Time to introduce our second Dare to Explore! trainee. We interviewed Rodrigo who has started his traineeship with IUFRO in Vienna earlier this month.

Who are you?
Olá, tudo bem? My name is Rodrigo, I am Brazilian from Paragominas, State of Pará, currently studying at the University of Eastern Finland doing my master’s in European Forestry. I graduated in Forestry Engineering at the Rural Federal University of Amazon (UFRA). I am creative, observer, like to read, practice physical activities, and see different places.

Why did you apply for the DTE traineeship program and how did you hear about it?
I am doing the Dare to Explore! Traineeship on Science-Policy Interlinks at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), where I work with forest landscape restoration and communication of forest science to policy audiences. I heard about the trainee program through the Facebook page of the European Forest Institute (EFI), and for being my area of interest, the opportunity to work for IUFRO caught my attention because it fits my profile and aspirations.

Give a little outlook on your specific placement: What is the topic? What are your expectations? What are you most excited about?
I will work for three months at IUFRO, in Vienna, Austria. My responsibility will be to review a variety of projects related to forest restoration, using the materials to create pamphlets, charts, website focusing on the target audience. In addition, I will assist in other projects and activities organized by IUFRO. I hope I can do great work and fulfill their expectations. I am excited to work in an international environment and to discuss forest restoration in a clearer way, using all tools and creativity so more people can see and understand how forest science is done and how interesting it is.

What is your relationship to forests and what is your favorite tree?
My relationship with the forest started very early, being born in the Amazon, my contact with the richness and biodiversity of the forest led me to Forestry. My favorite tree is Schizolobium amazonicum also called Paricá, it is a fast-growing, pioneer species, native of my region and my second one is Picea abies, Norway spruce.

What do you see currently as the biggest challenge for forests/forestry/the forest sector?
I believe the biggest challenge for forestry is to show the world that preserving forests contribute to reduce the effects of climate change, but also that forestry and forest sector can actively contribute to the conservation of forest resources. We are responsible for managing forests to obtain good and services in a sustainable and renewable way. So, forests can do a lot more than stock carbon, and my commitment is to work managing forests sustainably and protect the biodiversity.