Russian Federal Forestry Agency and EFI strengthen cooperation
Discussions with the high-level Russian forestry authorities emphasised the importance of EFI’s role in generating added-value information for Russian forest sector decision-makers, as well as in facilitating cooperation between EU countries and Russia on scientific matters and forest sector governance. “This year is the EU-Russia Year of Science,” says Marc Palahí, EFI’s Deputy Director. “Forest research can lead the way and demonstrate the added value of EU-Russian cooperation. For example, a recently-started ERA-NET project, SUMFOREST*, can play an important role in integrating Russia as a major partner in the emerging European forest research area.”
EFI has a broad strategy for collaboration with Russia and negotiations with significant outcomes took place at the Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian Federation. It was agreed that cooperation between EFI and Russian forest sector could be built on the following four main pillars:
Enhancing EU-Russian scientific cooperation at a strategic level e.g., through joint research agendas, joint programming of research (e.g., via SUMFOREST ERA-Net)
Generating new research-based knowledge on Russian forests and forest sector (e.g. via a new Foresight Study on Future of Russian Forest Sector)
Capacity building, especially supporting the emergence of a new generation of Russian forest sector experts/leaders, e.g., through a Young Leadership Programme
Facilitating science-based political and economic discussions between EU countries and institutions and Russia e.g., via targeted workshops and events, such as the forthcoming science-policy event: “Thinking out of the box: facing the impacts of wildfires and their consequences at multiple scales” which will bring Mediterranean and Russian experts together in March in Barcelona.
The strategic relevance of Russia for EFI has been demonstrated by i.a. by EFI’s recent recruitment of Dr. Elena Kulikova as an expert in Russian forest sector.
The Deputy Head of the Federal Forestry Agency Mr Alexander Panfilov noted that “many of the proposed EFI activities are of great interest for the Russian forest sector, and we are ready for further discussions with EFI on developing them further. Already now we can state that we are interested in the development and implementation of the Young Leadership Programme and the Foresight Study for the Russian Forest Sector, as well as a study on existing research capacities in the Russian forest sector. We are ready for further collaboration.”
Marc Palahí and Elena Kulikova, email@example.com
*SUMFOREST - Tackling the challenges in the implementation of sustainable and multifunctional forestry through enhanced research coordination for policy decisions – a FP7 ERA-Net project coordinated by Austrian Ministry of Life.
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