Trees and Non-Wood Forest Products: Challenges, Opportunities and Sustainability
21-22 March, 2022
The 2022 World Wood Day Online Symposium and The Fourth IUFRO Forest Products Culture Colloquium was held on Zoom for the second time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 966 participants and audiences from 31 countries and regions attended on Zoom, YouTube and bilibili (Mainland China) from March 21-22. 54 presentations including 6 keynote speeches delivered by 63 speakers and moderated by 6 session chairs have well explored the six topics covering a wide range of research fields related to trees and non-wood forest products, including historical utilization and cultural values, challenges and opportunities, wood durability and protection needs for constructions, artists and artifacts, design and musical instruments, education on forest sustainability and forest products culture, wood products and biotechnology. The discussion and interaction were carried out both orally and in writing at the online platforms.
Since ancient times, trees have been faithful life saviors to humanity: Biblical accounts of Noah's highly constructed wooden ark from selected felled tree species have saved human and animal lives during the great flood! The multiple use of wood products from different tree species continue to satisfy people's need for useful materials for centuries through different human civilizations, from which various cultural attachments to various wood and non-wood products and artifacts have been known from historical records. Among the most recent cultural experience for wood products seems to be the mass use of wood in building construction, the tall (multi-storey) mass timber residential and commercial buildings emerging in some parts of the temperate regions though not yet present in the tropics. Many more novel wood and non-wood products will be available in time that expands human needs, and these will be unique to different societies and hence unique cultural uses of such products.
We depend on forest trees also for tackling global climate change, to arrest global warming, as forests (especially trees) are super-efficient natural carbon sinks converting atmospheric carbon dioxide to form wood of trees while releasing oxygen during this photosynthesis. It costs about 38 trillion dollars to create oxygen for 6 months for all human beings on earth, but trees do it for free! Also nations need to replenish degraded forest landscapes by reforestation of importance also for mitigating global climate change. Among the world's forest resources, the threats and challenges to the sustainability in the tropical forests takes precedence. The COP26 agenda hopes to convince global leaders to reform their governance of forest landscapes for climate friendly goals besides being merely traditional production forests.
Many challenges confront forest managers and timber trade and consumers, among which are: Controlling logging especially of tropical forests, forest governance and policies, research and educational programms focusing on the value of trees and forests to the environment and climate stability, efficient use of forest resources, sustaining cultural values of various forest products and artifacts for future generations, the involvement of rural and indigenous communities in forest management, role of forests in water quality, combating illegal logging and restoration of degraded forest landscapes, and trees also provide refuge for human health, wellness and spirituality via various forest recreation. These and several other issues concerning the importance of trees and forests are also opportunities to be harnessed to fulfill global needs for a greener society where global climate change would be mitigated (via increased forest cover) while greater use is made also of substitution forest products (instead of alternative metal, concrete and plastic products).
- Historical Utilization and Cultural Values of Trees and Non-Wood Forest Products
- Challenges and Opportunities for Trees and Non-Wood Forest Products
- Construction and Buildings Including Wood Durability and Protection Needs
- Building Components, Furniture, Musical Instruments, Artifacts and Design
- Education on Forest Sustainability, Forest Products Utilization and Culture
- Wood Products and Wood Biotechnology (IAWS Special Session)
This symposium is co-organized by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA), International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS), International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Division 5 (Forest Products) including IUFRO Research Unit 5.15.00 (Forest Products Culture), IUFRO Research Unit 9.03.02 (Forest Culture) of Division 9 (Forest Policy and Economics) as well as Estonian State Forest Management Centre (RMK), and with the support of International Research Group on Wood Protection (IRGWP), Japan Wood Research Society (JWRS) and International Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST).
Please send any inquiry by email to symposium secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).