Spotlight #32 – Sharing Knowledge to Rebuild Tropical Forests and Landscapes

Sharing Knowledge to Rebuild Tropical Forests and Landscapes

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Tropical forests contain a huge amount of biological diversity, play a key role in human health, offer a vast array of ecosystem services and have become central to global debates on climate change.

spotlight32-collaborative-decision-makingBut extensive deforestation and degradation are causing a significant decline in the biological diversity and the ecosystem goods and services provided by them. And, in many African countries there is a notable connection between degradation and the inability of decision makers – and the larger society – to access existing scientific knowledge and innovations that could help reverse the impacts of forest degradation. Read more…

National Forest Programmes

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

national-forest-programmes-img-2457Since 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…

World Wood Day – Celebrating “Wood is Good” by Cultural Approach

World Wood Day – Celebrating “Wood is Good” by Cultural Approach

world-wood-day-iwcs-2015Report by Howard Rosen, Coordinator of IUFRO Working Party 5.10.01 Wood Culture, http://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/50000/51000/51001/ , and Andrew Wong, Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO Division 5 Forest Products,  http://www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/50000/ .

How would you like to go the a celebration with people from 93 countries, including wood carvers and turners making art pieces, musical groups playing wooden instruments, tree planting to improve the environment, talks on how the use of wood has affected people’s lives throughout history, and other entertainment such as folk dancing and puppeteering?  Well one just occurred in Odunpazarı District of Eskişehir, Turkey, from March 6-31, 2015 with over 400 attendees. Read more…

Spotlight #31 – Eschew obfuscation! Um, wait. Let me rephrase that…

Eschew obfuscation! Um, wait. Let me rephrase that…

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spotlight31-pencilsDisseminating forest research results beyond the research community to policy makers, decision makers, forest managers, other forest stakeholders and in some instances, to the public, is important.

We all know that.

Those research findings can be used to contribute to the sustainable management of forests, to the health and wellbeing of forest ecosystems and, on a grand scale, to the overall health of our planet and the organisms – including humans – that exist here. (And, from a researcher’s self-interest perspective, the more people who understand the importance of the research, the more potential for continued funding.) Read more…

Spotlight #30 – Forests: Food for thought – and nourishment

Forests: Food for thought – and nourishment

 

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Cashew nuts, Brazil (photo by PJ Stephenson)

Cashew nuts, Brazil (photo by PJ Stephenson)

A report that analyses the complicated, intertwined and often oppositional philosophies, land uses and governance regimes that comprise the forest-food nexus, will help inform deliberations as the United Nations Forum on Forests develops a 15-year roadmap for international forest policy.

At the heart of the new report is the understanding that forests and trees cannot, by themselves, replace the role of agriculture, but they are critically important to food security and nutrition.

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Enhancing forest-related development: Community and smallholder forestry in the nexus of markets, policy, and implementation

Traditional landscapes

Traditional landscapes (FAO Photo ref FO-0072)

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…

Spotlight #29 – Supersites for Superior Forest Science

Supersites for Superior Forest Science

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The initiative for establishing Supersites for forest research is only a few years old.

In these supersites, sophisticated, state-of-the-art instruments are used and a multitude of factors in the ecosystem is to be measured to obtain baseline data. As examples: spectrometers will measure how trees absorb and scatter light; laser scanners will map the forest’s three-dimensional structure; soil, plant and atmospheric sciences will be integrated; and mechanistic and policy-oriented modeling will be part of the concept. Read more…

Lessons from a global perspective on tree health

wingfield-125Professor 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…

Congress Spotlight #28: American Indian forestry: blending science and tradition


American Indian forestry: blending science and tradition

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Prescribed fire used by the Tribes for centuries (Flathead Indian Reservation managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes). Photo by IFMAT-III

Prescribed fire used by the Tribes for centuries (Flathead Indian Reservation managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes). Photo by IFMAT-III

For thousands of years, American Indians have been managing the forests in which they live.

Today, with trained professionals who are tribal members, their forests are managed with modern tools and methods; include manufacturing facilities and address global forest issues such as climate change, forest certification, carbon sequestration and a changing work force.

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Spotlight #27 – Genes the means to screen future forest scene


Genes the means to screen future forest scene

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Women caring for tree seedlings in a nursery in Niger. Credit: Bioversity International/L. Snook

Women caring for tree seedlings in a nursery in Niger. Credit: Bioversity International/L. Snook

Forest ecosystem restoration is a critical component in tackling climate change, combatting biodiversity loss and desertification, and for providing products and services that support livelihoods at a local level.

For those reasons, restoring and rehabilitating forests and degraded lands will be one of the major environmental challenges of this century.

But, as a recent thematic study coordinated by Bioversity International, a IUFRO Member Organization, for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – Genetic Considerations in Ecosystem Restoration Using Native Tree Species – notes, there is more to forest restoration than simply planting trees.

Read more…

IUFRO - The International Union of Forest Research Organizations