Hey! I’m Fergus Price (Left) and recently I got the opportunity to attend the European Forestry Institute (EFI) annual conference and scientific seminar in Aberdeen on the 18th and 19th of September. I attended alongside the Liaison Officer (LO) for EFI Ján Matúš Urbančík (Right).

The European Forestry Institute is an international organisation established by European states to conduct research and provide policy support to forest related issues. Their Vision is “ A world where forests significantly contribute to sustainable well-being “

The Annual Conference was made up of two parts:

  1. Members Dialogue Session –
    Included Topics ranging from Structuring European forest research going forward to reviewing the EFI Governance programme for the coming year – there was also two follow-up parallel sessions about open science + Data and Building science bridges with China.
  2. Decision Making Session –
    Included reviewing reports given by board members and voting on changes to the rules of procedure. There was also a presentation from the future host of the event.

The Scientific Seminar was based on the topic “Plantation forests to native forests: delivering multiple ecosystem benefits in a changing climate”

Highlights of this session included:

– The keynote presentation from CEO of Scottish Forestry Jo O’Hara on “Scotland’s new forestry strategy”
– “What stakeholders want : bridging the splits in planted forests” presented by Anna Lawrence from University of the Highlands and Islands
– “New generation plantations approach” presented by Andrew Heald from Confor (confederation of forest Industries)
– The Interactive panel discussion with Jo O’Hara (Scottish Forestry), Shireen Chambers (ICF), Jean-Francois Dhote (INRA), Seamus Dunne (Department of Agriculture Ireland – Forestry) and J. Bo Larsen (University of Copenhagen)

*You can get the whole agenda for the event here (https://www.efi.int/membership/ac)*

This was my first time attending an external partner event with IFSA and I have to say it was a fantastic experience overall. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and open to talking with a student. I would like to thank the EFI communication team for keeping us up to date and included in this event. Personally I would like to thank Seamus Dunne and Andrew Heald for making me feel welcome. It was also a pleasure to attend alongside my IFSA family member Matúš !

If you want to learn more about any of the topics mentioned or general information get in contact with me ! 😀