Annual Conference Highlights
Celebrating 30 years of connecting knowledge to action
On 20 September, over 90 participants joined the EFI Secretariat in Novi Sad, Serbia, to celebrate EFI’s 30th anniversary, discuss future plans and carry out decision-making.
This was the first time that the Annual Conference had been held in South Eastern Europe, offering members the opportunity for new conversations and connections, as well as celebrating 30 years of collaboration, networking and research.
The 2023 Conference was organised together with our member organisation, the Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, together with the City of Novi Sad and Public Forest Enterprise Vojvodinašume, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management – Directorate of Forests, the Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province, Public Forest Enterprise Srbijašume, and the National Park Fruska Gora.
The Members Dialogue session this year focused on EFI’s Research Networks. Research Networks are a subset of EFI member organisations and other relevant research partners who come together around a topic, focusing on collaboration, knowledge networking and capacity building. Members had an opportunity to find out more about EFI’s four Research Networks: Planted Forests, Forest Policy, Forest Bioeconomy, and Climate Smart Forestry. The session explored some of the challenges the networks face, as well as highlighting new opportunities and ideas for interaction.
Decision-making session in brief
Professor Marco Marchetti stepped down from the EFI Board after two consecutive terms, and a call for nominations for the open seat was launched in June 2022. The Annual Conference elected Professor Jyrki Kangas, Finland as the new EFI Board member.
Prof Kangas has been Professor of Forest Bioeconomy at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) since 2015, and prior to this was the Director General and CEO of Metsähallitus. He has a PhD in forestry from the University of Joensuu.
The Annual Conference agreed to waive the 2023 membership fees for EFI’s Ukrainian member organisations. It also extended a warm welcome to the 5 new Associate Members who have joined the EFI network since the 2022 Annual Conference. This means that EFI currently has a network of c. 130 member organisations from 41 countries.
The next opportunity for representatives from all member organisations to meet together will be the EFI Annual Conference in 2024, which will be held in Bonn, Germany from 18-20 September. The Scientific Seminar will focus on Integrative Forest Management.
Group photo: Martina Zorić