I hope you’ve all had a good start to the year. Forestry issues, in a broad sense, are a hot topic right now and will continue to be so for all of 2022. It’s an election year, and I’m already seeing signs of forestry being high up on the agenda. There is currently a huge interest in what we do at SLU and our faculty, and we need to make sure that we cater to this curiosity and offer them something! Take advantage of this interest and give people solid information on how we can best research, teach and monitor the conditions of our forests.
On 13 January, I was invited to the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation to meet with Minister for Rural Affairs Anna-Caren Sätherberg at this year’s first meeting with the National Forestry Programme Council. Being an SLU representative at that meeting was a joy. One thing that stuck with me was that the ministry expressly said that “all parts [of the forestry programme], including research on climate-adapted forestry, should rest on scientific grounds, meaning that the involvement of SLU – and other higher education institutions – is crucial”. Several actors then underlined the need for more forestry and forest-related research, something that warmed the heart of this dean of a forest faculty.
We are still in a pandemic, with its guidelines and restrictions. It’s tiring and hard work, and it’s easy to feel down. But don’t despair! Now is a good time to look forward and see how, together, we can restart our activities and maintain and develop contacts with colleagues both in-house and externally after the pandemic. We, the employees, are SLU’s most valuable asset. So don’t forget your colleague who’s working from home, or those who are trying to make teaching work and keep the labs running. Reach out and think positively about the future. We’re all needed if we are to solve the forestry problems that lie ahead!
Göran Ericsson, Dean