IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress – Interconnecting Forests, Science and People. Forests and trees play a vital role in sustaining life on earth. For 125 years the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) has been committed to promoting international cooperation in research embracing the full range of topics related to forests and trees.
In this remarkable time span, IUFRO has grown into a network with much potential to make a significant contribution towards attaining the social, economic and environmental goals outlined in the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as other international agreements. The current IUFRO Strategy addresses issues such as food, drinking water, affordable energy, but also incomes and jobs, and provides pathways towards achieving sustainable growth and greater resilience to climate change and natural hazards.
This essential capacity makes IUFRO member institutions and individual researchers proud to be part of an organisation which develops and shares the knowledge needed to provide science-based solutions to current and future global challenges for the benefit of forests and people.
Consequently, the 125th Anniversary Congress is a unique opportunity to CELEBRATE past achievements, HIGHLIGHT IUFRO’s vital role in providing a sound basis for political decisions at all levels, STRENGTHEN collaboration with our stakeholders, and BUILD BRIDGES to other sectors such as water, agriculture and energy. This Congress aims to provide a platform for the exchange of scientific knowledge across the full range of forest and forest-related topics and scientific disciplines. A wide selection of technical sessions will highlight innovative research and interdisciplinary research approaches of relevance to forests, and focus on the transfer of scientific knowledge on critical global forest-related challenges to national and international political agendas. In addition, a series of Science in Dialogue sessions is planned for this Congress with the aim of bringing scientists from forest-related and other relevant disciplines from all parts of the world together with national and international policy and decision makers and important stakeholders. These sessions are guided by a set of essential questions that serve as a framework for the congress scientific program:
•How can the role of forests for people’s livelihoods and quality of life be improved, and what contribution could forest restoration make?
•How can forests play a greater role in carbon sequestering and simultaneously become more resilient to climatic changes?
•What role can forests play in the emerging bio-economy, and how can their true value be recognized?
•How can biodiversity loss and biological invasions be effectively addressed?
•How do trees, soil and water interact in forest ecosystems, and what role can forests play in enhancing the provision of freshwater?
To provide a framework for the dialogue sessions (listed below), the overarching theme – Challenges of sustainable development: implications for forests and forest science – has been defined and will be discussed in various settings and from different perspectives. Science Meets Policy – Statements/PresentationsWith high-level speakers from international policy organizationsScience Meets Policy – Panel DiscussionWith high-level speakers from international policy organizations and ministers of statesScience Meets Science – Panel DiscussionWith top-ranking scientists from forest-related and other disciplines (agriculture, social sciences)Science Meets Stakeholders – Panel DiscussionWith representatives of major stakeholder organizationsScience Meets Business – Networking EventWith senior representatives of forest-related enterprises focusing on forest education and qualifications needed by the industry
The essential outcomes of the discussions and presentations shall be synthesized in a Congress Resolution that will outline how forest science, in general, and IUFRO, in particular, shall address the global challenges ahead, and how it can offer adequate and feasible solutions. The Resolution shall specifically underline the importance of strengthening the science-policy interface in order to ensure that future governance can increasingly balance and prioritize stakeholder needs and create acceptable and cross-sectorial decisions on the basis of sound science.