;?> 16 Mar, 2020
Message from John Parrotta, PhD, President of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO):
The world is increasingly aware of the importance of forests and trees to the future of life on Earth, and our own survival. It is undeniable that forests are critical for global biodiversity conservation, addressing climate change, for soil and water conservation, and enhancing the quality of life in the world’s rapidly growing cities.
Equally important, forests are essential for the social and cultural benefits they provide. Whether we live in urban or rural environments, forests enhance our well-being in many ways. They support livelihoods, provide recreational and health benefits, educational opportunities, as well as spiritual and creative inspiration.
The cultural celebrations that are at the heart of World Wood Day are joyous reminders of the vital connections between our planet’s precious forests and the incredible diversity of artistic and other cultural expressions of people around the world.
In recent years, IUFRO has been proud to work with the World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) and the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) to organize the Scientific Symposia that are part of the annual World Wood Day celebrations.
These events provide an opportunity for the scientific community to share with the public the latest science and education initiatives related to the World Wood Day motto – Wood is Good. This includes research on the historical and cultural values of forests, wood and non-wood forest products, as well as their relationship to conservation and sustainable forest management worldwide. This research also explores the traditional knowledge and forest landscape management practices that underpin biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, and the social and cultural identities of indigenous and local communities in many parts of the world.
Although this year’s main events in Japan have unfortunately been cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic situation, we trust that the local events planned throughout the world will proceed. These events are vitally important, as they help to raise public awareness of the key role that wood plays in a sustainable world, as well as the importance of sustainable forest management and forest biodiversity conservation.