Archive for the ‘Guest Blog’ Category

The power of social innovation to increase the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities in the Carpathian and other mountain regions

The power of social innovation to increase the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities in the Carpathian and other mountain regions

The IUFRO Working Party 4.05.05 Social innovation and entrepreneurship organised a special session of the6th Forum Carpaticum entitled “The power of social innovation in mountain areas to steer a sustainable governance of nature”. Scientists from over the world were brought together (online) to discuss the emergence and development of social innovation in the Carpathian Mountains and beyond. The Forum’s presentations included a conceptual talk based on findings on social innovation in mountain forestry from H2020 SIMRA project coordinated by James Hutton Institute, topics on how social innovation can offer transformative opportunities to forestry in Ukraine; communities’ empowerment through carbon forestry in Slovakia; impacts of social innovation on inequalities in mountain–lowland relationships in Swiss Alps; citizen science and adopting Living Lab approach to foster sustainability transformations and foster biodiversity conservation through participatory management of nature protected areas, and others.

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Helping ensure that forest bioenergy is environmentally sustainable

NOTE: This text is reblogged without changes from a blog post authored by Dr. Brian Titus that originally appeared on the BMC blog network, http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-physicalsciences/2021/04/15/forest-bioenergy-sustainable/, on 15 April 2021. This blog post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. One of the authors of the original study, Dr. Viktor Bruckman, is the Deputy Coordinator of the Former IUFRO Task Force “Forest Biomass Network”.

Helping ensure that forest bioenergy is environmentally sustainable

Can removal of woody materials from forests for renewable bioenergy production be environmentally sustainable? A recent review in Energy, Sustainability and Society demonstrates that a wide range of environmental and social values can be protected when harvesting forest biomass, such as harvest residues, salvaged sub-merchantable trees, diseased or dead trees, and whole-tree thinnings.

Brian Titus 15 Apr 2021

Skidding non-merchantable insect-damaged white pine from an abandoned pasture that reverted to poor-quality forest in South Stratford, Vermont. Material was then chipped at roadside.
Photo credit: David Paganelli
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Seeing the forest for the trees

Seeing the forest for the trees

Guest blog via Sri Lanka’s Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project ESCAMP; first published on Seeing the forest for the trees – ESCAMP

Forty Forest Department’s and other stakeholders participated in a training
organized and financed by International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
learning best restoration practices of forest landscapes

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What do current students expect from their future career in the forest-related sector?

What do current students expect from their future career in the forest-related sector?

Guest blog by Lisa C. Prior, Junior Researcher, Joint EFI-IFSA-IUFRO Project, EFI Resilience Office Bonn, Germany
First published on Resilience blog on June 9th (https://resilience-blog.com/2020/06/09/what-do-current-students-expect-from-their-future-career-in-the-forest-related-sector/

This is one of the questions the “Global Students Networking and Green Jobs in the forest sector” project is trying to investigate with their recently launched global survey among students and recent graduates of forest-related higher education programs.

The Green Jobs project is coordinated by the European Forest Institute (EFI) in collaboration with the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). It  investigates the transforming employment trends in the forest sector while putting a special focus on the perspective of students and recent graduates from around the world. The young generation is a key actor of the future whether as professionals, leaders, or educators. Their skills and advocacy will be essential for strengthening the forest sector towards a sustainable future.

Building on a literature review and an expert workshop investigating the current changes of employment in the forest sector, the objective of the survey is to gain a better understanding of the perception of necessary skills and competencies; and employment-related ambitions and preparedness of forest-related students from around the globe.

The questionnaire will take ~20 minutes to complete. We encourage you to share the survey with any students or recent graduates in your networks and further appreciate sharing with contacts at universities that could help to spread the survey among the target group.

Take part in the survey and help us find out what students expect from their future career in the forest-related sector!

Take the survey or share the link with students: https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90242538/8b61967933ae

For further information please contact: lisa.prior@efi.int

COVID-19-induced Visitor Boom Reveals the Importance of Forests as Critical Infrastructure

COVID-19-induced Visitor Boom Reveals the Importance of Forests as Critical Infrastructure

Guest blog provided by Lukas Giessen, Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 9.05.00 – Forest policy and governance

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the globe have implemented a certain degree of lockdown, restricting citizens’ freedom of movement and freedom of assembly. An article recently published in Forest Policy and Economics by Jakob Derks, Lukas Giessen and Georg Winkel of the European Forest Institute, Bonn, Germany, aims to illustrate the impact that the measures against the spread of COVID-19 have on forest recreation.

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Lignin from Wood and Agricultural Waste to be used in Automotive, Mass Timber (CLT) and Construction Applications

Lignin from Wood and Agricultural Waste to be used in Automotive, Mass Timber (CLT) and Construction Applications

Guest blog by Lauren Noel, Communications Manager for the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University (IUFRO Member Organization)

MSU and Michigan Tech researchers study using lignin from wood and agricultural waste to replace petroleum-based polyols in polyurethane foams and adhesives.

MSU Forestry doctoral student Saeid Nikafshar formulating lignin-based polyurethane adhesive. Photo credit: Michigan State University
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The world is fighting forest fires in the midst of a pandemic

The world is fighting forest fires in the midst of a pandemic

Interview with Dr. Andrey Krasovskiy originally published in French: https://journalmetro.com/perspective/2477417/monde-lutte-feux-de-foret-pandemie/
On 25 June 2020 by Miguel Velazquez, Métro World News

Dr. Andrey Krasovskiy is a Research Scholar working with the Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM) of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria: https://iiasa.ac.at/

He is a Member of the IUFRO Task Force “Fire$: Economic Drivers of Global Wildland Fire Activity”: https://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/global-wildland-fire-activity/

Q: What is the outlook for forest fires this year?
Forest fires are likely to keep the dynamics from previous years. Along with the problematic regions, such as Amazon, where forest fires are driven by deforestation, and Indonesia, where extremely vulnerable peatland areas are located, considerable fire events are to be expected in boreal forests of Russia, the US, and Canada. The forest fires might also show relative increase compared to previous years in Central European countries. There is a danger that post-quarantine human activities will further add to forest fire frequency in the Mediterranean region, as well as globally.

Skeeze on Pixabay
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“Harnessing Synergies between Agriculture and Forest Restoration’

“Harnessing Synergies between Agriculture and Forest Restoration’

Communities work together to restore forests – an example from Nepal
By Lila Nath Sharma, PhD

Blog from IUFRO Member Organization ForestAction Nepal

Jalthal forest is a 6,000 ha forested land in the densely populated region in the lowland of Southeastern Nepal. It is a remnant moist tropical forest with diverse ecosystems and habitats comprising swamps, rivers, ponds, hillocks and plain areas. It is an important biodiversity hotspot with several threatened floras and faunas including the Asiatic elephant and pangolin. The forest has unique assemblages of tropical and subtropical plant species found in the sub Himalayan tract. Floristic elements from different bio-geographical regions – Sino Himalayan, East Asian and Indian, for example – makes the forest diverse and unique.

The forest is an important source of environmental services including fresh water and multitudes of forest products for people living around the forest.  It is currently managed by 22 Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) and is an important livelihood source for over 80,000 people. In spite of high ecological and social significance, the Jalthal forest is subjected to multiple pressures. These include invasive species, human-wildlife conflict (particularly human-elephant), wildlife poaching, illegal felling of trees and timber focused forest management.

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View from the forest: the interlinked crises of COVID-19, environmental degradation and inequity – A Guest Blog

The underlying cause of the COVID-19 pandemic is the spill-over of a virus from a presumed bat wildlife source – and its spread in the vast human population and its vulnerable systems. There are many questions yet unanswered about the virus’s source – which species of bat, was it sold in the Wuhan Wet Market, did a number of bat-human transmissions occur or were transmissions to other animal species involved in the development of a virus capable of human to human transmission. For the moment all efforts are on controlling the disease. It has emerged and spread rapidly around the highly connected planet. In the long run, understanding how to prevent further such pandemics will be a major focus.

Photographer: © Yingyod Lapwong,
Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode
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Forest Education Needed in all Schools Around the World

Forest Education Needed in all Schools Around the World

NOTE: This text is reblogged without any changes from the Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education blog post “Forest Education Needed in all Schools Around the World” at https://foresteducation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/forest-education-needed-in-all-schools-around-the-world/.

The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) held this week in New York shined a spotlight on the topic of forest education.International organizations and member countries alike discussed the importance of strengthening forestry education, beginning from a young age in elementary level education up to university level and beyond. The relevance of forest education at schools is based on ensuring the next generation understands the positive role forests can play in helping humanity combat some of our most profound challenges; contributing to mitigation and resilience efforts in the face of climate change, housing massive terrestrial biodiversity and positively contributing to food and water security all of which are outlined in the UN’s 2030 agenda and featured in their 17 sustainable development goals.

Dr. Mika Rekola, representing the University of Helsinki and IUFRO, was featured on a panel discussion where he presented his background paper co-authored by Dr. Monica Gabay.  The paper highlighted three key messages.

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IUFRO - The International Union of Forest Research Organizations