EFI Annual Conference highlights!

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On 5 October, close to 90 participants joined the EFI Secretariat at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona to discuss future plans and carry out decision-making. This was the first time since 2019 that representatives of our member organisations had met in person, and was a welcome return to interaction and networking!

This year’s Conference was organised in collaboration with our member organisations in Catalonia, under the coordination of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).

This year, EFI’s Facilities were discussed in the Members’ Dialogue session. EFI’s Facilities build on research knowledge and address particular policies, topics and activities, and are crucial for connecting knowledge to action. They act as the interface between different audiences and different stakeholders, operating at the science-policy-practice interface and carrying out capacity building, networking and providing demand-based expertise. Members had an opportunity to find out more about the Mediterranean Facility, Genetics Resources Facility, International Partnerships Facility, Bioregions Facility and Policy Support Facility.

Decision-making session in brief

Warm welcome to our new Board member Sanja Perić!

As Dr Natalia Lukina stepped down from the Board after two consecutive terms, a call for nominations for the open seat was launched in June 2022. The Annual Conference elected Dr Sanja Perić, Croatia as the new Board member. Dr Perić has been the Director of the Croatian Forest Research Institute (CFRI) since 2019, and has a PhD in forestry from the University of Zagreb.

The Annual Conference agreed to waive the 2022 membership fees for EFI’s Ukrainian member organisations. It also extended a warm welcome to 5 new Associate Members and 2 new Affiliate Members. This means that EFI currently has a network of c. 130 member organisations from 40 countries.

The next opportunity for representatives from all member organisations to meet together will be the EFI Annual Conference in 2023, which will be held in Novi Sad, Serbia, from 20-22 September. The Scientific Seminar will celebrate 30 years of EFI, and focus on “European forests and forest science: transition to the future”!

Finally, the Annual Conference ended by congratulating Dr Lauri Hetemäki and awarding him the title of Fellow of EFI to honour his outstanding work on and dedication to European forest research. Lauri was the Assistant Director at EFI from 2015-2021.


Group photo: Michele Curel