Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity seem to be characterizing the future development. By 2050, the world will have undergone drastic changes through population growth, climate change, increased globalization and a growing world economy, putting tremendous pressure on natural resources, including forests.

Pressure on forests and stakeholders

It is very likely that different biomes have both contracted and expanded due to climate change and connected socio-economic land-use changes. These developments will most probably lead to a change in the governance of the forest resources to more inclusive and dialogue based models.

Changes influencing all sectors

At the same time, we will experience drastic changes of values in society and rapid technological developments, which will cause disruptions and changes influencing all sectors of society. The power of the bioeconomy will most likely have given the forest industry an opportunity to transform to a value added oriented industry.

Today, the demands on the forestry sector ecosystem services grow due to the bioeconomy concept, reinforced by the UN sustainable goals, Agenda 2030 and other regional and global policies and instruments.

Future research agendas

All of these trends cause new demands and dramatic changes to the current research agendas. There is a need for further research, dialogues and cross-sector cooperation to create a more integrated approach for the promotion of multi-functional utilization of forests for wood and fiber based products and other ecosystem services. The overall objective of the XXVI IUFRO World Congress 2024 is suggested to be the identification of how these changes and new demands will affect the future research agenda in accordance with Agenda 2030 and the IUFRO strategy.