The interconnection of forests and people goes beyond forest management and forest products. This was dramatically illustrated during 2015 floods in Malawi when people climbed trees and were thereby saved from floods that killed over a hundred people in Traditional Authority Mlolo of the Nsanje District. Read more…
“The portfolio of goods and services from forests is now very different to that two decades ago; yet there is a disconnect between the institutional framework and these new forms of forest use, leading to efficiency, equity and legitimacy deficits,” said Dr. John Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, Canada.
The changes – from forest planting and forest harvesting and operations, to forest use and forest products – occur at different levels. Today, forests produce a complex array of products from forest ecosystem services to timber and bio-products.
Market values are increasingly being attached to forest ecosystem services and this is changing the value systems associated with forestry.
Dr. Innes is coordinating a Task Force set up by IUFRO – Resources for the Future: Transformation in Forest Use – to better understand those changes.
“Globalization, population growth, resource scarcity and ecological degradation are all influencing forest use,” he said.
“For instance, a growing middle class requires more forest products accessible through global supply chains. At the same time, these supply chains are threatened by, and contribute to, resource scarcity and ecological degradation,” he said. “In another example, policy makers have identified forest products as important to climate change, so new products have been developed to meet the climate challenge.
“Both these examples have explicit implications for forests and are transforming forest use, yet the institutional response has been slow and inadequate in dealing with these drivers,” he said.
Dr. Innes further noted that humans now value, in monetary terms, the full breadth of forest ecosystem services including non-market values and that now we also view forests as feedstock for the bio-economy.
“These are distinct and relatively nascent changes in our relationship with forests,” he said. “For many Indigenous communities across the globe, the changing relationship with forests has been dramatic – particularly as they engage in the forest sector as market participants.
“Valuation of forest ecosystem services can run counter to holistic Indigenous values; but valuation also affords protection by adequately recognizing, quantifying and integrating these values into decisions, and policy makers can consider the full costs of their decision. These values in the past were typically ignored,” Dr. Innes added.
The Task Force will seek to generate insights about the pathways that can be adopted to encourage a sustainable transformation in forest resource use.
It will identify institutions, governance structures, policies and instruments that can help policy makers and stakeholders address problems and capitalize on opportunities brought about by rapid change and describe the potential benefits and implications from them in terms of equity, effectiveness and efficiency.
It will also develop recommendations for forest research institutions to build understanding for, and implementation of, those various tools to support successful transformation in forest use.
The Task Force also convened a roundtable of leading global experts from government, industry, academia, NGOs and Indigenous groups in Dehradun, India in April of this year to further discuss the sustainable transformation of forest use. A book elaborating on the outcomes of that roundtable is expected in the near future.
The Task Force on the transformation in forest use future is one of several established by IUFRO to advance knowledge under five research themes in accordance with the IUFRO 2015-19 Strategy.
The five themes are: 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.
Task Force website: http://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/transformation-forest-use/
View all IUFRO Spotlights at http://www.iufro.org/media/iufro-spotlights/
“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 Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania 2016
24 – 27 October 2016, Beijing, China
Forests for Sustainable Development: The Role of Research
The Beijing Declaration
Keynote speaker at the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania –
Forests for Sustainable Development: The Role of Research
Professor Zhang, the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania 2016 is jointly organized by IUFRO and the Chinese Academy of Forestry. This is the first Congress of its kind to be held in the region of Asia and Oceania and will offer an extraordinary opportunity for enhancing forest science cooperation. You are one of the leading scientists in silviculture and forest management in China and have a long experience in the establishment of planted forests on the one hand, and sustainable forest management on the other hand. The Congress will particularly focus on these two areas with its themes “Planted forests for fostering a greener economy”, and “Sustainable forest management for enhanced provision of ecosystem services”. Read more…
Consumers and Industry: Keen on Green
Looking toward the future is enough to make you, ahem, “turn green” with envy.
It’s all about a greener future.
That future and, more specifically, how it relates to the world’s forests will be one of many subjects discussed at the XXIV IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City, Utah, this fall.
A session there, entitled Forests and Forest Products for a Greener Future will look at how business and marketing will contribute to that goal.
Organized by Eric Hansen of Oregon State University, Tom Hammett of Virginia Tech and Birger Solberg of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, it will cover a wide range of business and marketing theory topics that address how products and markets (timber and non-timber) can be expected to contribute to the greening effect.
Forests play a major role in achieving Millennium Development Goal 1 to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and in striving for food security. Globally, millions of people depend on forests for their food security and nutrition, directly through the consumption or sale of foods produced in forests, indirectly through forest-related employment and income, forest ecosystem services, and forest biodiversity.
Current approaches to increasing food security tend to concentrate on agricultural solutions, ranging from intensification of agricultural production outside of forests to promoting agroforestry systems. Policy recommendations to establish a framework for promoting food security from forests, however, have so far been rather general and no framework addresses the relationship between forests and food security directly.
The “International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition”, held at FAO Headquarters in Rome in May 2013, inter alia conveyed the key message that forests, trees and agroforestry systems demand greater attention in strategies for food security and nutrition and in the fight against hunger. It also called for improved data collection at national and international levels.
A changing forest sector: Globalization triggers bio-economy and the search for new business opportunities
Scientists, practitioners and decision-makers from around the world meet in Vancouver, Canada from 27 to 30 August 2013 to discuss the implications of globalization on forests and their management.
(Vancouver/Vienna, 27 August 2013) Globalization is changing forests and the forest sector. Increases in international trade and investments have altered the global business environment for forestry. The growing world population moving towards nine billion by 2050, economic growth, rising resources demand and increasing environmental concerns are other drivers fostering transformation in forestry and the management of forests. New players enter the global market, and the bio-economy –– the production of ‘green’ products from renewable resources –– is gaining weight. From 27 to 30 August 2013, more than 100 representatives from research, industry and government will discuss how global trends influence forest resources, and how new opportunities for forest entrepreneurs and a more resource efficient society can be harnessed. The Conference has been organized by the University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Forestry, on behalf of the Task Force “Resources for the Future” of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
Aprovechamiento de productos forestales / Utilization of Forest Products
Session moderator: Don K Lee, IUFRO Immediate Past President, Korea
Find more information about IUFRO’s Division on Forest Products: www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-5/
The primary objective of the first paper was to determine if Caesalpinia velutina and Giricidia sepium fuelwood plantations in Nicaragua could be economically viable for smallholders. It was concluded that fuelwood plantation yields according to product-specific requirements were essential for the economic viability analysis. In the context of this study and contrarily to public perception, farm-based Caesalpinia velutina and Giricidia sepium fuelwood plantations could be economically viable over longer rotations.
The second paper addressed the role of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs). The sewage treatment process generates a solid waste named sewage sludge, a material rich in organic matter and nutrients. According to this study sewage sludge showed a great potential in the production of forest seedlings. It recommends the use of composite substrates with sewage sludge, because it minimizes the need for acquisition of commercial substrates, decreasing production costs by increasing productivity and disposing this waste in a more sustainable way.
The aim of the third paper was to contribute to the understanding of the growth dynamics of native species of Araucaria taking into account its complex structure and by the analysis of growth and competition, to subsidize the forest management and its conservation. The endeavour of trees to compete for light can be used to determine the best management and production options.
The fourth paper studied the growth dynamics of different species in an Araucaria forest remnant stand. It concluded that there is evidence that in the past the stand of Araucaria Angustifolia should have been thinned more intensively. Competition indexes are useful and can be used to recover information in unmanaged stands to optimize resources, and they can also be used as a reference to manage other stands in similar conditions.
The aim of the fifth paper was to determine the percentage of samples that best reflects the actual diameter distribution in a 1,000 ha of primary Amazon forest in Sinop, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. When considering the whole area, 5% sample intensity has proven to be sufficient to estimate the horizontal structure of trees above 30 cm of DBH. Considering the diversity of the Amazon rainforest, it is still not possible to extrapolate this anlysis of the diameter distribution. Further replication studies are required to establish sample intensities and methods for different forest structures.
Presentations in this session:
Using Product-Specific Fuelwood Yields to Assess Economic Visability: A Case Study of Farm-Based Gliricidia sepium and Caesalpinia velutina Plantations in Nicaragua. (Kahlil Baker, UBC, Canada)
Utilization of sewage sludge in the composition of substrates in forest seedlings production. (Alan Marques Abreu, UFRRJ Brazil)
Growth dynamics of different species in an Araucaria Forest remnant. (Aline Canetti, Embrapa Florestas, Brazil)
Competition index: a tool to define thinning in stands of Araucaria angustifolia. (Rafaella Curto, Embrapa Florestas, Brazil)
Determination of sampling intensities to estimate diameter distribution in Amazon Forest. (Mariana De Oliveira Ferraz, Embrapa Florestas, Brazil)
Traditional forest-related knowledge: its contribution to sustainable forest landscape management
For more information on IUFRO Taskforce on Traditional Forest Knowledge: http://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/traditional-forest-knowledge/
The general consensus of why forests are important is changing to include not only the economic benefits but the cultural and social attributes as well. There is an increasing recognition of the relevance of traditional-forest related knowledge (TFK) in new science, policy and management issues. It is important to understand TFK and its role in our past and how we can apply it in the future.
The session entitled “Traditional forest-related knowledge: its contribution to sustainable forest landscape management”, brought together a roomful of researchers to discuss the importance of TFK in forest science, policy making, and cultural heritage.
John Parrotta, presented on IUFRO activities in TFK and highlighted the publication, “Traditional Forest–Related Knowledge: Sustaining Communities, Ecosystems”, that provides an up-to-date summary of the emerging field of traditional forest management. He introduced the key elements to TFK including; sustainability, relationships, identity, reciprocity, and limits on exchange and highlighted the importance it plays in our food security, agricultural productivity, monitoring environmental change, and preparing for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
TFK and practices have sustained, and continue to sustain, the rich cultures and livelihoods of rural communities in spite of significant political, social, and economic obstacles.
In his presentation, Christian Gamborg, to great agreement, highlighted the main problem in TFK – it is being lost by its holders, there is inadequate enforcement of national and international commitments to support TFK, it lacks recognition by users and there is potential misappropriation of knowledge. The relation between science and TFK is growing stronger and there can be mutually beneficial. When holders of TFK and scientists meet it is important to ensure that there is free, prior and informed consent and that the results of the research and projects are readily accessible in order to benefit share. Perhaps, most importantly it was stressed that there needs to be protection efforts to deal with traditional knowledge.
Marco Fioravanti introduced a new side to TFK by identifying the forces that drive our personal development and societal collective development in the context of the history of wood. Wood has been utilized to create objects which are now cultural artefacts, and part of our identity. He highlighted how the wood use, and crafting processes of the people of past serve as a repository of technological knowledge and intangible knowledge. TFK and historical wood products and buildings preserve our history and identity.
Monica Gabay spoke of the history of indigenous people in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile and how they interpret the forest compared to the people who conquered the area. She highlighted in importance the forest played in the lives of the indigenous that depended upon it for their survival, medicine, food, and culture. Forests also played an important part in the spiritual life of the indigenous as many of their Gods lived in the forest. After the settlement by the Spaniards, the forest was not seen as the support of man but as a tool to be used. This transition in thought persists to this day, as often Forests are identified as non-productive land
Miguel Pinedo, brought forth the example of the people of the Amazon and how their traditional knowledge is not folklore, it is a practice used daily in many communities. In his example, he showed how the forest dependent communities are adapting to a changing landscape that sees greater flooding, long droughts, and fires. Communities are responding to the floods. These shifts come in the form of switch to subsistence based agriculture from commercial, greater reliance on forestry and agroforestry systems, a diversification of the use of forest products, and more reliance on urban-rural networks. Smallholder systems are inherently adaptable and we can learn from them. It was recommended that local responses to events are documented, policies are crafted to support response mechanisms rather than destroy them, and the systems in place are built upon instead of replaced.
The sessions agreed that TFK is rarely considered or incorporated into adaptation initiatives at global, regional, or national levels, even though they are important resources for dealing with vulnerability to climate change, as well as changes in markets and policies.
Presentations in this session:
Traditional forest-related knowledge: Sustaining communities, ecosystems and biocultural diversity (John Parrotta, US Forest Service, USA)
Facilitating Greater Engagement with Forest Peoples: Ethics and Research Methodologies for TFRK Study (Christian Gamborg, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
The use of history in the assessment and understanding of traditional forest-related knowledge. (Mauro Agnoletti, University of Florence, Italy)
Traditional forest-related knowledge in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. (Monica Gabay, Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable, Argentina)
Traditional Forest Knowledge: An Amazonian resource for adaptation and mitigation to climate change. (Miguel Pinedo, CIFOR)