IUFRO: President's Letter to Members and Officeholders

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15 December 2022

Dr. John Parrotta, IUFRO President
IUFRO Headquarters – Secretariat

IUFRO Members and IUFRO Officeholders

Circular letter by the IUFRO President

Dear IUFRO members,
Dear IUFRO officeholders,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for your support and commitment to IUFRO during this past year. Thanks to our individual and collective efforts, not to mention the dedication and leadership provided by the IUFRO Headquarters team in Vienna, we have much to show for our work in 2022.

The IUFRO network continues to provide a stable and resilient platform for global collaboration in forest science and its application to a number of the environmental, economic, and social challenges we face. Our activities this past year have included a diversity of meetings, workshops, training activities and other networking events, as well as the production of numerous influential publications. Among the many excellent events organized this past year, of particular note was the All-IUFRO Conference: Forests in a Volatile World – Global Collaboration to Sustain Forests and Their Societal Benefits. This event brought together more than 160 participants on site (in Vienna) and 580 participants online, all together representing 85 countries.

It has been a year of transition for networking activities within IUFRO with respect to the balance of in-person and online engagement. Following two years of nearly exclusively virtual events organized by Divisions and their Research Groups and Working Parties, IUFRO Task Forces, and our Special Programmes and Projects, the 90 scientific meetings and other events organized worldwide in 2022 were evenly split between online and in-person (or hybrid) formats. Over these past three years, we have learned much in our efforts to adapt our networking and communications strategies to the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The lessons learned will enable us to optimize the values of in-person, hybrid and online networking options, in order to broaden and enhance participation while lessening our collective carbon footprint associated with physical meetings.

IUFRO’s partnerships are thriving - we now has very fruitful collaborative arrangements with about 40 inter-governmental, governmental, private sector and non-governmental institutions. Several of these partnerships involve important financial support for IUFRO activities, especially for our Special Programmes and Projects, for which we are truly grateful.

IUFRO continues to play a significant role on the world stage through our engagement in a number of policy fora including the UN Forum on Forests, our leadership of joint initiatives of Collaborative Partnership on Forests including the Global Forest Expert Panels, and our participation in important global forest-related events. For example, at the XV World Forestry Congress organized by FAO and the Korea Forest Service in Seoul, IUFRO contributed significantly to the development of the program, and our work was highly visible throughout the event.

Looking ahead to 2023, preparations for the upcoming XXVI IUFRO World Congress in Stockholm – already well underway - will certainly accelerate. It will be a great Congress, thanks to the incredible work and enthusiasm of the Congress Organizing Committee, the Congress Scientific Committee, IUFRO Headquarters, and the hundreds of IUFRO officeholders who are already involved in the organization of technical and sub-plenary sessions.

The IUFRO World Congress 2024 in Stockholm provides us with another opportunity to honour outstanding scientific achievements and contributions to forestry with a range of IUFRO Awards. I invite you to nominate suitable candidates for the various categories of awards and thereby enhance the global visibility of excellent scientists from member organizations in your respective countries. The call for nominations can be found on the IUFRO website. The deadline for submission of nominations will be 15th May 2023.

Once again, I thank you for your many contributions to IUFRO during this past year and look forward to working with you in the year ahead. As always, please feel free to share your ideas on how IUFRO can further improve our collective efforts to interconnect forests, science, and people for a better world.

I wish you and your families all the very best during this holiday season, and a happy, healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling New Year ahead.

With warm regards and best wishes,

John Parrotta
IUFRO President


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