Exploring the future needs and demands related to forests calls for wide participation
The COST Strategic workshop series “Foresight on Future Demand for Forest-based Products and Services” was launched in Vienna 7-8 September 2010. During the workshop it was concluded that the involvement of stakeholders is essential for the foresight process. For example, the industry and business stakeholders need to be brought on board to test the ideas presented in the workshop, as well as to complement the information on trends, drivers, change factors and emerging issues.
The workshop was opened with a viewpoint to robustness and the potentials vested in anticipatory systems and intelligence. The COST Foresight 2030 brought in their experience in using trends, drivers, signals and scenarios when carrying out a wide foresight exercise and, the Xevents project complemented the picture with the aspect of uncertainties and game changers in exploring the futures. Furthermore, the workshop introduced foresight tools and methods, as well as experience gained both in forest sector and related sector exercises and networks.
As a practical exercise, the group of over 40 representatives of academia and forest-based sector stakeholders explored the future needs and demands related to forests in time horizons of 2030 and 2050. Six development paths were chosen for further elaboration how the future might unfold. The workshop results will be tested and assessed in an internet survey later this autumn. A large number of representatives of research, business, NGOs as well as policy and decision making will be invited to contribute to the internet survey and complement the viewpoints already collected.
“The insights collected in this workshop will be fed into the process of defining future research priorities” concluded Dr. Sjur Baardsen, the Chairman of the COST Domain Committee of Forests, their Products and Services.
The European Forest Institute (EFI) coordinates the project together with the COST Domain Forests, their Products and Services (DC FPS). Centrally involved in the exercise are the Forest-based sector Technology Platform (FTP), the European Forest Sector Outlook Study team (UNECE/FAO), International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Standing Committee for Agricultural Research (SCAR), International Energy Agency (IEA), Scion New Zealand, the Future Forests programme of Sweden, and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.
The COST strategic workshop series will be carried out in 2010-2011. The final conference will be part of the calendar of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council in the autumn of 2011.
Further information at the COST website.
For further information about the COST strategic workshop series “Foresight on Future Demand for Forest-based Products and Services”, contact Dr. Tuula Nuutinen, tuula.nuutinen(at)efi.int at the European Forest Institute (EFI) or Dr. Sjur Baardsen, sjur.baardsen(at)umb.no at the COST Domain Forests, their Products and Services (FPS).