IUFRO News, Volume 52, Issue 9

IUFRO Scientific Visits: A Gateway to Research Opportunities for Young Forest Scientists

IUFRO's Special Programme for Development of Capacities has been operational since 1983. Formerly known as the Special Programme for Developing Countries, it has been seeking to expand and foster forest research capacity in developing and economically disadvantaged countries for 40 years. IUFRO-SPDC: https://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/

Within the portfolio of the IUFRO-SPDC Scientist Assistance Programme, Scientific Visits (SV) grants are offered to early-career forest scientists (below the age of 36 years) affiliated with IUFRO Member Organizations to visit a forest research organization abroad. This enables them to widen their connections with the global forest science community and access, create and fully utilize top notch research resources in their fields. SAP: https://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/sap/

IUFRO-SPDC would like to showcase the experiences and outcomes of some of the grant recipients:

Aremo Adenike-Adeniyi is a graduate student from the Department of Forest Production and Products, University of Ibadan, in Nigeria. The SV grant helped her to go from March to July 2023 to the Joint Bioenergy Institute at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, managed by the Department of Energy and University of California, USA. Her goal was to investigate the performance and emissions of various blends of biodiesel produced from Hildegardia barteri seed oil and to compare them with that of fossil diesel to validate the quality.

"This Scientific Visit has improved my research work, adding quality, and has enhanced my laboratory experiences with regards to the use of spectroscopy equipment and other laboratory experiences, like, I am going through some trainings now. For the research objective that I am going to carry out, it will bring my work to limelight because it involves the use of a lesser-known forest tree species being used for the production of bioproducts", said Aremo Adenike-Adeniyi.

Paula Rodríguez is a PhD student from the Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CADIC CONICET), Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. She visited between March and April 2023 the Social-Ecological Systems Institute (SESI) at Leuphana University, Germany, to collaborate with a research group on a social-ecological approach to address complex environmental challenges. Paula presented preliminary research on forest conservation in silvopastoral ranches in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Together with the University team, they developed an innovative mixed-complementary methodology that integrated qualitative interviews with quantitative data, resulting in a more comprehensive analysis of silvopastoral systems in the region.

"The whole process of having to go out, look for research institutes, contact researchers and plan collaborations is a learning process in itself", said Paula Rodríguez (on the left side of the photo).

And although Thomas Ovenden, Forest Research and Stirling University, UK, was not part of this cohort, he was only able to proceed with the implementation of his application after three years in the planning due to, mainly, the pandemic.

He received funding from a previous format of the Scientific Visits grants (IUFRO-European Forest Institute Young Scientists Initiative). He was hosted by the Instituto de Biodiversidad y Medioambiente (INIBIOMA), CONICET and Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Bariloche, Argentina. In 2023, he spent six weeks in Central Chile and Argentinian Patagonia to investigate the impact of climate change and extreme drought on the forests of Chile and Patagonia. And he produced a short documentary film titled "Forests at the Edge", which shows what scientists are doing to help these forests adapt to climate change. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQwe2tozNHw

Hopefully, these grants have enabled young forest scientists to access more international research opportunities and to advance their careers and fields. Big thanks go to the 2022 sponsor, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management.

Looking Forward to the XXVI IUFRO World Congress in Sweden in 2024

Apply for Scientist Assistance #IUFRO2024 SAP!

IUFRO's Scientist Assistance Programme (SAP) aims to provide forest scientists, from economically disadvantaged countries, with financial assistance to participate in the XXVI IUFRO World Congress 2024, taking place in Stockholm, Sweden from 23 to 29 June 2024. The Scientist Assistance Programme is implemented by IUFRO's Special Programme for Development of Capacities (SPDC).

The call for applications is open until 15 November 2023:

Browse Through the Choice of #IUFRO2024 Excursions!

Before, during and after the IUFRO World Congress, delegates have many opportunities to learn more about the Nordic and Baltic countries, their forests, landscapes and wildlife, their forest-related research and economy, and their lifestyle, culture, and traditions. Experience the midnight sun from the glaciers of Iceland to the fjords of Norway, from the heart of the boreal forests to the coast of the Baltic Sea. https://iufro2024.com/excursions/in-congress-excursions/

Hear About the #IUFRO2024 Themes in the IUFRO Podcast!

The third episode of ‘Branching out: the forest podcast' is out! In line with the IUFRO 2024 World Congress theme "Towards a responsible forest bioeconomy", the podcast hosts and their guests venture into responsible forest bioeconomy and listen to how forest bioeconomy contributes to sequestering carbon, mitigating climate change, creating jobs and developing rural areas.

Read About #IUFRO2024 Record Submission of Abstracts!

With over 5000 scientific abstracts submitted the 26th IUFRO World Congress is the most anticipated Congress in the history of the IUFRO. "We are thrilled to see so many abstracts! This makes us very confident that the Congress will offer a high-quality scientific program and become a great success", says Dr. Elena Paoletti, Chair of the Scientific Committee.

Early bird registration is available until 15 January 2024: https://iufro2024.com/registration/
Congress website: https://iufro2024.com/

Publication of Papers Presented in #IUFRO2024 Sessions!

IUFRO World Congress session organizers are encouraged to pursue publication options for papers presented in their sessions. Formal Congress proceedings with full papers will not be published!

New IFSA President Presents Joint #IUFRO2024 and Other Activities

My name is Isabelle Claire Dela Paz, a recent Bachelor of Science in Forestry graduate at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. I am beyond honored to be the current President of the International Forestry Students' Association (IFSA) for 2023/2024 after 3 years of previous service, where I collaborated with IUFRO and connected with their network. IFSA: https://ifsa.net/

This term marks a significant moment for both organizations to work together for the IUFRO World Congress 2024 in Sweden. After the successful delegation at the IUFRO World Congress 2019 in Brazil, we look forward to empowering our diverse set of delegates in Sweden by providing them the space to amplify their advocacies and learn from esteemed forestry professionals and researchers. We will also celebrate our joint achievements at the event, especially the culmination of the Joint IFSA-IUFRO Task Force on Forest Education https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/forest-education/ whose main accomplishments include the completion of the Young African Forestry Professionals Publication Project (YAFP https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/forest-education/yafp/).

Exciting activities led by IFSA are ahead at next year's IUFRO World Congress - this includes a sub-plenary session titled "Power of Youth in Scaling Multisectoral Collaboration: The Role of Forests in Achieving the Vision for 2050", which will allow IFSA representatives to highlight the role of youth in tackling global challenges in the forestry sector; and the Mentorship Program that aims to connect students and scientists to develop the youth's skills and interest in a scientific career.

We will also represent students in other IUFRO events, including the IUFRO Forum on Ukraine Forest Science and Education: Needs and Priorities for Collaboration in Austria in November 2023 to express our continuous support for Ukrainian students' education and pursuit of professional careers in forestry and science, and the IUFRO Latin American Conference in Brazil in October 2023.

IFSA is committed to strengthening our long-withstanding collaboration with IUFRO through numerous joint efforts such as the launching of the annual IUFRO-IFSA Internship Program in Vienna, Austria, and participation in the annual IUFRO Board Meeting in India where the election of the new IUFRO Board members took place.

Our deepest gratitude and accolade go to the IUFRO Board, especially to IUFRO President Dr. John Parrotta, who has provided their unwavering support in our association's endeavors.

In our pursuit of creating a world that appreciates forests, we are striving for a "future ready IFSA" where our members and youth, in general, are fully equipped with the vital skills and knowledge to be the stewards of forestry, as well as the capacity to initiate collective action for forest conservation. On behalf of the association, I am excited to witness the growth of the IFSA-IUFRO partnership and our mutual commitment to advancing forest education and research.

Welcoming Viola Belohrad to IUFRO Headquarters!

Viola Belohrad joined the Science-Policy Programme of IUFRO as a Project Manager on 15 September 2023.

Viola has over ten years´ experience working on sustainable natural resource management and human development with a focus on tropical forests. She has worked in and led multicultural and multidisciplinary teams and projects including in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Malaysia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Her previous work encompasses fieldwork with forest-dependent communities on community-based monitoring and forest management, gender equality, and indigenous and local knowledge as well as research into drivers of deforestation and community conservation initiatives.

Viola holds a master's (MSc) degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford, UK, where her research focused on indigenous social-environmental entrepreneurship with fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She has a bachelor's (BSc) degree in Environment and Bio-Resources Management from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Austria.

As a Project Manager in the Science-Policy Programme Viola will be responsible for the operational planning and implementation of projects within the Programme, as well as represent the Programme at international meetings and conferences.

Viola follows Dikshya Devkota, who has left the IUFRO team to take up a position at the Global Environment Facility. We wish Dikshya lots of success and happiness in her new job!

Sandesh K C, the Newest Intern at IUFRO Headquarters

My name is Sandesh K C, and I am the newest intern at IUFRO Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

A little over a year ago, I was interning at a District Forest Office in Nepal, penning my bachelor's thesis, freelancing as a writer on forestry topics, and tirelessly searching for opportunities for advanced studies all at once. The pace was overwhelming, to say the least. During those turbulent times, I found solace in Billy Joel's song, "Vienna", with the catchphrase ‘Vienna waits for you', a poignant reminder that life is not a sprint but a marathon.

Soon my efforts began to bear fruit. I was awarded the Erasmus Mundus scholarship to pursue a dual master's degree in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management in Europe. While in Copenhagen, Denmark, alongside academic courses, I became an active member of the International Forestry Students' Association (IFSA). This led me to participate in the 18th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York in May 2023.

Emboldened by these experiences, I applied for an internship at IUFRO and was selected. The moment was surreal; a dream that seemed so distant a year ago had materialized.
Now at IUFRO, I feel excited to be a part of an organization that is at the forefront of global forest-related issues. I find myself eagerly learning and benefiting from the experience of the team members here and growing both personally and professionally each day.

In a poetic twist, I find myself in Vienna - the city that symbolized patience and balance for me a year ago. I'm not merely in the city; I am part of an organization that aligns perfectly with my passion for environmental sustainability and forestry. I already sense a deep-rooted belonging here and am happy to be able to contribute meaningfully to IUFRO's mission during my internship and hopefully also beyond.

Highlighting Upcoming Activities of IUFRO's Science-Policy Programme

The SciPol Programme https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/ of IUFRO serves as focal point for international policy processes and facilitates IUFRO's input and representation in science-policy forums. This October, Deputy Programme Coordinator Dr. Nelson Grima will attend two important science and policy meetings in Nairoibi, Kenya, and present current publication projects.

Sneak preview on current international forest governance assessment
From 12 to 16 October, Dr. Grima will participate in the 9th Annual Meeting of FLARE (Forest and Livelihoods, Assessment, Research, and Engagement) in Nairobi, Kenya. FLARE https://www.forestlivelihoods.org/ is a network that seeks to advance knowledge at the intersection of forests and livelihoods and facilitate its application to policy and practice. The overall theme of the meeting is ‘Linking research and action for thriving forests, trees, and people'. Nelson Grima will give a sneak preview of the assessment on International Forest Governance, which is expected to be published in the first half of 2024. Find out more at: https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/follow-up-studies/international-forest-governance-2024/

Joining discussions on biodiversity framework
On 16 to 19 October, also in Nairobi, the 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will take place. The focus of this meeting will be on discussing a monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. It will also address issues related to plant conservation, invasive alien species, sustainable wildlife management, and climate change.
Meeting: https://www.cbd.int/conferences/nairobi-2023

New policy brief on forests and human health in Asia
In early October, IUFRO's SciPol Programme will launch its latest regional publication, an expanded policy brief on the topic of Forests for Human Health in Asia. The publication is based on the global assessment report "Forests and Trees for Human Health: Pathways, Impacts, Challenges and Response Options": https://www.iufro.org/science/science-policy/gfep-initiative/panel-on-forests-and-human-health/

UN SDG Summit: Launch of CPF Call to Action for Forests towards 2030

The 2023 SDG Summit took place on 18-19 September 2023 in New York. It marked the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals with high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions leading up to 2030. SDG Summit: https://www.un.org/en/conferences/SDGSummit2023

The Summit has been considered a critical moment for addressing global forest challenges and planning accelerated actions to achieve the joint vision of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), of which IUFRO is a member, for forests towards 2030. CPF: https://www.fao.org/collaborative-partnership-on-forests

In order to build momentum and generate awareness of the role of forests in contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the CPF convened a high-level event in New York on 18 September 2023 to bring together heads of CPF agencies, Member States and key stakeholders to highlight the crucial contribution of forests to the 2030 Agenda.

At the event the "CPF Joint Call to Action for Forests towards 2030" was launched. The Call outlines how the CPF will scale up its efforts in supporting the role of forests in achieving Global Forest Goals and SDGs towards 2030. It is not intended to establish new structures or frameworks.

The Call lists four priority areas for action:

  • implementation and action
  • data, science and innovation
  • finance for forests
  • and communication and awareness-raising

Activities in these areas are expected to result in more effective and impactful implementation and synergies and lower transaction costs. In this way, the CPF-wide effort will serve as a flagship for the Decade of Action for the SDGs: https://www.fao.org/collaborative-partnership-on-forests/news/joint-call-to-action-for-forests-towards-2030/en

20th IBFRA Conference: Climate Resilient and Sustainable Forest Management

Report by Kati Berninger, Tyrsky Consulting

The boreal forest, the Earth's second largest terrestrial biome, is experiencing rapid transformations due to changing climates, leading to increased disturbances like wildfires and insect outbreaks. These changes are not only impacting the ecosystem but also the livelihoods of those reliant on its resources. With this year's theme of "Climate Resilient and Sustainable Forest Management", the 20th International Boreal Forest Research Association's (IBFRA www.ibfra2023.org) Conference aimed to explore ways to address the challenges caused by these changes. The conference was supported by IUFRO Working Party 8.01.06 Boreal and alpine forest ecosystems.

The conference was held on 28-31 August 2023 in Helsinki, Finland, and hosted by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke https://www.luke.fi/en) and strategic research projects (SOMPA https://projects.luke.fi/sompa/en/ and UNITE https://uniteflagship.fi) funded by the Strategic Research Council in Finland. It gathered almost 300 onsite participants from Europe, North America, and Asia in Pikku-Finlandia, Helsinki, and about 200 online participants.

Conference website: www.ibfra2023.org
Book of Abstracts: https://www.iufro.org/publications/proceedings/meetings-2023/#c35603

There were about 130 scientific oral presentations in 28 different sessions. In addition, about 100 posters were presented. The conference presentations covered a variety of topics from cross-cutting themes of biodiversity and climate change to forest management, forest operations, remote sensing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, economics, and policies.

"The thing I like best about IBFRA conferences is that they are so diverse. There is such a variety of topics, which gets us out of our silos and makes us think about synergies between our different disciplines", said Dr. Joanne White, Canadian Forest Service & Natural Resources Canada, in her keynote speech on Thursday, 31 August.

In addition to a more traditional conference program there was also an interactive panel discussion on collaboration and communication between forest scientists and forest industry and a demonstration session on sensor technologies and gamification.

Dr. Florian Kraxner, IBFRA President, summed up his experience in the demonstration session, "I was impressed that there was forest soil in here with a spectrometer on it, so we could see how CO2 emissions are measured, for example. We also learned about gamification. This is something we must think about, as more and more scientists are dealing with that and turning scientific questions into games."

IUFRO Executive Director Alexander Buck stressed the need for scientists from the boreal region to exchange knowledge with policymakers and welcomed the "Forest science-policy-practice interactive afternoon" included in the program. There he presented "TEAMING UP 4 FORESTS", a platform for science and business to collaborate on tackling climate change: https://teamingup4forests.com/

Note: This report has been slightly amended by the editor of IUFRO News.

Global Challenges and Innovative Management of Bark and Wood Borers in Planted and Natural Forests

Report by Hervé Jactel, INRAE, and Christoph Orazio, IEFC, Coordinator of the IUFRO Task Force Resilient planted forests serving society & bioeconomy

The IUFRO conference: "Global challenges and innovative management of bark and wood borers in planted and natural forests" took place on 29-31 August 2023 in Bordeaux, France, and was kindly hosted by IEFC and INRAE and supported by ONF, LUTHYL project (Ecophyto, France Bois Forêt). Website: https://www.plantedforests.org/iufro-conference-bordeaux-29-31-august-2023/

It involved several IUFRO Units:
Working Party 7.03.05 Ecology and management of bark and wood boring beetles
Working Party 7.03.07 Population dynamics of forest insects
Working Party 7.03.16 Behavioral and chemical ecology of forest insects
Task Force Precision pest management in forest ecosystems
Task Force Resilient planted forests serving society & bioeconomy

Global changes, including climate change and economic globalization, pose serious threats to the health of the world's forests by favoring the emergence or invasion of an increasing number of forest pests. Wood and bark beetles play a prominent role in this context due to the spatial extension and intensity of their damage, with long or chronic outbreaks, causing the mortality of a considerable number of trees or forest areas.

Many methodologies can be applied to the monitoring and control of these insects, which justified the gathering of knowledge and skills of many IUFRO Working Parties and Task Forces. This joint conference aimed to provide knowledge and tools for action for forest scientists and practitioners searching for solutions to mitigate the risk of wood and bark beetle attacks.

Key topics

  • Monitoring and management of the large pine weevil
  • Population dynamics of the spruce bark beetle
  • Molecular and physiological studies of wood boring insects
  • Drought and heat related host tree – bark beetle interactions
  • Invasions of bark beetles and wood borers
  • Precision pest management of bark and wood borers
  • Novel monitoring and modelling tools for the management of bark beetles
  • Biotic interactions in bark and wood beetles

Main conclusions
The use of attractive molecules from trees or congeners is proving a useful and effective method for trapping native and invasive bark beetles and estimating their infestation levels. These semiochemicals are also important for understanding the interactions between the different species of bark beetles attacking the same trees and eventually manipulate their behavior. This approach could be complemented by visual lures, as shown by cutting-edge research into insect vision. Innovative detection methods are being developed, such as smart traps and trained sniffer dogs.

Climate change, and more particularly warmer temperature and more severe droughts, have been confirmed as a major factor in increasing tree vulnerability to bark and wood borer attacks and must be incorporated into predictive models.

Invasive bark beetle species continue to spread worldwide, taking advantage of bridgeheads to spread from country to country. They can carry pathogenic fungi, increasing the risks to forest health.

Participants will meet again in Stockholm next year at the XXVI IUFRO World Congress to continue discussing these issues.

Advancing Silvicultural Technology

Report by Timo Saksa, Luke, Deputy Coordinator of Research Group 3.02.00 – Stand establishment and treatment https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-3/30000/30200/ and Dan Bergström, SLU

From 22 to 24 August 2023, over 90 participants from 13 countries and four continents joined the conference titled "Advancing Silvicultural Technology" either on site in Umeå, Sweden, or online. The event, which involved IUFRO Research Group 3.02.00, was a jointly organized by IUFRO, SLU, LUKE, NIBIO, SILAVA, InNovaSilva ApS and the Estonian University of Life Sciences and was financed by the SNS: https://nordicforestresearch.org/

Visit the meeting website: https://www.slu.se/en/departments/forest-biomaterials-technology/research/ongoing-projects/advancing-silvicultural-technology/

Conference participants also had the opportunity to take part in a study tour which was arranged in Vindeln, at the SLU field research station Svartberget, together with "The Cluster of Forest Technology" https://www.skogstekniskaklustret.se/english.

Overview of current R&D in the Nordic-Baltic region
The primary objective of the conference was to 1) provide an overview of ongoing R&D in the Nordic-Baltic region and 2) develop an overview of urgent and strategic R&D needs, to secure and engineer sustainable ecosystem services for current and future forests. We also include industry, NGO's, practitioners, authorities and researchers, including students, in order to support discussions of long-term development and inter-triad-transfer of knowledge. The second objective was to create an inter-disciplinary-national-sector-connected platform in the Nordic-Baltics for systematic and continual R&D. The third aim was to initiate future networking activities and new joint R&D project proposals.

From regeneration and restoration to new data solutions
Conference presentations covered the whole chain of forest regeneration and restoration activities like soil preparation and planting, young stand management as well as thinning operations. The key issues were new solutions for mechanized planting and especially different kind on innovations for precision planting. Automation in planting operations was also a key issue with several new innovations connected with today's planting machines or installed on semiautonomous solutions for tomorrow. Also new solutions of how to use different kinds of data collected with satellites, drones or from the ground, for planning regeneration activities or evaluating regeneration success are among the core messages of the meeting.

Towards more semiautonomous machines and AI
The use of positioned knowledge/data is one of the key attributes in the development of mechanized silvicultural operations. Automation of certain tasks in mechanized planting seems to be the next step in the development before the semiautonomous machines are ready for practical use. Combining different data sources in a smart way and using artificial intelligence, e.g., deep learning in image recognition, will enable us to generate more diverse and resistant forest for the future.

Conference proceedings (an extensive scientific version and a more popular science version) will be published later. The next meeting is planned for 2025/2026.

Teaching at the Interface of Machine Learning and Forestry

By Frank Berninger, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and INRAE were giving a joint summer school on machine learning and forest resilience in Joensuu, Finland. The summer school was supported by IUFRO D8 Forest Environment https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-8/.

There was a mixed batch of students from very diverse backgrounds (ranging from computer sciences and education to biology and forest sciences). Thanks to the advertisement by IUFRO, 26 students from about 15 countries were attending. The summer school was partially sponsored by the Eco2adapt Horizon Europe project on forest resilience (grant agreement N 101059498). The main teachers were Frank Berninger (UEF), Dino Ienco (INRAE), Kenji Ose (INRAE), Liang Chen (UEF) and Marina Peris (UEF).

During the first week participants visited the field and discussed about the role of forest information for resilience including a field visit. The second week focused more on the application of machine learning. The course was based on an existing data ecosystem (in this case the Microsoft Planetary Computer) and all computations happened in the cloud. The use of these platforms makes analysis of remotely sensed data, and collaboration of across organizations easy.

Sharing of code via notebooks works well and, from a teaching point of view, it is easy to configure the computing environment in the cloud. We felt that working with individual computers would have caused much more problems with incompatibilities and in setting up the computing environment.

For the teachers the variety of backgrounds and levels of prior knowledge was a challenge. Some students were seasoned specialists in the field while others came to learn the basics. For me, who was teaching forest disturbances and management, it was fun because I needed to look at it from a fresh perspective. I chose to present forest disturbances from the viewpoint of forest information and management. It would not have been my choice for a basic course but did the job of scratching the surface for newcomers without boring seasoned professionals.

Workbooks for the code of our exercises are available at:
https://github.com/tanodino/Summer_School_JOENSUU(by courtesy of Dino Ienco).

Lecture notes and power points can be obtained from Frank Berninger: Frank.Berninger(at)uef.fi

European Bioeconomy Scientific Forum 2023: Moving Towards the Transformation

Report by Sandesh K C, IFSA-IUFRO Internship Position

The urgent need for transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy was at the center of the European Bioeconomy Scientific Forum (EBSF) 2023 held in Vienna on 6-8 September 2023.
Meeting website:https://european-bioeconomy-university.eu/ebu-scientific-forum/ebsf2023/

The forum was organized by The Centre for Bioeconomy of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austria, as the university is currently chairing the European Bioeconomy University Alliance (EBU). The Centre for Bioeconomy of BOKU is also a project partner of IUFRO for the WOOD for GLOBE Project https://www.iufro.org/science/partnership-projects/wood-for-globe/.

Scientists, experts, policymakers, industry representatives, youth and other stakeholders contributed to the four thematic sessions of the forum that covered the following topics:

  • Raising awareness for the transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy
  • Identifying synergies for a holistic bioeconomy approach
  • Promoting the social dimension of the transformation
  • Achieving the transformation

The forum aimed to harmonize dispersed efforts by identifying synergies across academia, politics, and industry. High-profile policymakers and stakeholders discussed the urgency for a sustainable bioeconomy and the importance of inclusive decision-making. Special emphasis was given to the social dimensions of bioeconomy transformation, including the role of technology and personal motivations for change. Additionally, discussions explored policy frameworks, financing mechanisms, and international cooperation to advance bioeconomy goals at the European level and globally, offering guidelines for future research and decision-making.

Among the speakers and audience there were also several IUFRO Officeholders and scientists from IUFRO Member Organizations. One of them was Professor Teppo Hujala, University of Eastern Finland, and a Deputy Coordinator of the Small-scale forestry Working Party of IUFRO https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-3/30000/30800/, who spoke in the session on "Promoting the social dimension of the transformation". He specifically highlighted the importance of social interaction for achieving the transition and emphasized that diverse networks lead to new ideas and experiments of doing things differently.

Learning to Create Together

Report from the 17th European Forest Pedagogics Congress
by Jose Bolaños, IUFRO Headquarters

The Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (SDW https://www.sdw.de/) organized the 17th European Forest Pedagogics Congress in Bonn, Germany, between 20 and 22 September with the motto ‘Learning to create together'. They discussed how forest education for sustainable development can build partnerships and empower people. 160 participants from Europe and beyond attended the event, which was supported by the Forest Pedagogy Subgroup http://forestpedagogics.eu/ of the Forest Communicators Network.

The opening words by Matthias Schwoerer, head of the European and International Forest Politics Unit of the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, highlighted the pilot project ‘Forests for a Sustainable Future: Educating Children' conducted by FAO in the Philippines and Tanzania. https://www.fao.org/forestry/forest-education/100951/en/

Andreas Schwarz from the Institute for Didactics of Biology, University of Cologne gave an engaging presentation about teaching science and climate change in a post-truth era and the social acceptance of reality. Astrid Schilling from the University for Sustainable Development of Eberswalde proposed that forest educators should embrace the role of mediators and use their relationships to promote positive emotions.

The different workshops throughout the Congress focused, among other things, on how forest-based education for sustainable development (ESD) can become transformative education and how it can be integrated into policies.

The Congress was an excellent opportunity to invite people to IUFRO's Symposium on Forest Education https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/iufro-symposium-forest-education taking place in Helsinki October 2-4, and the second Global Competition on Best Practices in Forest Education https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/forest-education/competition-best-practices-in-forest-education-2/ organized by IUFRO-IFSA Joint Task Force on Forest Education, with the collaboration of Reforestamos and WRI, as well as the IUFRO 2024 World Congress.


New EFI Director: Dr. Robert Mavsar

Dr. Robert Mavsar has been appointed as the new Director of the European Forest Institute EFI and will start his 5-year term on 1 January 2024. The decision was made by the EFI Board and the EFI Council gave its assent to the appointment. The EFI Director is based at the Institute's Headquarters in Joensuu, Finland.

Dr. Mavsar has a PhD in Economics and two MScs, one in Economics and one in Forestry. His main research interests are in the fields of the development of forest research in Europe, bioeconomy, economic valuation of ecosystem services and innovative business models for the marketing of non-wood forest products. Dr. Mavsar has worked in different roles within EFI since 2007, including as Head of the former ‘Forests for Society' research program, and Acting Head and Deputy Head of the former Mediterranean Regional Office.
Read more at: https://efi.int/news/new-efi-director-appointed-2023-09-20

Professor Pete Bettinger Receives Prestigious Forest Science Award

The 2023 Award in Forest Science of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) was bestowed upon Dr. Pete Bettinger, Professor at the University of Georgia, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 4.04.00 - Forest management planning https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40400/

The award recognizes distinguished individual research in any branch of the quantitative, managerial, and/or social sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry. Read more at: https://warnell.uga.edu/news/stories/2023/forestry-professor-receives-national-award-research

2023 Tomas Hirschfeld Award Bestowed upon Professor Roger Meder

Professor Roger Meder is a New Zealand chemist and physicist with specific expertise in both NMR and NIR spectroscopy and imaging, particularly with application to wood and agricultural products. Roger Meder, University of the Sunshine Coast & Meder Consulting, is Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO Division 5 – Forest Products https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/50000/. Since 2021 he has been working at Ridley Agriproducts in Australia where he leads their laboratory and analytical services.

The Thomas Hirschfeld Award, co-funded by Si-Ware and ICNIRS, is made in recognition of a significant innovative and/or scientific contribution to near infrared spectroscopy. It is awarded on the basis of excellence in research conducted by a scientist of international standing. Read more at: https://icnirs.org/tomas-hirschfeld-award/awardees/

Professor Mike Wingfield Elected a Fellow of the International Society of Plant Pathology (ISPP)

Former IUFRO President Professor Mike Wingfield, the founding director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, has made substantial contributions to the field of plant pathology. He is particularly recognized for his expertise in studying fungi associated with insects and their presence on trees and wood. At the International Congress of Plant Pathology in Lyon, France, in August 2023 he was elected a Fellow of ISPP https://www.icpp2023.org/about/ispp.


Now Available: French Version of Policy Brief on Forests and Human Health

The Policy Brief summarizes the key messages of the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) global assessment report "Forests and Trees for Human Health: Pathways, Impacts, Challenges and Response Options". It is available in English, Spanish and now also in French! More information and download at: https://www.iufro.org/publications/policy-briefs/article/2023/03/21/forests-and-trees-for-human-health-pathways-impacts-challenges-and-response-options/

IPBES Invasive Alien Species Assessment and Podcast

The 10th session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES https://www.ipbes.net/) took place in Bonn, Germany, from 28 August to 2 September 2023. The Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control was approved on the final day of the event by representatives of the 143 member States of IPBES. It finds that alongside dramatic changes to biodiversity and ecosystems, the global economic cost of invasive alien species exceeded $423 billion annually in 2019, with costs having at least quadrupled every decade since 1970. Media release linking to the report: https://www.ipbes.net/IASmediarelease

IPBES also recently presented the latest episode of its podcast titled "No Room for Hopelessness: Media Challenges and Opportunities Covering the Global Biodiversity Crisis". The hosts speak to Patrick Greenfield from The Guardian and Observer, and Sahana Ghosh from Nature India, about the challenges and opportunities when covering biodiversity news: https://link.chtbl.com/OverallMailing

The Global Sustainable Development Report 2023

"Times of Crisis, Times of Change: Science for Accelerating Transformations to Sustainable Development", the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), finds that at this critical juncture, midway to 2030, incremental and fragmented change is insufficient to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the remaining seven years. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires the active mobilization of political leadership and ambition for science-based transformations. Read more: https://sdgs.un.org/gsdr/gsdr2023

National Report on Sustainable Forests (NRSF), 2020

McGinley, Kathleen; Murray, Lara; Robertson, Guy; White, Eric M. 2023. National report on sustainable forests, 2020. FS-1217. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office.https://doi.org/10.2737/FS-1217

This National Report on Sustainable Forests (NRSF) presents a comprehensive assessment of sustainability conditions and trends in forests of the United States. It is produced in response to the United States' political and institutional commitment to measure, monitor, and report on forest sustainability at national and subnational levels using the Montréal Process Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests (Robertson et al. 2011).

The Bioeconomy and Non-timber Forest Products

Edited by Carsten Smith-Hall and James Chamberlain, Deputy Coordinator and Coordinator, respectively, of IUFRO's Task Force Unlocking the Bioeconomy and Non-Timber Forest Products https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/bioeconomy-and-non-timber-forest-products/, this book provides the first in-depth investigation of how non-timber forest products are an integral part of local, national, and global bioeconomies. Published by Routledge (copyright 2023).
Publication: https://www.routledge.com/The-bioeconomy-and-non-timber-forest-products/Smith-Hall-Chamberlain/p/book/9781032156262

Ukrainian Journal of Forest and Wood Science

The importance of forests and new challenges for science in the context of military operations. Scientific articles in the field of forestry and tree science.

Forests are essential for ensuring the ecological balance and viability of the planet. In today's environment, where we are constantly facing complex environmental challenges, wars, disasters and climate change, the study and conservation of the forest ecosystem is a priority. Scientific research in the field of forestry and tree science helps to understand the causes of problems and find effective methods to solve them. 

The Ukrainian Journal of Forest and Wood Science https://forestscience.com.ua/en promotes the dissemination of knowledge in this field. It is a peer-reviewed open access journal that publishes original scientific and review articles.  Find out about publishing research papers in the Ukrainian Journal of Forest and Wood Science: Submission: https://forestscience.com.ua/en/submission

Mother Trees, Altruistic Fungi, and the Perils of Plant Personification

A group of authors including several IUFRO Officeholders has analyzed the claims made in two highly popular books - The Hidden Life of Trees and Finding the Mother Tree -, which promulgate the idea that trees possess a number of human characteristics for which there is no sound scientific evidence. The study was published in Trends in Plant Science this September.
Publication: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2023.08.010

Climate-driven Tree Growth and Mortality in the Black Forest, Germany—Long-term Observations

Research article by Heinrich Spiecker, University of Freiburg, Germany, and Hans-Peter Kahle, University of Freiburg, Germany, and Coordinator of IUFRO Working Party 4.01.04 Effects of environmental changes on forest growth https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40100/40104/, published in Global Change Biology:

Episodic tree mortality can be caused by various reasons. This study describes climate-driven tree mortality and tree growth in the Black Forest mountain range in Germany. It is based on a 68-year consistent data series describing the annual mortality of all trees growing in a forest area of almost 250 thousand ha. Data compiled here suggest that the mortality of desiccated trees in the Black Forest during the last 68 years is driven by the climatic water balance. Decreasing climatic water balance coincided with an increase in tree mortality and growth decline.

The Climate Dictionary

The need for accurate, easy-to-understand information about climate change has never been greater. "The Climate Dictionary" published by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP is an initiative aimed at providing an everyday guide to understanding climate change. It seeks to bridge the gap between complex scientific jargon and the general public, making climate concepts accessible and relatable to individuals from various backgrounds and levels of expertise. Find terms from Adaptation to Weather, from IPCC to UNFCCC!
Publication: https://www.undp.org/publications/climate-dictionary

Position Announcements


Dean of the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
Closing date:  19 November 2023; however, screening will continue until the position is filled.
The University of Georgia (UGA), the flagship public, land-grant and sea-grant university of the state of Georgia, seeks an experienced and energetic leader to serve as the Dean of the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Details: https://www.ugajobsearch.com/postings/342269

Professorship in Forest Policy and Land-use Governance
Closing date: 26 October 2023
The Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology at the University of Göttingen, Germany, is seeking to fill a permanent professorship with civil servant status (grade W3 NBesO) at the earliest possible date: W3 Professorship in Forest policy and land-use governance (f/m/d).
Details: https://uni-goettingen.de/en/677529.html

Assistant Professor – Silviculture
Closing date: 1 December 2023
The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University (MSU), USA, invites applications for a full-time, 9-month tenure track Assistant Professor with a 40% research, 30% teaching, 20% Extension and 10% service assignment. MSU seeks candidates in silviculture or applied forest ecology focused on managing forests for adaptation to and mitigation of climate and other environmental stresses.
Details: https://careers.msu.edu/en-us/job/516178/assistant-professortenure-system

Scholarships and Fellowships


Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Closing date: 1 December 2023, 11:59 PM Eastern Time
The Center for Natural Carbon Capture at Yale University is accepting applications for its Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The mission of the Center is to foster research on carbon capture and greenhouse gas reduction that will contribute to the design and implementation of climate solutions.
Details: https://apply.interfolio.com/129165

Full DAAD EPOS Scholarship for MSc in Tropical Forestry
Closing date: 30 October 2023 (for the intake October 2024)
You are invited to apply for studying Master of Science in Tropical Forestry (academic intake 2024-26) with classes starting in October 2024. The course is taught in English language at the Technische Universität Dresden, one of the 11 German Universities of Excellence.
Details: https://tu-dresden.de/bu/umwelt/forst/studium/studiengaenge-der-fachrichtung-forstwissenschaften/master-studiengang-tropical-forestry-and-management/termine

IUFRO Meetings

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

11 Oct 2023
Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education Workshop: How to conduct a Systematic Review of Literature for Forest Science and other disciplines?
Featuring Matilda van den Bosch, Barcelona Institute of Global Health
Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education
Contact: Sandra Rodríguez-Pineros, spineros(at)uach.mx; Annie Biju, annie.biju(at)ifsa.net

19 Oct 2023
FAO-IUFRO Webinar Series, Webinar 2: Forest-Water Management under Climate Change
IUFRO Task Force Forests and Water Interactions in a Changing Environment
Contact: Adam Xiaohua Wei, adam.wei(at)ubc.ca
Details: https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/forests-water-interaction-changing-environment/activities/

16 Nov 2023
FAO-IUFRO Webinar Series, Webinar 3: Practical Tools for Managing Forest-Water Nexus
IUFRO Task Force Forests and Water Interactions in a Changing Environment
Contact: Adam Xiaohua Wei, adam.wei(at)ubc.ca
Details: https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/forests-water-interaction-changing-environment/activities/

25-26 May 2024
Trouble in the Woods 2024 Conference
Norton, Sheffield, United Kingdom
IUFRO 9.03.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-9/90000/90300/
Contact: Ian Rotherham, i.d.rotherham(at)shu.ac.uk

23-29 June 2024
XXVI IUFRO World Congress
Stockholm, Sweden

10-14 Sep 2024
10th Pacific Regional Wood Anatomy Conference
Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan
IUFRO 5.00.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/50000/
IUFRO 5.16.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/50000/51600/
Contact: Hisashi Abe, abeq(at)affrc.go.jp

7-10 Oct 2024
International Oak Symposium
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
IUFRO 1.01.06 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-1/10000/10100/10106/
Contact: Stacy Clarke, stacy.l.clark(at)usda.gov

14-18 Oct 2024
IX Congreso Chileno de Ciencias Forestales: “Descubriendo, aceptando desafíos, y cultivando sostenibilidad”
Valdivia, Chile
IUFRO 3.01.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-3/30000/30100/
IUFRO 3.02.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-3/30000/30200/
IUFRO 4.01.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40100/
IUFRO 4.02.00 https://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-4/40000/40200/
Contact: Marco Contreras, marco.contreras(at)uach.cl

IUFRO News Issue 9, 2023, published in early October 2023
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