RDG Conference Report of Rose Jane J. Peras

Write up about the Conference

The conference is an assembly of experts in the field of Forestry.  It highlights the various aspects of forestry incorporating the biological, physical and social dimensions of forestry and natural resources.  This is the first year that Forest for People has been added as a major theme of the conference.  The conference is attended by more than 3,000 individuals conducting research in forestry, with more than 150 technical sessions and over 2,000 oral and poster presentations.  The conference has 4 inspiring keynote plenary sessions (Modern Timber Buildings from Sustainable Forests; Maintaining Cycles and Feedbacks in Tropical Forest Ecosystems: Some Thoughts from Basic Research; The People and Forests Trajectory – 1994 – 2014 and Beyond; and City Forests, Forest Cities – Exploring the Complex Liaison Between the Sylvan and the Urban) and 1 joint plenary panel session (Knowledge Discovery, Synthesis, and Application at the Forest Science/ Management Interface.  All the plenary sessions are informative and coherent but Dr. Carol Colfer’s plenary session is more appealing to me as I can relate to the social dimension aspect of forestry.  The key message is attaining sustainability in forest management and be able to integrate the biological, physical and the social aspect of forestry esp. in gathering more focused and realistic information with a gender lens in mind, which is lacking in most technical researches. 

Feedback on paper presented

Local Stakeholders’s Assessment of Community-Based Forest Management and the Potentials of REDD Plus –The use of likert scale in FGD of -2 (strong negative change), -1 (weak negative change), 0 (no change), +1 (weak positive change) and +2 (strong positive change) to assess CBFM and REDD Plus is considered biased as participants would normally arrive at one answer.

The Socioeconomic Impacts of Smallholder Industrial Tree Plantations in the Philippines –The presenter of the paper has been invited to publish the paper in the International Journal of Forestry as part of one special issue.

Future directions of research presented

Local Stakeholders’s Assessment of Community-Based Forest Management and the Potentials of REDD Plus

  • This paper is soon to be published in the Asia Life Sciences by January 2015.
  • This is part of the broader PhD research area of the author that will be further studied by using a combination of methods both qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • The overall PhD research topic of the author will try to determine whether REDD Plus can address the vulnerability of CBFM communities to the impacts of climate change. 

The Socioeconomic Impacts of Smallholder Industrial Tree Plantations in the Philippines

  • This research funded by DOST-PCAARRD will be completed by November 2014.  Only the qualitative analysis of the research project has been presented which has been invited for publication by 2015, where proposal abstract submission is due end of October 2014 while full paper submission will be end of March 2015.
  • The quantitative analysis has not been completed in time for the presentation, hence will form part of the overall analysis of the whole research project.
  • There are a lot of key research issues that will be analyzed, presented in conferences/forum and published as journal articles once analysis has been completed.

Potential foreign collaborators

Dr. Melanie McDermontt from Rutgers University would like to regain her contacts in the Philippines and is looking for young scientists she can collaborate with in conducting social forestry/ community-based researches in the Philippines. 

Dr. Peter Edwards a Professor from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is a potential collaborator in publishing the research (2nd) paper in the International Journal of Forestry with special emphasis on the social license to operate (SLO) concept

Dr. Tuija Sievanen is Head of Division 6 (Social Aspect of Forests and Forestry) of IUFRO, an important contact for IUFRO as I am willing to be a member of this division for future collaboration with IUFRO

Other important contacts and insights

Dir. Arne Bardalen Director General of the Skog+ Landskap who is into GIS technology and forestry/ landscape mapping.  He could be a potential contact for new GIS technology applied in forestry and natural resources.

Marcin Pawel Jarzebski is a young Polish PhD student in The University of Tokyo, Japan and has a rather unique ways of looking at things in the community-based forest management areas in the Philippines.  He is an important contact because his lens though new at this stage could provide critical views/perspectives on how we analyze our researches.

Jimmy Reeves, Director General of the US Forest Department, has provided key insights on how complex the role of the US Forestry Service and the challenges they are facing with a lot of key institutions/ stakeholders.  The problem US is facing may be different in terms of intensity but why are their strategies more effective than ours? The answer lies with how the agency has been trying to deal with politics. 

Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)

The 2014 IUFRO World Congress is the first forestry congress I attended.  I was overwhelmed with the key individuals / personality in forestry, whom I knew based on the books/ articles they published which have become part of my college/MSc days and class lectures.  All the researches present are Foresters by profession, who are recognized on their individual field of study.  Knowing that all of these foresters are searching for solutions in making sustainable forest management (SFM) a success is enough for me to continue to advocate that we can be guardians of our own forests by making researches work toward its end goal of SFM.  I do not regret to be a Forester, because this field is something to be proud of, we are all making our great efforts to contribute to science and making SFM a reality.