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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

IUFRO, part 2

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, October 10, 2014/Categories: Uncategorized

One of the most interesting and enjoyable things you can do at any scientific or technical convention is to wander the area set up for  poster session  displays. Outside the commotion of the manufacturer's trade show floor or the sometimes tedious presentations by congress organizers, the posters are the work of individual researchers or small teams showcasing their latest findings. The recent congress of world forestry research (IUFRO) was no different.

As you might expect from presenters representing over 100 countries the posters about trees covered every conceivable topic. In the designated display pavilion there were 1176 poster presentations on everything from silviculture , to forest mapping, tree products, pests and diseases, forest physiology, climate change, to forest economics, and government policy analyses.

Aspen Resilience, USA, Pest Biocontrol, India, New Tree Products, Burkina Faso (credit: SWP Media)

At a poster session, you can directly engage with the researcher and here their stories, almost always from someone who is excited by their new results. The diversity of new products, technological approaches, and analysis was amazing at IUFRO. Who knew that a technique developed for curing birch tree lumber in Finland would have been directly applicable to bamboo flooring in Taiwan; or  ethnobotany  studies of little known trees in Burkina Faso would offer opportunities for rural villagers to produce new oils for the international cosmetic trade; or using  advanced  thermal imaging  could help Mongolian's determine the optimum locations for plant poplars to combat desertification? These are examples of globalization at its absolute best.

We are bombarded daily by any volume of bad news bits. What was represented by the 1100 enthusiastic IUFRO presenters and their tree research results shows rays of hope.


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