18 September 2017 - 22 September 2017
Freiburg, Germany

International Union of Forest Research 125th Anniversary Congress

IIASA's ESM researchers will be joining the International Union of Forest Research (IUFRO) 125th anniversary congress on the future of forestry and forest research.

© amenic181 | Shutterstock

© amenic181 | Shutterstock

The 125th anniversary congress of IUFRO will be bringing together leading decision makers and forest scientists from around the globe. The technical sessions provide the opportunity to highlight international innovative and interdisciplinary research of relevance to forests. The scientific dialogue sessions will bring together scientists from relevant disciplines and policy and decision makers as well as stakeholders to open the discussion on forest and forest-related topics. 

The congress will take place at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. IIASA's ESM researchers will be present at several sessions and will be chairing the following main events: 

11a and 11b  T4 - Progress in tropical forest management: Assuring sustainability, avoiding degradation and assisting restoration

Chair: Stephan Pietsch

Mon. 18/09/2017, 08:00 - 10:00, 10:30 – 12:00 (double session)

Session description: Tropical forests play a multitude of important roles at the local, regional and global scales. Besides their delivery of ecosystem services regarding timber and NTFPs they play a key role in the global carbon cycle. Yet, tropical silviculture has long been seen as if harvest and exploitation of timber and NTFPs cannot endanger their vast resources. Since fifty years, however, this perception has changed and the concern for sustainable management of tropical forests has never been greater than today. Nevertheless, a large part of the research focus is still on conservation of natural forests, on avoiding their deforestation and the impact of silviculture and other extractive industries on tropical land degradation. This session will therefore deal with studies reporting on impacts of forest management on tropical ecosystem regarding the sustainable production of timber and NTFPs and its impacts on the global carbon cycle, on biodiversity issues and local livelihoods of forest dependent people. Field studies as well as modelling exercises from local to global scale are welcome that report on progress in sustainable tropical silviculture, forest restoration and avoidance of land degradation. This includes selective logging, progress in plantation forestry, forest restoration after mining, the impacts of shifting cultivation and its intensification and the effects mixed land use forms like agro-forestry   

14  D4 - Strategies and challenges for risk resilient forest management

Chair: Anatoly Shvidenko

Mon. 18/09/2017, 08:00 - 10:00

Session description: The session aims at discussing risk-resilient, adaptive and sustainable forest management (RRFM). It will showcase different strategies of transition and implementation strategies as well come up with policy recommendations. Diversity of forests, ownerships, socio-economic conditions, forest management practices and policies over the globe is high, and so are the associated risks such as climate change impact and disturbances. This generates large differences in stakeholder preferences, importance of ecosystem services and their evaluation, as well as options in implementing RRFM. Cross-border analysis of national specifics and commonalities are needed to understand potentials and challenges of RRFM. Investigating socioecological drivers which define current and future states, resilience/vulnerability of forests, and the stability of (agro-) forest landscapes needs to be based on an integrated evaluation of major forest ecosystem services and landscapes’ stability. Major research questions include: forecasting future trajectories of forest development; assessing optimal ways, risks and uncertainties of transition to and implementation of RRFM; and the development of a portfolio of key ecosystem services and assessing their dynamics. Addressing these questions requires elaborating a set of indicator for the resilience/vulnerability of forests and landscape stability based on models of different scales that would be capable to represent a diversity of forest management systems. Information background of the problem includes multi-sensor remote sensing concept, integrated description of land cover at the landscape basis, biophysical and economic models. Biophysical assessment results of selected ecosystem services will be analyzed for risk exposure and uncertainty. The key question is quantifying tradeoffs between ecosystem services including their economic valuation within the paradigm of multi-functional use of forests as a basis for RRFM transition strategies for policy makers.

The session includes a panel discussion and aims at providing recommendations for forest professionals and policy makers on RRFM in the form of a policy brief as a session output.


17  D9 - Integrating grassroots participation, crowd mobilization and big data analysis in forest restoration policy assessment in the tropics

Chair: Florian Kraxner and Aline Soterroni

Mon. 18/09/2017, 10:30 - 12:00

Session description: Pressure for deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics result from complex interaction of social, biophysical and economic dynamics. Studies and assessments on forest restoration, and sustainable forest management in general, have to consider detailed information that capture social realities, historical biophysical changes, and elements contributing to economic development and future planning of the region. This requires an integrated process that includes detailed data acquisition, stakeholder consultation, modeling and scenario assessment.

Roles of local actors and decision makers are decisive in achieving sustainability of tropical forests. Quite often, social issues among these key stakeholders are either neglected or analyzed separately from economic or other assessments resulting in highly misinformed insights. On the other hand, local actors also have limited accessibility to analytical tools that look into issues that deal directly with their livelihood thus incapable of providing valuable information. This session will showcase experience and future plans of pro-jects that aspire to integrate participatory processes and ground-level data into scientific analytical tools and assessments. Innovative measures such as utilizing citizen-sourced monitoring information and user-friendly land use planning tools are highlighted, as well as scientific assessment done using sophisticated land use models to project various scenarios that will feed into further stakeholder consultation processes in policy formulation. In this session, we will also discuss how crowd sourcing approaches can complement big Earth observation data analytics to provide information about long-term forest transitions. In this type of collaborative work, crowd sourcing is used to validate and select the data samples used for doing data mining in large collections of remote sensing time series.

The sessions aims at publishing the results in the form of a policy brief and a peer-reviewed article (e.g. in the framework of: International Collaborative Studies) in the Journal of Ecosystem Health and Sustainability (ESA).


Text adaptations from the main IUFRO event page.

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Last edited: 26 September 2017

IUFRO 2017 Full session list


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