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IUFRO Division 5 Conference 2017

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The Forest Sector Innovations for a Greener Future 2017 IUFRO Division 5 Conference incorporates an Innovation/Sustainability theme. This will form a unifying basis for the week-long conference and will guide the agenda through a series of plenary sessions that will catalyze discussion on what the future forest products sector might look like.

Each morning will feature 2 keynote presentations; one a research-based talk featuring a prominent academic, the other a more pragmatic, real-world talk featuring a prominent practitioner from industry, government, civil society, or an indigenous community.

Plenary Topics

  • Forest Sector Innovation – How can innovative forest sector based environmental and social approaches assure a greener future for our global society?
  • Innovations in Forest Products and Services – How will fibre and forests be used in the near- and long-term (focus on bioenergy, biomaterials, biofuels, biochemicals, carbon and non-timber forest products)?
  • Innovations in Wood Building and Design – What will the next generation’s needs for shelter and buildings be and how will they be met?
  • Innovations in Forest Management, Policy and Markets – Will there be enough biomass and sustainable products to support the growing global population?
  • Innovations in Business Models and Management – What will the businesses of forestry look like in the near- and long-term?

Past All-Division 5 Conference Topic Areas

Past All-Division 5 Conferences included technical sessions categorized under Topic Areas. The following provides a descriptive content of each of these Topic Areas. Many aspects of the content described here have been the subject of technical sessions in past All-5 Division Conferences and are potential subject areas for technical sessions in the 2017 IUFRO All-Division 5 Conference.

Wood Quality

This includes research on all aspects of the wood and fibre quality (from natural and plantation grown trees, and temperate and tropical forests) that promotes a better understanding of the various factors which affect tree growth and wood properties, and suitability for processing. In particular, how the environment and other factors influence wood properties (physical and chemical), how these properties may be affected by a changing wood resource, and how these properties impact the utilization of the material. The ultimate goal of such knowledge is the sustainable and better targeted utilization of our wood resource. Topics include: wood quality modelling, tree ring analysis and understanding wood variability.

Physical and Mechanical Properties of Wood

Forecasts indicate that there will be increased worldwide demand for both conventional structural materials and innovative structural products. These indications, along with a growing need to conserve timber resources necessitates the development of improved and/or new design and construction methods that reduce inefficient uses of material and utilize products compatible with a forest resource that is changing. Increasingly, small diameter trees, plantation wood and wood from underutilized species are becoming large components of the forest resource base. Topics include: non-destructive testing, basic properties of wood and wood-based materials.

Wood-based materials and their Applications/Wood Processing

This covers the processing of all kinds of wood products on a worldwide basis, and the efforts to promote the processing of forest products to sustain productivity in an environmentally acceptable and efficient manner. Topics include research on wood drying, adhesives and wood gluing, and sawing, milling and machining. Other topics are production systematics, industrial engineering, operations analysis and logistics, and new processing technologies. A special focus is on material from small-diameter trees and underutilized species.

Wood Protection

The conservation of existing wood products is important to the sustainability of our timber resources. Increasing the service life of wooden structures via wood protection accordingly helps to preserve stored carbon hence contributing to the mitigation of climate change. Major threats to the expected long service life of wood products – fire, biodeterioration, low durability woods and weathering – can be lessened through proper design, wood treatment systems and appropriate use. The topic is of general interest to the international research community on wood preservation, non-biocidal wood protection with natural products and fire protection. Topics include: wood durability, wood protection for food packaging, quarantine and trade, tropical wood protection, protection of cultural artefacts, protection with natural products, treatment processes, environmental aspects, novel wood-protecting chemicals, biological aspects, protection with coatings, modified wood, test methods and performance of treated wood. The International Research Group on Wood Protection ( plans to co-organize the wood protection session(s) at the 2017 IUFRO Division 5 Conference.

Composites and Reconstituted Products

Sustainability of raw materials for producing all manufactured items and feedstocks is an important issue in the world today. Topics examine the use of various types of wood and additives to produce new, innovative products to replace scarce resource and non-renewable materials.

Pulp and Paper

This is a new area for D5 and contributions are sought in all aspects of pulp and papermaking, to provide useful discussion. Topics focus on developing countries and lesser-known species.

Properties and Utilization of Plantation Woods

As more tree species are introduced into forest plantation programmes, particularly in developing nations, information on the properties and utilization of these newly introduced and exotic species becomes crucial. Topics of principle interest include dry-area species, teak, eucalypts and many upcoming lesser-known tropical wood species.

Biorefinery: Energy and Chemicals from Forest Biomass

This topic covers the sustainable use, production and processing of renewable forest biomass for energy and useful chemicals. The areas of research relating to energy are direct combustion and gasification for heat, power and gaseous fuel production, and liquid fuel production – namely ethanol and methanol through biochemical and thermal conversion. Also relating to the topic of forest biomass for energy is the charcoal production for solid fuels, metallurgical use and activated carbon. Research into production of other chemicals from wood covers lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose and their derivatives, essential oils, pyrolysis derived polyphenols for adhesives.

Forest Products Marketing and Business Management

This topic covers all aspects of forest products business with a focus on marketing. Discussion is encouraged on a myriad of issues and topics on a global basis. Examples include sustainable business management practices, value-addition strategies, marketing, management, consumer behavior, Internet marketing, supply chain management, innovation, strategic positioning, branding, certification, and policy.

Non-wood Forest Products

This covers the wide variety of non-wood products found in forests around the world, and research to promote the discovery, development, and wise use of these resources. Special emphasis is on research on medicinal and aromatic plants, edible plant products and forest fungi, resins and gums, and many other so-called “minor forest products” which have long been important for rural and native people and which provide new opportunities for commercial development. Bamboo and rattan are also included in this category.

Wood Culture

This is an interdisciplinary science area which provides a better understanding of the use and social aspects of wood from a cultural and historical perspective. Research in wood culture examines people’s relationship with forest and nature, and opens new ways to understand or value wood from an economic, environmental, and social value perspective. Topics cover the historical and contemporary use of wood in different regions or countries in the world.

The Role of Wood in a Sustainable Society

This topic focuses on global issues regarding sustainably produced forest products. Researchers examine the ecologically sustainable production of wood and other forest products that are closely associated with sustainable forestry practices. Topics include green certification, life cycle analysis, wood products from sustainably managed forests, and the economic contribution of wood products to sustainable forestry.

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

Concern about the environment and climate change has led to increased consideration of the environmental performance of wood and non-wood materials. Given this increased concern about the environmental performance of materials, it is important to be able to compare the performance of wood and non-wood materials. Topics consider the use of LCA in conjunction with other methods such as forest ecosystem modeling, (forest) carbon accounting, and risk assessment to more fully assess products’ impact on the environment. Topics also cover the use of LCA results for comparative purposes, for acquiring credit under green building schemes, and for developing credible and transparent product eco-labels.

More information on Division 5 can be found on the IUFRO website.

IUFRO Division 5 Conference
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Email [email protected]

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