The Sant Pau resident institutions have returned from summer holidays with renewed energies. The European Forest Institute (EFI) agenda will be quite busy over the next few months, with four international events focusing on the bioeconomy and the sustainable use of forest resources. This brief article highlights some of these activities and programmes, which create momentum in these theme areas within the framework of the Hub for Forests and Sustainability.
In addition to the 2016 Annual Conference, EFI will be organising the seminar ‘Visions, opportunities and challenges for the Bioeconomy in Southern Europe’, the StarTree final conference ‘Wild Forest Products in Europe’ and EFIMED Week 2016 ‘Smart Mediterranean Forestry, bioeconomy and social integration’.
The EFI 2016 Annual Conference takes place in Vienna, Austria, on 22-24 September. Members are invited to discuss the new EFI Strategy, with an official decision-making session on EFI affairs on 22 September. An open seminar on “Forest-based innovations: a key for Europe’s bioeconomy” takes place on 23 September. The field trip explores forest management and drinking water, providing participants with an insight into the historic development of the spring protection forests and key challenges to be addressed through forest management. The event will be organised in cooperation with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences and Austrian Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape.
The seminar ‘Visions, opportunities and challenges for the Bioeconomy in Southern Europe’ will be held on 28 September in San Sebastián, Spain. With the European Union and several of its Member States already updating their bioeconomy strategies, it is crucial to operationalise and understand the bioeconomy implications at regional level. The seminar will address several regional bioeconomy issues, including discussion on European-level examples of regional bioeconomy policies, innovation cases, and success stories, and the visions, opportunities and challenges regarding the bioeconomy in Southern Europe.
The StarTree Final Conference on Wild Forest Products in Europe will take place on 13-14 October in Barcelona, Spain. StarTree is a pan-European project to support the sustainable exploitation of forest resources for rural development. The project’s final conference features diverse approaches, innovations and research findings on the importance and potential of a multitude of wild forest products. A wide range of topics includes forest management, production of wild products, processing and marketing. The conference will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the opportunities and limitations of current and possible future approaches to wild forest products.
The 2016 EFIMED Week on Smart Mediterranean Forestry, bioeconomy and social integration, will be held in Calabria, Italy on 7-9 November. The event will explore how Mediterranean forests could contribute better to the creation of livelihoods, jobs and social opportunities for rural inhabitants and migrants, while also helping address other key challenges, such as energy, water and food security, mitigation and nature conservation. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about examples of social forestry in Calabria and other regions, to meet the EFIMED Network and to help identify critical factors for the creation of a forest-based, sustainable and equitable Mediterranean bioeconomy. A one-day field trip will visit beech and silver fir mixed forests and a large plantation of managed forest, including Douglas fir.