International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) President, Prof. Mike Wingfield, hosted a gathering of 20 African forestry research leaders, senior IUFRO and postgraduate student representatives during the recent 14th World Forestry Congress 2015. Read more…
There is a great acceleration going on in the world. The challenges that we are facing – population growth, urbanization, shortage of food and clean water, climate change and many more – are growing fast.
Research networking and global collaboration across scientific disciplines have proved to be an efficient way of generating the scientific knowledge that is indispensable for finding viable solutions to these problems. Read more…
Directors of forest research institutions – mainly from Africa – discussed future management strategies in a side event entitled “Crossing science boundaries for the benefit of forests and people” organized by the IUFRO Directors’ Forum.
Forest research is critical for forestry and natural resource management. But, as a recent survey among IUFRO member organizations – universities and research centers – clearly shows, forest research can no longer be viewed in isolation. It is being more and more recognized as part of a larger context and has become increasingly cross-sectoral. Read more…
A 3-day training workshop on science-policy interactions for forest and landscape restoration took place on 4-6 September 2015 in Durban, South Africa, prior to the World Forestry Congress. The workshop was organized by IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (SPDC) in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), and brought together a group of 14 early and mid-career scientists, educators and professionals from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. http://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/actproj/twdurban/ Read more…
Interview with four participants of the IUFRO-SPDC/WRI training workshop on science-policy interactions for forest and landscape restoration on 4-6 September 2015 in Durban, South Africa, prior to the World Forestry Congress: http://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/actproj/twdurban/
Mercedes Sá is a Forestry Engineer from Argentina. She works for the national government in the Directorate of Forestry. She is not a traditional scientific researcher because her every day work is related with the supervision of conservation and management plans of native forestry resources, including restoration activities, that all the provinces of Argentina approve for the compensation of environmental services under the framework of a National Law. Read more…
When one thinks of forests, the immediate thought is most likely of trees. That makes sense.
But forests and trees don’t exist in isolation. Things that affect – and are affected by – forests range from human activities to climate; from water and soils to insects and disease and from economics to forest products, to name just a few.
With that in mind, the IUFRO 2015-2019 Strategy focuses on five research themes: Forests, Soil and Water Interactions; Forests for People; Forests and Climate Change; Forests and Forest-based products for a Greener Future; and Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions. Read more…
IUFRO fosters discussions on respective needs and benefits at a number of side events during the XIV World Forestry Congress in September in Durban, South Africa.
Climate change, food and water security, biodiversity conservation, and reliable, clean energy are some of the global challenges society is facing today. All have in common that they are highly interconnected and that they are all related to forests and forest management in some ways. Therefore our sustainable development will highly depend on how we manage and use forests in future and how we include forests in meeting the big challenges ahead. Read more…
“Forest and Trees: Serving the People of Africa and the World” was a fitting theme for the 1st IUFRO-FORNESSA Regional Congress & ITTO/AFF Forest Policy Day held at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya June 25-29. The closing ceremony held late Friday afternoon after the last of the Scientific Sessions adjourned, brought reflections of the week and outlined the importance it had for the region and its people.
Adopted from the discussions and the sessions held throughout the week, The Nairobi Resolution was read allowed to the 350+ scientists, policymakers, and forest stakeholders in attendance at the Congress. The resolution which comes a week after the Rio+20 Sustainable Dialogue on forests reinforces the commitment of African countries to “promote science, technology, innovation and traditional knowledge in order to face forests main challenge: how to turn them productive without destroying them”.
The participants of the Congress voiced 7 commitments for the future:
- Adopt people-centred approaches for forest research and education focusing on environmental, social and economic pillars;
- Further expand the scope of forest research, training and education to address issues relevant to global sustainability including land use, livelihoods and environment issues;
- Increase information sharing and knowledge management through fostering regional cooperation and networking in African forest research and providing opportunities for scientists to contribute to global issues;
- Combine traditional knowledge with formal scientific research results to design forest and tree management systems to meet local and broader societal needs at varying spatial scales;
- Develop reward systems for successful uptake and adoption of research outputs and build impact analysis in the research project design;
- Invest in science-society communication, including the training on effective communication of research findings, to improve the impact of research for all beneficiaries and improve the link between research, policy and practice; and
- Provide effective platforms for engagement of scientists, policy makers and stakeholders through national, sub-regional and regional mechanisms.
In a region that faces many obstacles using forest and trees to meet local livelihood needs while ensuring a biodiverse and environmentally sustainable landscape the resolution outlines an optimistic future for Africa – it’s forests, it’s trees and it’s people.
Read The Nairobi Resolution in its entirety at https://www.fornis.net/content/nairobi-resolution.
PDF at http://www.iufro.org/download/file/8798/3684/regcong-africa12-congress-resolution_pdf/
The IUFRO/FORNESSA Congress brought together over 300 participants from 50 plus countries – 40 of those African. For many of the participants it was the largest gathering focused on forest issues they have ever attended. With a wealth of sessions to choose from, participants were able to interact with others doing research not only in their own area but complimentary ones as well.
With the rooms full of expertise the sessions never seemed long enough, as questions, comments and discussion were bountiful. During the panel discussion of the ITTO/AFF Forest Policy Day that ran all day June 28th, a very insightful observation was stated – the knowledge sharing which happens during these events brings the level of expertise up for individuals quicker than any other means and not only does it raise the expertise level of the individual it positively affects the collective regions level. It is only in these open forums where one gains a clear picture of what and how research is being done in neighbouring countries.
Many of the younger attendees were awed at being able to meet and share their research with foremost leaders in topics and gain valuable critique and insight that is an opportunity they would not have been granted otherwise.
Congress goers have one day remaining before they head back to their respective countries and they will be bring back a souvenir which will last a lifetime – shared knowledge and improved understanding of the issues Africa’s forests, trees and people face.
After a morning of sessions filled with discussions the Congress goers donned their field clothes and headed out for an afternoon in the forest.
Karura Forest, the renowned urban forest in Nairobi was the destination of the in-Congress tour for the participants. The forest became internationally famous and a crowning achievement for conservationists in the late 90’s. There was huge pressure to clear the forest and create housing projects and the conservation community led by the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai carried out a large public campaign to save the forest. The forest will forever be seen as a symbol of success and serve as a reminder of what a community can do when they come together to challenge land grads.
The excursion started off with a ceremonial tree planting which saw trees being planted by FORNESSA Coordinator Joseph Cobbinah and IUFRO President Niels Elers Koch with representatives from the Friends of Karura Forest – a community forest association dedicated to protecting the urban forest.
Amidst constant conversation the excursion led the large group of participants by trail to the Mau Mau Caves. As the participants continued their hike underneath the canopy of the forest they were greeted by the growing sound of music. Following the river to the waterfall an enthusiastic Kenyan choir lining the waterfall performing a traditional song and dance greeted the excursionists.
The end of the in-Congress tour also marked the end of a successful second day. Thursday is the ITTO/AFF Forest Policy Day and will see participants change their field clothes for more formal wear and head back to sessions to continue presenting and discussing their research. In the words of John, a soil scientist from Nigeria, “Tomorrow I look forward to very much, I will get to tell everyone about my research and then they will know what we have been doing and they will learn from us.”
Additional coverage at http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/forest/iufrofornessa/c1/.