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Top 20 Questions

Top 20 Questions – please take part

T20Q is a global project that allows you to have your say about issues of importance in forestry and landscapes. From May through November 2014 we collected questions – concerning research and policy in forestry and landscapes – from respondents in 104 countries around the world. We are now re-engaging those who completed this first phase AND we want those who haven’t contributed to get involved.

Sharing sets of filtered questions and then prioritising them

Questions submitted through in Phase 1 have been sorted and organised into topics that reflect the most frequently-occurring themes. These are presented in sets of questions for further consolidating online through a ranking process. We are now seeking your contribution in assessing these questions and rating them. 

We initially collected questions in very broad categories but the new themes presented in Phase 2 reflect the most frequently-occurring topics that emerged from the questions submitted in Phase 1. There are 7 cross-cutting themes in Phase 2:

  • People & society
  • Conservation & biodiversity
  • Landuse & landscape issues
  • Ecosystem services
  • Economics & trade
  • Climate change
  • Management of forests

We will count up all the scores and produce a final set of Top Twenty Questions in December.

Take part in Phase 2 of the T20Q survey

SilviFuture, a website promoting the use of novel forest species, was featured at this week’s launch of Royal Forestry Society’s Conifers for Colleges project.  Conifers for Colleges highlights the importance of conifers in the UK forestry while promoting research into forest resilience.

Conifers for Colleges provides students attending forestry and woodland management courses, first-hand experience of the tree species that may be needed to ensure that the UK has resilient woodlands and a viable timber industry.  The first trial plots are being planted this autumn at Moulton College, Myerscough College, Plumpton College, Coleg Gwent and Northumberland College.  The data and results will be made freely available to industry via the SilviFuture database so that woodland and forest owners can see what species might grow well on sites comparable to their own. The RFS will also publish the research findings and there will be opportunities for other project partners to do so.

Paul Orsi, Sylva, plants a Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) at Moulton College with Phil Tanner, RFS (right)

Paul Orsi, Sylva, plants a Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) at Moulton College with Phil Tanner, RFS (right)

 

Ensuring forests are resilient is a key part of the mission of the Sylva Foundation, which is why we invest in promoting and conducting research on sustainable forest management.

Louise Hill in Wytham Woods. Photo John Cairns

Louise Hill, Oxford-Sylva scholar, in Wytham Woods. Photo John Cairns

For the fourth academic year in a row, Sylva has supported a DPhil student in the Department of Plant Sciences with the Oxford–Sylva Foundation Graduate Scholarship. Current Oxford-Sylva Scholar Louise Hill, now in the second year of her DPhil, was interviewed recently for the university’s major fundraising campaign Oxford Thinking. She talks about her research, which focusses on ash dieback and its ecological consequences in British woodlands, and what it meant to receive our support. The full interview is available to read on the Oxford Thinking campaign pages – read here

Together with the University of Oxford, we are keen to raise funds to support more scholars of the highest calibre. Currently we meet the costs of the scholarship from our own core funds but this is sustainable only in the medium term. Our aim is work with other donors to secure the scholarship in perpetuity. We welcome expressions of interest from individuals or companies who would like to find out more about the scholarship and how they could support it.

Read more about the scholarship

 


Our thanks to Oxford Thinking for permission to feature the interview, and to John Cairns for the photograph.

British Woodlands Survey 2014

British Woodlands Survey 2014

Participation in the British Woodlands Survey 2014 so far has been excellent – some 520 people have taken part in Welsh and English. Between them, they own or manage almost 56 thousand hectares (3% of privately owned woodland in the UK). The focus of this year’s survey is on Ancient Woodland and Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), and we are particularly encouraged that respondents own or manage over 14 thousand hectares of these areas, which is almost certainly over 5% of the total.

This represent an encouraging response, yet we would welcome even more responses from woodland owners who may be less certain that they own ancient woodland or those for whom engaging in any management activities in their woodland is difficult. Responses to date have indicated a very high level of knowledge about ancient woodlands and PAWS (though, interestingly, perhaps somewhat lower levels of certainty about identifying these types of woodland), but more information will help enrich these findings considerably.

As one respondent remarked

“We don’t own any PAWS . . . however that doesn’t mean we don’t think it is important . . .”

And in terms of helping shape future advice , another respondent remarked:

“We are a charity with not much knowledge of how to manage our woodland and not a great deal of time to commit. Any partner work, information and advice would be much appreciated!”

 There is one more week left to participate – please do spare 15 minutes if you can to add your insights.

Click here to take the survey

Take the T20Q survey

Take the T20Q survey

Researchers from around the world are gathering this week at the IUFRO 24th World Congress in Salt Lake City to discuss the future, and the related challenges, facing forests and forest management in the 21st century. This comes hard on the heels of the climate talks in New York in late September, where forests were high on the agenda, the CGIAR Development Dialogues, which aired synergies (and, importantly, gaps) between forestry, agriculture and other land-use sectors, and a Colloquium on Forests and Climate organised by Columbia University and CIFOR, at which leading thinkers considered how we could ‘change the future by challenging the present’.

All of these events provide a ‘sort of scientific crystal ball to give glimpses into the years ahead and discuss how to meet and adapt to coming challenges’, as Congress Spotlight 17 so eloquently put it!

The T20Q project is also a crystal ball and is asking, this time ‘non-leading’ thinkers, to add their no-less-important thoughts to the questions of where forestry’s priorities lie for research and policy.

T20Q – ‘top twenty questions for forestry and landscapes’ is a project within the broader Evidence-Based Forestry (EBF) initiative, led by CIFOR and its Partners. It follows a highly successful ‘T10Q’ project for British foresters, but this time extends the call for questions in three languages to a wider community of people involved with forestry and landscapes. It is being co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation, a leading UK charity promoting evidence-informed forestry.

Response has been excellent so far – reaching people in more than 104 countries, and engaging many more young people and women than is usual with surveys in our field! We have received well over 3000 questions, but we would like to use the opportunity of engaging with the ‘IUFRO family’ now gathered in Salt Lake City to urge them to add their voices and to encourage people in their home institutions also to join the T20Q conversation.

The survey takes less than 30 minutes. Take part if you think:

  • we need to recalibrate how forests are presented in mainstream politics
  • too few people are involved in setting research and policy agendas
  • we should talk about forestry in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • ‘traditional’ forestry topics are being side-lined in the pursuit of broader linkages

 

Take part in the Survey: you can input in English, French or Spanish.

Visit the CIFOR booth (numbers 1103 & 1202) in the Congress Exhibition for more information about T20Q and Evidence-Based Forestry.

We look forward to hearing your stimulating questions!

Have a wonderful conference!

Gillian Petrokofsky, University of Oxford Research Fellow & CIFOR Senior Research Associate
Gabriel Hemery, CEO, Sylva Foundation
Peter Holmgren, DG, CIFOR

This article appeared first in the IUFRO blog

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SYLVA

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England and Wales 1128516
and in Scotland SC041892

Company limited by guarantee 06589157

Copyright © 2009-14 Sylva Foundation. All rights reserved.

 
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