Forests in Global South

IUFRO's Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO-WFSE) is organizing a session at the IUFRO 2024 World Congress based on the forthcoming WFSE book "Restoring Forests and Trees for Sustainable Development:  Policies, Practices, Impacts, and the Ways Forward". Panelists include Maria Brockhaus (University of Helsinki), Wil de Jong (University of Freiburg), Houria Djoudi (CIFOR-ICRAF), and Pablo Pacheco (WWF).

About IUFRO-WFSE:  https://www.iufro.org/science/wfse/
More information about the publication and the session to come later this spring!

Also, Pia Katila, the Coordinator of IUFRO's Helsinki-based Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO-WFSE), is quoted in the following web story by Kaapo Haapanen published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland:

Forest Research Promotes Development and Sustainable Forest Use in Global South
Finland finances international forest research as part of development cooperation in the forestry sector. According to Pia Katila, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland, multidisciplinary approach is a key to producing information to support forest policy in developing countries.

Click to read more:  https://um.fi/news/-/asset_publisher/GRSnUwaHDPv5/content/metsantutkimus-edistaa-kehitysta-ja-kestavaa-metsankayttoa-globaalissa-etelassa/35732

IUFRO Podcast Episode 5: Forests for Sustainable Societies

The fifth episode of Branching out: the forest podcast is out! This episode takes you on a captivating 30-minute exploration into the role of forests in shaping sustainable societies. This edition, featuring extended content, offers a deeper dive into the connections between nature, people, and sustainable development.

Hosted by Jose Bolaños from IUFRO HQ and co-hosted by Yasmeen Sands from the USDA Forest Service and Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO's Communication and Public Relations Working Party https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90100/90102/, the podcast delves into four distinct sections, each shedding light on crucial aspects of the IUFRO World Congress https://iufro2024.com/ theme "Forests for Sustainable Societies". From nature-based solutions (NBS) and links between forests and human health to power and equity in the forest sector and the complexity of forest governance, this episode unravels the multifaceted tapestry of challenges and opportunities for sustainable societies.

Guests in this episode: 

Harini Nagendra, Director of the Azim Premji University Research Center and leader of the University's Center for Climate Change and Sustainability (and keynote speaker at the 26th IUFRO World Congress, 23-29 June in Stockholm https://iufro2024.com/keynote-speakers/)

Cecil Konijnendijk, Director of the Nature Based Solutions Institute, chair of Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Human Health https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/gfep-initiative/panel-on-forests-and-human-health/, Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO's Division 6 - Social Aspects of Forests and Forestry https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/

Judith Kamoto, a member of the GFEP on Forests and Poverty https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/gfep-initiative/panel-on-forests-and-poverty/ from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi and Deputy Coordinator of the African forest politics and governance Working Party https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90500/90509/.

Mónica Gabay, an independent researcher from Argentina, Coordinator of IUFRO Division 9 - Forest Policy and Economics https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/ and co-author of the GFEP global assessment on Forests and Poverty https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/gfep-initiative/panel-on-forests-and-poverty/

Listen to the extended episode wherever you enjoy your podcasts and gain a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between forests and sustainable societies! And stay tuned for the season finale, where we explore the topic of forests for the future!

Tune in to Branching Out: the forest podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or on the IUFRO website!


IUFRO Japan News No. 135
The latest issue of IUFRO Japan News is now available on https://www.iufro.org/discover/noticeboard/

Parasitic Flowering Plants in Forests
Special journal issue published by members of IUFRO Working Party 7.02.11 Parasitic flowering plants in forests https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-7/70000/70200/70211/
Botany 2024:  Volume 102, Number 3, March 2024
By David C. Shaw, Luiza Teixeira-Costa, David M. Watson, and Simon F. Shamoun

Book of Abstracts
Foliar, Shoot, Stem and Rust Diseases of Trees - Forest Diseases During Global Crises. Durham, New Hampshire, USA; 26 June - 1 July 2022. IUFRO Units involved:  7.02.02, 7.02.05.
Munck IA, Diez-Casero JJ, Moricca S, Tanguay P and Bonello P (2024) Research Topic:  Foliar, shoot, stem and rust diseases of trees IUFRO 2022. Front. For. Glob. Change.
Link to publication https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/39477/foliar-shoot-stem-and-rust-diseases-of-trees-iufro-2022

International Conference of COFE-FETEC - Forest Operations:  A Tool for Forest Management
23-25 May 2023, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA,
IUFRO 3.00 .00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-3/30000/
Link to online file https://www.iufro.org/fileadmin/material/publications/proceedings-archive/30000-cofe-fetec23-proceedings.pdf

Access to Human Health Benefits of Forests in Rural Low and Middle-Income Countries:  A Literature Review and Conceptual Framework
By Ranaivo A. Rasolofoson, Duke University, USA, and University of Toronto, Canada, Challenges 2024, 15(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe15010012

Forests are increasingly recognized for their beneficial roles in human health. However, there is a debate on how forest health benefits can be accessed equitably, particularly by vulnerable forest-dependent rural communities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

R.A. Rasolofoson was a member of the Global Forest Expert Panel Expert Panel on Forests and Human Health 2023 and co-authored the global assessment report "Forests and Trees for Human Health:  Pathways, Impacts, Challenges and Response Options" published by IUFRO in 2023. https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/gfep-initiative/panel-on-forests-and-human-health/

New Book:  Woodlands:  Ecology, Management and Threats
Edited by Ian D. Rotherham - Professor, Ecologist, Mayfield, Norton, Sheffield, UK, Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 9.03.00 Forest history and traditional knowledge

The publication brings together key authors and researchers to address issues around the understanding of treescapes, woodlands, and forests, and both recognition and protection. Critical issues are raised in terms of the lack of guidance on matters such as irreplaceable woodland heritage and associated biodiversity. The identification and ageing of hitherto unrecognized ancient trees are discussed in detail. Published by NOVA Science Publishers. Discount granted!
Link to publication:  https://novapublishers.com/shop/woodlands-ecology-management-and-threats/

The New 'Locust Years' of Ancient-Woodland Destruction
Posted by Ian Rotherham, Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 9.03.00 Forest history and traditional knowledge https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90300/
Link to blog with downloadable PDF:  https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2024/02/19/the-new-locust-years-of-ancient-woodland-destruction/

Critical Transitions in the Amazon Forest System
Flores, B.M., Montoya, E., Sakschewski, B. et al. Critical transitions in the Amazon forest system. Nature 626, 555–564 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06970-0
Also among the authors:  Adriane Esquível-Muelbert, Deputy Coordinator of the IUFRO Task Force Monitoring global tree mortality patterns and trends https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/tree-mortality-patterns/

The possibility that the Amazon forest system could soon reach a tipping point, inducing large-scale collapse, has raised global concern. The paper discusses, among other things, how the inherent complexity of the Amazon adds uncertainty about future dynamics, but also reveals opportunities for action. Keeping the Amazon forest resilient in the Anthropocene will depend on a combination of local efforts to end deforestation and degradation and to expand restoration, with global efforts to stop greenhouse gas emissions.

Wildfire Risk Planning and Prevention
Mauri, E., Jankavić, M. 2024. Wildfire risk planning and prevention - Innovations in the Mediterranean and beyond. European Forest Institute. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.36333/rs8en

Wildfire prevention is increasingly seen as the most important approach to integrated wildfire management. While the eleven instruments described in this document have the ultimate goal of preventing wildfires, they are not all preventive measures. You will discover instruments for fire risk assessment, planning, preparation and, of course, prevention as part of the wildfire risk management continuum.

Available in English and Spanish:  https://efi.int/publications-bank/wildfire-risk-planning-and-prevention-innovations-mediterranean-and-beyond

Initiatives in Africa, Latin America, the Mediterranean and South Asia Cited as Best Practices for Reversing Ecosystems Degradation

Nairobi, 13 February 2024 – The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) have named seven initiatives from Africa, Latin America, the Mediterranean, and South Asia as UN World Restoration Flagships. These initiatives include ecosystems at the tipping point of outright degradation resulting from wildfires, drought, deforestation, and pollution. They are now eligible for technical and financial UN support.

The World Restoration Flagship awards are part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – led by UNEP and FAO – which aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. The awards track notable initiatives that support global commitments to restore one billion hectares – an area larger than China.

Read the release at:  https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/nature-staging-comeback-un-recognizes-seven-world-restoration

Also read an opinion paper on one of these flagship initiatives – Regreening Africa - by Mieke Bourne published in CIFOR Forest News. Mieke Bourne is an engagement with restoration evidence specialist and was the programme manager for Regreening Africa.

The Forests Monitor
The Forests Monitor (FM) is an international peer-reviewed open-access journal, devoted to the science of multifunctional forest ecosystems, that aims to enhance management and conservation in support of good forest governance worldwide. The next Issue will be published by the end of December 2024, and the deadline to submit papers is 30 June 2024.
Find more information at:  https://forestsmonitor.com/



Lecturer in Forestry
Apply by 4 April 2024, 23:59 hours BST

The Institute of Science and Environment, University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK, is seeking to recruit a Lecturer in Forestry who has broad knowledge of forestry from a practical and/or academic perspective. The Institute would particularly welcome applications from candidates with experience of forest management and with strong links to the forestry sector.
Details  https://jobs.cumbria.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=XX100723-R

PhD Position in Forest Growth Projection and Sampling
Apply by 1 May 2024

The Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, is looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and independent person for a four-year funded PhD position. The overall aims of the position are to develop a projection system based on particle filtering to effectively predict long-term forest growth and an inventory system based on variable probability sampling to efficiently estimate the growth. The preferred start date is September 2024.
Details  https://www.grad.ubc.ca/ad/57737

Senior Manager - Forest Investment Consulting
Unique, an international consulting firm for sustainable management of natural resources based in Freiburg, Germany, is seeking a senior manager for forest investment consulting.
Details  https://uniquelanduse.jobs.personio.com/job/1382599?language=de&display=en

Assistant/Associate Professor of Plant-Associated Molecular Mycology
Apply by 15 August 2024

The Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, is inviting applications for the position of Assistant/Associate Professor of Plant-Associated Molecular Mycology. The Department's aim is to recruit, support, and retain a scholar who will develop a strong, interdisciplinary, nationally and internationally recognized research and teaching program focused on fungi and/or oomycetes that interact with plants.
Details  https://osu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/OSUCareers/job/Columbus-Campus/Assistant-Associate-Professor-Mycology-Plant-Pathology_R99372-1

Courses, Grants, Summer Schools


Master's Level Course:  Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS)
Apply by 29 April to:  ilus(at)waldbau.uni-freiburg.de

The University of Freiburg, Germany, is again offering a master's level course on Integrated Land Use Systems. Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS) allow farmers to combine different land uses to better use their environments, use their productive resources more effectively and efficiently, and adapt to seasonal variations in weather and flooding regimes. The module will equip participants with tools and methods to analyze the economic, social-cultural, and environmental outcomes of a great diversity of ILUS. The course combines expert lectures, excursions, group activities and discussions.
Date:  29 April - 17 May 2024
Location:  Hybrid with in-person part in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany on 6-12 May 2024

Details:  https://www.waldbau.uni-freiburg.de/news_events/ILUS

E-Learning Course on Gender and Inclusion in Forest Landscape Restoration
This course, developed by gender experts, compiles research, case studies and practical recommendations from leading institutions engaged in forest landscape restoration. In this self-paced online course, you will learn the fundamentals of gender and social inclusion in forest landscapes restoration (FLR). The course focuses on gender inequalities, gender-differentiated impacts and opportunities to address inequalities for more equitable and sustainable FLR, to build the abilities and understanding of diverse stakeholders on the gender and FLR nexus.
Date:  self-paced, online
Organizers:  Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
Registration:  https://flr.talentlms.com/index

ForGEDI Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
The course on gender equality, diversity and inclusion in forestry will be launched soon.
Watch this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSqopGx5hEA

DSS4ES Grants Available

The COST Action Integrated Decision Support Systems for the Delivery of Ecosystem Services Based on EU Forest Policies (DSS4ES https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA22141/) has opened the 1st call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) and Conference grants. The application period ends on 30 April for activities ending before 1 October 2024, with evaluations of applications taking place after the deadline. Further details regarding the application procedure, STSM topics, eligibility criteria, grant awarding criteria, and other relevant information concerning the call can be found at DSS4ES Mobility Grants:  https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2024/02/DSS4ES-Mobility-Grants.pdf

Summer School:  Forests and Extremes – Crisis or Transition?
Apply by 1 May 2024

The Summer School "Forests and Extremes" wants to face up to the complexity of compound and cascading events. Alongside national and international experts from multiple disciplines, participants will expose themselves to the unknown:  the future of terrestrial ecosystems with a focus on forests!
Date:  19 August 2023, 16:00 - 26 August 2023
Location:  Davos, Switzerland
Organizers:  WSL Research Program Extremes, NFZ.forestnet, and SwissForestLab

Summer School:  Blue-Green Biodiversity. Research and Practice at the Interface of Aquatic and Terrestria Ecosystems
Apply by 15 May 2024
The goal of this Summer School is to provide an in-depth understanding of the linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and the interdependencies between social and ecological systems. While focusing on Swiss habitats, a highlight will be placed on an integrated approach that considers the ecological, evolutionary, and social dimensions of blue and green ecosystems benefits the conservation, maintenance, and restoration of biodiversity.
Date:  28-31 August 2024
Location:  Davos, Switzerland
Organizers:  WSL Biodiversity Center, Blue-Green Biodiversity Research Initiative

IUFRO Meetings

For a full list of meetings go to our online calendar!  https://www.iufro.org/events/calendar/current/
Find non-IUFRO meetings on the IUFRO Noticeboard! https://www.iufro.org/discover/noticeboard/other-meetings-events/

21-22 Mar 2024
2024 World Wood Day Online Symposium / 6th IUFRO Forest Products Culture Colloquium
IUFRO 5.15.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/50000/51500/
IUFRO 9.03.02 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90300/90302/
Website:  http://www.worldwoodday.org/2024/regions_event/39 and http://www.worldwoodday.org/

10-11 Apr 2024
Urban Forest Futures New Zealand / Te aka tāngaengae – Pūtaringamotu
Christchurch, New Zealand
IUFRO 6.07.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/60700/
Contact:  Justin Morgenroth, justin.morgenroth(at)canterbury.ac.nz
Website:  https://www.scionresearch.com/about-us/news-and-events/events/upcoming-events/urban-forest-futures-new-zealand

10-12 Apr 2024
5th International Forest Policy Meeting
Helsinki, Finland
IUFRO 9.05.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90500/
IUFRO 9.05.04 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90500/90504/
Contact:  Mirjana Zavodja, mirjana.zavodja(at)hawk.de
Website:  https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/international-forest-policy-meeting-5

13-17 May 2024
20th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR 2024)
Hondarribia, Basque Country, Spain
IUFRO 4.04.04 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40400/40404/
IUFRO 4.04.06 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40400/40406/
Contact:  Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo, jordigarcia(at)isa.utl.pt; José G. Borges, joseborges(at)isa.ulisboa.pt
Website:  https://decisiones.ctfc.cat/SSAFR2024/

21-24 May 2024
26th European Forum on Urban Forestry 2024 (EFUF2024)
Zagreb, Croatia
IUFRO 6.07.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-6/60000/60700/
Contact:  Sreetheran Maruthaveeran, sreetheran(at)upm.edu.my; Rik De Vreese, rik.devreese(at)efi.int
Website:  https://efuf.org/

23-29 Jun 2024
XXVI IUFRO World Congress
Stockholm, Sweden
Science & Society Subplenary Sessions

Find out more about sessions and speakers: https://iufro2024.com/science-and-society-sub-plenary-sessions/

S1.5 President’s Discussion
S2.5 Scaling up the exchange between forest science and business
S5.7 Leadership for Sustainability – Overcoming Challenges in Forest Research
S5.2 Convincing or compelling? Powerful sustainability communication to shape a future with more wooden buildings
S4.3 International Forest Governance: A Comprehensive Global Review
S4.6 Forest Governance in Regions – A stakeholder dialogue
S5.1 Forest Futures
S5.8 Power of Youth in Scaling Multisectoral Collaboration: The role of forests in achieving the vision for 2050
S4.5 Session of Nordic & Baltic Ministers

5-8 Aug 2024
IUFRO Tree Biotech 2024
Annapolis, MD, United States
IUFRO 2.04.06 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-2/20000/20400/20406/
Contact:  Heather D. Coleman, hcoleman(at)syr.edu
Website:  https://treebiotech.org/

11-16 Aug 2024
IUFRO International Christmas Tree Research and Extension Conference
online and Kerteminde, Denmark
IUFRO 2.02.09 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-2/20000/20200/20209/
Contact:  Bert Cregg, cregg(at)msu.edu; Ulrik Braüner Nielsen, ubn(at)ign.ku.dk
Website:  https://eventsignup.ku.dk/ctrec2024/conference/

16-18 Sep 2024
5th International Symposium of Forest Engineering and Technologies (FETEC 2024):  "Forest operation technologies and systems for small-scale forestry applications"
Ljubljana, Slovenia
IUFRO 3.01.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-3/30000/30100/
Contact:  Abdullah E. Akay, abdullah.akay(at)btu.edu.tr; Matevž Mihelič, matevz.mihelic(at)bf.uni-lj.si; H. Hulusi Acar, hafizhulusi.acar(at)yeniyuzyil.edu.tr
Website:  https://www.ormantransportu.org/fetec2024

Other Meetings

For more non-IUFRO meetings, please check the IUFRO Noticeboard:

25 Mar 2024
CPF High-Level Event:  Advancing Sustainable Wood Policy and Science for Carbon-neutral and Resilient Economies
Online and Rome, Italy
FAO, SW4SW, Wood for Globe
Find event at https://www.iufro.org/science/partnership-projects/wood-for-globe/

14-19 Apr 2024
General Assembly 2024 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Vienna, Austria, and online
Website:  https://www.egu24.eu/

6-10 May 2024
19th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF19)
New York, United States
UNFF Secretariat
Website:  https://static.un.org/esa/forests/forum/index.html

3-13 Jun 2024
UNFCCC SBSTA - 60th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies
Bonn, Germany
Website:  https://unfccc.int/sb60

22-26 Jul 2024
27th Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO 27)
Rome, Italy
Website:  https://www.fao.org/forestry/committee-on-forestry/en/

IUFRO News Double Issue 2/3, 2024, published in January 2024
by IUFRO Headquarters, Vienna, Austria.
Contact the editor at office(at)iufro(dot)org or visit https://www.iufro.org/

Imprint: https://www.iufro.org/legal/#c10402