Over 2,500 delegates from 92 countries and regions gathered in Curitiba, Brazil from September 29 to October 5, 2019 to participate in the 25th IUFRO World Congress, which was held for its first time in Latin America. This is one of the largest global forest event for the scientists and stakeholders from all parts of the world to discuss scientific and technical issues related to priority areas of forest research, policy and management.
Themed with “Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development”, the first plenary session highlighted
the potential of forests, trees and forest products to mitigate climate change. In the following five keynote plenary
and 350 sub-plenary and technical sessions and more than 900 posters, researchers, scholars and stakeholders in
the forest sector from around the world have explored and shared the latest findings in forest research, policy
management and all areas related to forests and trees. The congress has effectively promoted the exchange of
related knowledge as to current forest situation, challenges, consequences, and possible solutions, and made
researchers in various disciplines around the world think about what researchers should do to contribute more
effectively to the world's most pressing forest and environmental issues.
Forests and wood make great contributions to mankind in terms of resources, environment and livelihoods, and the associated cultural heritage not only has a long history but is rich and colorful. Focusing on “Wood and Forest Culture: Addressing a Sustainable Future”, International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and the World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) organized one sub-plenary session and one technical sessionat the IUFRO World Congress 2019. These sessions provided a better understanding of the historical, religious, artistic and other social values of wood and forest culture both for wood and non-wood forest products.
In addition, at the concurrent exhibition, two booths were specially presented by IWCS and WWDF showcasing of southern Brazilian music instrument, indigenous artifacts, northeastern Brazilian woodcut, woodcarving, and tea ceremony from the cultural perspective of forest products utilization. The lively interaction and the warm humanistic atmosphere give the participants a chance to witness the unique traditional technique, and enjoy the charm brought by this culture activity, adding a splendid brilliance to the whole event and a deeper understanding of how forest product combined with our life..
During Curitiba City Mayor’s tour to the exhibition, he was deeply impressed by the form and content of the IWCS & WWDF booths. The mayor enthusiastically communicated with the craftsmen at the booths until the members of the tour group reminded him to leave again and again.
At the closing ceremony, Professor Mike Wingfield, the Immediate Past President of IUFRO gave a special thanks to IWCS & WWDF for the successful joint effort of conducting the "IUFRO Outstanding Service Award" design competition earlier this year, and the trophies produced by the winning entry of the event were presented at the closing ceremony, highlighting the aim of raising public's awareness to do some change for a sustainable future.
The research of the IUFRO Division 5 includes the varied factors affecting the way forest plants grow and produce woody biomass and other products and the various ways the materials are used by industries and communities. With the initiative of IWCS in 2007, IUFRO Division 5 established the Wood Culture Working Party (05.10.01). In 2018, the working party was upgraded to the Research Group Unit of Forest Products Culture (05.15.00), and Dr. Howard Rosen, Researcher of the US Forest Service take the lead as a coordinator. Under the unit, two Working Parties-- Wood culture (05.15.01) and Non-wood forest culture (05.15.02) were set up, coordinated by Su Jinling, Secretary General of IWCS, and Charlotte Chia-Hua Lee, IWCS Operations Manager. In recent years, the Forest Product Culture Research Group has become one of the most active units of IUFRO D5 to improve people's relationship with nature, open new ways to understand forest products from economic, environmental, sustainability, cultural and sociological perspectives, and to provide an interdisciplinary and collaborative platform for the sustainable development goals.