This year’s IUFRO world congress was held in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA) and brought together some 4000 participants. Researchers from all over the world gathered to share their knowledge and experience related to forest research. This was a great opportunity for networking and information sharing. The SNS secretariat, represented by Inga Bödeker and Jonas Rönnberg, was also present at the event. SNS hosted its own booth where the strategy for 2014-2017 was presented and latest updates about the organization were spread. Here are some views and updates on what SNS achieved during the congress:
We had the opportunity to talk to a wide range of SNS – funded researchers and listened to their presentations. Topics ranged from watershed ecology in forests with its role in clean water supply ; the ecological impact of dead wood on the forest floor and in the soil especially on forest soil C storage via Ecosystem services and their impact in Bioeconomy; to other topics like: implementing climate change in forest policy in Sweden and how to model different scenarios of forestry and society (and climate) to be able to make the best policy decision for a safe future for our forests and the society.
This shows that SNS supports a wide thematic range of forest research, where all topics are equally important for a healthy environment and ecosystem services to society, climate change and sustainable forestry that will enable the bioeconomy.
The Bioeconomy side event organized by SNS and Taylor and Francis, promoting the special issue on Bioeconomy 29 (4):
This side-event was a set of lectures given by different experts in the field. Bioeconomy can have different definitions and it often depends on who you talk to.
For some it is simply biotechnology, for others it is the development of a new product from biomass to sell on the market. Some only regard the social aspects: why do we need to implement the Bioeconomy?
But regarding the forestry sector: Aren’t all these aspects based on a sustainable forestry? During this side event all these aspects where highlighted and discussed by presenting the 5 top Research Articles from the special issue on bioeconomy 29 (4)
Inga (first left) hosting the SNS- SLU booth during the IUFRO congress.Photo: I.Wallin
Inga’s personal impressions:
SNS already has a great overview of the importance of all the different aspects in forest research described above and how they integrate into a sustainable forestry that positively impacts society.
What I found striking though is that there seem to be silos between the researchers of these different areas in forest research. For example, researchers in forest policy that are working with climate change and want to use the forest as main carbon (C)-sink do not take the forest soil into account even though it contains manifolds more C than the above ground biomass (trees). On the other hand, many forest-soil scientists do not know how to actually implement their research findings into forest policy. It is often difficult to know how and where to communicate their findings in a good way in order for them to be heard not only by fellow researchers in the field but also by policy makers.
Here SNS could possibly help and step up by connecting different research areas by networking and matchmaking activities in the future. More so, this will hopefully contribute to a joint discussion on climate change, mitigating C emissions, bioeconomy and forest policy on a Nordic level.
In conclusion, all aspects are important: from sustainable biomass production with least environmental impact (sustainable forestry) via the technical research and development towards the social level by implementing and tying the forest sector to bioeconomy. During the IUFRO congress it became very clear that SNS has a very important role to play not only in Nordic but also in international forest research. SNS will continue facilitating networking and research by co-funding quality research, actively participating in forest policy and research activities in the European Union and beyond.