The upcoming IUFRO World Congress does not only break records in terms of delegate numbers; it is also raising the benchmarks for equality and global representation.
“We are very pleased with the excellent equality outcome Congress registration figures have shown so far, especially with the high share of women, youth and delegates from the Global South,” says Fredrik Ingemarson, Chair of the Organizing Committee.
The Congress, set in Stockholm from June 23-29, is not only a testament to the diversity of voices in the forest sector but also an important move towards a more inclusive future that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A major achievement for the IUFRO World Congress 2024 is the growing gender balance among delegates. Notably, 45 percent of all delegates registered so far are women, with a significant emphasis on the age group below 40 who outnumber their male counterparts by a ratio of 6 to 5.
This turnout confirms the trend of growing diversity in IUFRO over the past few decades and challenges the traditional male-dominated landscape of the forest sector, fostering a more dynamic and creative environment. Studies have consistently shown that gender-diverse organizations are more innovative and productive, directly contributing to gender equality. “A more inclusive and diverse Congress will spark more innovative and forward-thinking dialogues. This is our strong belief,” says Fredrik Ingemarson.
And IUFRO President John Parrotta agrees, “We anticipate a Congress that will not only share ground-breaking research but also pave the way for a more equitable and united future in the forest sector for the benefit of all.”
Revolutionizing North/South Global Balance
Another achievement is the increasing deviation from the historical over-representation of the Global North. With five months remaining until the opening, the registration data is already indicating a most satisfactory outcome regarding geographical diversity.
Among the 107 countries that have registered, 35 are from the Global North, while an astounding two-thirds hail from the Global South. This balance presents a great opportunity for the Congress to foster a constructive and inclusive environment, contributing to UN Sustainable Goal: Partnerships for the Goals.
“The IUFRO World Congress in Stockholm will be another milestone in our efforts towards improving gender balance and representation of scientists of all ages from many parts of the world. The high numbers of women and youth who have already registered as well as the global balance we are witnessing is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and collaboration, directly supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” says John Parrotta.