IUFRO Anniversary Congress Spotlight #56 – Environment vs. economy: Mapping the forest environmental frontier
To some, the forests mean combatting illegal logging and associated trade, avoiding deforestation and degradation, conserving biodiversity and protecting wilderness.
To others, the forests mean timber as a renewable raw material for uses such as construction and bioenergy, forest-based climate change adaptation and mitigation and transitioning toward a forest-based bioeconomy.
“These issues can be termed the global forest environmental frontier,” said Dr. Georg Winkel, Head of the European Forest Institute’s Resilience Research Programme in Bonn, Germany.
“All the issues are interrelated and relate to a global controversy that asks how we can keep and manage the world’s forests to satisfy both ecological and socio-economic needs now and in the future,” he said.
Dr. Winkel is coordinator of a session entitled The Global Forest Environmental Frontier – What has changed, what has remained unchanged, how will the future look? at the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress in Freiburg, Germany in September. Read more…
IUFRO Anniversary Congress Spotlight #55: Genetics research crucial to future forest health, adaptation, conservation and sustainable management
“The role genetics/genomics research can play in forest management is huge but, unfortunately, remains under-utilized,” said Dr. Om Rajora, Professor of Forest Genetics and Genomics at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.
“Genetics/genomics research can greatly assist the management of natural and planted forests by conserving healthy, productive, well-adapted and genetically diverse natural forest and developing high yielding tree varieties with desired traits for deployment in plantations,” he said.
Dr. Rajora is the organizer and coordinator of a session entitled Genetics and Genomics for Conservation, Climate Adaptation and Sustainable Management of Forests to be presented at the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress in Freiburg, Germany in September. Read more…
An increasing number of studies demonstrate that mixed forests can deliver many ecosystem services at a higher level than pure forests.
Today, however, less than 0.1% of plantation forests worldwide are made of mixed tree species. And, by the end of this century there is the potential for about 20% of the world’s forest area to be represented by planted forests.
“More efforts should be made to develop new mixed, planted forests,” said Dr. Hervé Jactel of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. He is one of the authors of a new review, Tree Diversity Drives Forest Stand Resistance to Natural Disturbances, which reviews the relationships between tree diversity and stand resistance to natural disturbances, and explores the ecological mechanisms behind the observed relationships. Read more…
There’s a line in a song by U.S. singer-songwriter Dee Moeller that goes: “The wide open spaces are closing in quickly, from the weight of the whole human race…”
That line could well be the sub-title for a session to be held at the upcoming IUFRO 125th Congress in Freiburg, Germany entitled: Co-existence of humans and wildlife in changing landscapes and climate.
Current human population growth is causing an increasing demand for natural resources and a growing pressure for access to land which, among other things, affects wildlife habitat and the interactions between wildlife and humans, said Dr. Chabi Djagoun, of the Laboratory of Applied Ecology in Cotonou, Benin. Read more…
“We’re trying to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” said Dr. Jens Peter Skovsgaard of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, Sweden.
He was speaking about forestry operations and research and how change can be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Dr. Skovsgaard is coordinator of a session entitled: Forestry “Classic” for the Future, at the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress in Freiburg, Germany in September. Read more…
IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress Spotlight #51 – Pooling resources to meet sub-Saharan forest challenges
Collaboration and cooperation are the keys to facilitating learning and making better use of research outcomes in sub-Saharan African countries facing severe forestry challenges.
That’s the philosophy behind Dr. Joseph Cobbinah’s upcoming session on the impact of forestry research on policy, livelihoods and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. The session will take place at the IUFRO 125th Congress in Freiburg in September. Read more…
IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress Spotlight #50 – Filling in knowledge gaps about natural disturbances and their interactions in mountain forests
In mountainous terrain they are called protection forests – forests that protect human settlements and infrastructure against natural disturbances such as rockfall, snow avalanche and shallow landslides.
Natural disturbances are becoming more and more important drivers in many mountain chains worldwide, mainly because of past land-use legacies. But also, under climate change, the incidence of some natural disturbances is increasing.
These disturbances and their interactions can threaten human life and property and can compromise the protection function of mountain forests. Read more…
IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress Spotlight #49 – Citizen scientists around the world take to the woods in an effort to improve the health of forests
The coordinator of a session on citizen science planned for the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress is aiming high.
He hopes the session will inspire discussion about the merit and potential of a global initiative on invasive forest pest monitoring, with special emphasis and resources for countries with developing economies.
The focus is on invasive species because people are major drivers of their spread. Consumer demand drives globalization and the international trade in ornamental plants, which is a major contributor to the invasive problem. Read more…
IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress Spotlight #48 – Forest tourism can mean billions in economic benefits
Dr. Taylor Stein of the University of Florida in Gainesville believes “that any meeting that addresses the management of the world’s forests is incomplete without a focused discussion on tourism.”
While there is limited research on the impact of nature-based tourism, Dr. Stein pointed to a 2007 report from the Center for Responsible Travel that said nature-based tourism accounted for 7% of the international tourism market and had a $77 billion impact on the world’s economy.
And, he added, surveys of travelers around the world consistently show that natural attractions (e.g. wildlife) are important reasons for their visits and they value conservation and protection of environmental quality.
IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress Spotlight #47 – Remote forest-dependent communities can benefit through social innovation
Many rural forest-dependent communities face similar challenges – lack of infrastructure, housing, and transport as well as aging populations.
When global issues such as climate change, sustainability, and energy and food security are added to the mix, the need for solutions to the challenges becomes much more pressing. Read more…