The time is right to learn from past experiences and build a second-generation of “National Forest Programmes”
By Alexander Buck, Helga Pülzl and Ewald Rametsteiner
Since their conception more than two decades ago, national forest programmes (NFP) have become widespread forest policy frameworks internationally. The management of most of the world’s forests is now governed by different types of NFPs to some degree. Hence NFPs present certain governance practices that all countries are interested to have. Yet, the overall picture regarding the impact of NFPs as national forest governance frameworks on sustainable forest management remains ‘fuzzy’. Read more…
Enhancing forest-related development: Community and smallholder forestry in the nexus of markets, policy, and implementation
Forests hold the potential to contribute to sustainable local development in many regions of the world. For this potential to be realized, rural dwellers need to have access to healthy forests, need to be linked to markets, and hold capacities to actively engage in forest product value chains. This requires an enabling legal environment and supportive policies. For the last two decades, considerable efforts and investment have been devoted to improve these enabling conditions in many locations and at different scales. Even so, in many places in the world where a forestry development potential may exist, deforestation and forest degradation, unfavourable legal environments and policies and competition with better endowed or politically well-connected entrepreneurs prevail. Read more…
Professor Michael J Wingfield, President of IUFRO and Director of the Forestry & Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria gives an insight on his forthcoming presentation at 2015 ICF National Conference: Tree health, resilience and sustainability.
Natural forests and plantations of forest trees are increasingly threatened by insect pests and pathogens. Broadly speaking, native trees in forests are most seriously threatened. Once a serious disease cause by a pest, pathogen or a combination of these factors in symbiosis, there is little that can be done to offset the problem. Classic examples are found in Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight. Read more…
During 4 weeks in July, three young students worked at IUFRO Headquarters to get a taste of work in an office. Here is their report:
When you work for IUFRO, you have to be prepared for a wide range of different tasks such as setting up a filing system, sorting notes or getting the mail. One of the most exciting assignments we got was to prepare a draft on how to improve and reorganize the IUFRO webpage according to our own vision. The three of us put together our ideas and debated how the webpage could be changed in order to be more attractive to users not familiar with IUFRO, and still be easy for all users to operate with.
IUFRO Headquarters is a very nice place to work at. While there is a lot of work to be done, the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed. Everyone is very cooperative and helpful. In our work, we did not have to worry about time pressure, but were encouraged to finish all our tasks properly.
Since the members of IUFRO Headquarters were very busy with their usual tasks, such as doing the finances, organizing meetings, writing reports or minutes, they were highly pleased that we took over extra tasks for them and so facilitated their work.
We learned much: not only about the work of IUFRO and its member organizations, but also about the functioning and logistics of a big association, like IUFRO, and its headquarters. The time here at IUFRO was a highly informative and instructive, as we learned to work within a group, but at the same time independently. And we now have an idea what it is like to work in an office of an international association.
Jonathan Kleine, Julian Koch, Moritz Wildburger
Photo: IUFRO Headquarters
The Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) provides the framework to share forest-related information through a single gateway at www.gfis.net. It promotes the dissemination and sharing of forest and tree-related information and knowledge among the global forestry community by developing common information exchange standards, building capacity and enhancing partnerships among forestry information providers and users.
GFIS is built as a global partnership, across sectors and institutions, and aims to maximize the value of all forest information resources and providers worldwide. Through a bottom-up approach, partners determine the volume, coverage and type of information they would like to share through GFIS.
The GFIS gateway is based on RSS feeds (news, events, publications etc.) linked by information provider partners (www.gfis.net/gfis/partners.faces) to the GFIS search. For example around 60 new headlines are released daily on the entry page and 70 coming forest events are available on the calendar at www.gfis.net/gfis/calendar.faces.
GFIS, an IUFRO lead initiative, was endorsed in May 2004 at the twelfth meeting of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).
Blog – Forest professionals around the world share their ideas and experiences on matters such as forest information management and sharing within the global forestry community. Besides the posts the blog contains GFIS workshop material. You can participate in the blog by commenting or if you are interested you can also write posts. http://www.gfis.net/blog
Facebook – If you have joined Facebook, you are also warmly welcome to join in a GFIS group. You can be involved in development of GFIS, join discussions on forest information-related issues, get the newest information about GFIS and get in touch with the forestry community online. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=177237995089&ref=mf
If you need more information about GFIS or your organization would like to join in GFIS please visit at www.gfis.net or contact Eero Mikkola (email@example.com) GFIS Coordinator. Very shortly you will be able to listen to or download our first IUFRO podcast – An Interview with Eero Mikkola (GFIS Project Coordinator)