How Do Professionals Find the Science They Need?

The Society of American Foresters held seven small group dialogues throughout the United States.  One of the questions discussed was how natural resources professionals—resource managers and policy-makers—find the science they need to do their jobs.  66 people attended the dialogues.  Over half represented non-governmental organizations and public agencies.  Elected officials, university faculty and industry practitioners were also represented.

Six Key Findings Emerged

Figure 1. Word cloud of the 68 coded and indexed major points that emerged from all seven dialogues.

On-line searches are the most popular approach.  Google Scholar and ResearchGate are the favored applications.  Google Scholar is a web-crawler, indexing content across most peer-reviewed on-line academic journals and many other technical documents.  ResearchGate is a networking site for researchers, who upload publications to share, seek and provide answers to questions, and search for potential collaborators. Read more…

Spotlight #63 – What’s in the future for Non-Timber Forest Products?

PDF for download

 

The roots of many forest plants are harvested for their medicinal values. Changes in climate and lack of management may imperil their long-term sustainability and the people who depend on them. Photo credit: James Chamberlain, USDA Forest Service.

The Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently published “…the most comprehensive assessment covering the production and management of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and resources – as well as the cultural, social, economic, and policy dynamics that affect them.” The assessment covers every state in the U.S.

But the findings can be utilized far beyond the U.S. borders. Read more…

Spotlight #62 – How and why criteria and indicators have changed forest management since the Rio Summit

PDF for download

 

Regeneration is also covered by indicators for SFM. Photo: S. Linser.

Sparked in part by the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the use of criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM) has become an ever more present aspect of forest management.

Since that ’92 summit, “the focus of academic attention has been mainly on global forest governance with a research gap regarding regional (or international) forest related processes,” said Dr. Stefanie Linser of the European Forest Institute, who is also co-ordinator of IUFRO Working Party 9.01.05 on research and development of indicators for SFM. Read more…

Spotlight #61 – Digging into soil and what it means to earth’s survival

PDF for download

 

The new living structures are the result of the re-elaboration of the old ones. Soil plays the main role in the process. So, humans who endanger life on our planet express a severe disagreement with a natural harmony that risks triggering negative feedback for the species. This always occurs to other species, why shouldn’t it happen to us? In: Zanella et al., 2018. Humusica 1, article 1: Essential bases – Vocabulary. Applied Soil Ecology, 122 (Part a), pp. 10–21.

Most people think of soil simply as something that grass, trees and other plants grow in and on.

But nothing could be further from the truth, says Dr. Augusto Zanella. Below in quotes, some key concepts gathered during an IUFRO Spotlight interview.

“Soils – in the forest and elsewhere – involve and affect ‘normal life’. They modify the air we breathe, they influence the climate, impact the food we eat and the water we drink”.

“Soil is not a substrate or a source of nutrients. It is a living matrix that sustains the functioning of every ecosystem”.

“It works like an efficient bank. It capitalizes energy and nutrients to be delivered for building and sustaining more complex and efficient ecosystems. It is a source of new materials, continuously generated from biodegradation and re-elaboration of dead structures”. Read more…

International Knowledge-Sharing Workshop “Best Practices for Implementing FLR in South Asia”

Chilaw, Sri Lanka, 15-17 August 2018

As follow-up to the 2017 consultations in India, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, Sri Lanka, in cooperation with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) organised a knowledge-sharing workshop on best practices in implementing forest landscape restoration (FLR) in South Asian countries. Around 60 experts contributed to the workshop, including partners from governmental and non-governmental institutions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as international expert organisations of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) such as FAO, IUCN, TROPENBOS and CIFOR.

Generous funding for the workshop was provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; The Global Environment Facility; National Institute of Forest Science, Republic of Korea; and the United States Forest Service.

Read more…

Spotlight #60 – Creating a virtuous circle in forest operations

PDF for download

 

A newly published study entitled Sustainable Forest Operations (SFO): A new paradigm in a changing world and climate, indicates that “climate change, as well as the increasing demand for forest products, requires a rethinking of forest operations in terms of sustainability.”

The complex system of relationships involved in the SFO concept and its five performance areas including: Economics; ergonomics; environment; quality optimization; and people and society. (Credit: Enrico Marchi, Florence University, Italy)

The study suggests that the SFO concept provides integrated perspectives and approaches to effectively address ongoing and foreseeable challenges while balancing forest operations performance across economic, environmental and social sustainability objectives.

This new concept emphasizes that forest workers’ ergonomics, health and safety, and utilization efficiency and waste management are additional key elements that enrich the understanding of the sustainability in SFO.

In addition, through the promotion of afforestation and reforestation, improved forest management, and green building and furnishing, the SFO concept further emphasizes the role of wood as a renewable and environmentally friendly material. Read more…

Spotlight #59 – Shifting forest development discourses

PDF for download

 

Conservation provides employment for local inhabitants at Dzanga Ndoki National Park, Central African Republic. ©Peter Prokosch, http://www.grida.no/resources/1516

Many centuries ago, a Greek philosopher noted that change is the only constant in life.

And change is brought about, in many instances, through discourse.

Discourse has been described in part as: “an ensemble of ideas, concepts and categories through which meaning is given to social and physical phenomena…”

According to this definition, discourse refers to a particular set of related ideas, which are shared, debated and communicated using different formats.

Through various discourses, we can discover fresh information and be introduced to new and different perspectives. We are able to gain experience and insight. As a result, our thinking, our attitudes, and our approaches toward various issues can evolve and change.

Certainly the ways in which forests are viewed, managed and developed have changed as the discourses concerning them have evolved. Read more…

IUFRO - The International Union of Forest Research Organizations