2023 is a jubilee year. The experimental forests and the National Forest Inventory will both celebrate 100 years. 100 years of experience and data from forest and land inventories is something unique. As of 1 January, Sweden is also taking over the presidency of the EU. One of the priorities of the Swedish presidency is the bioeconomy, its role and potential for Europe. This ties in well with a lot of the work we do at the Faculty of Forest Sciences.
As of 1 January 2023, SLU falls under the new Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure. The same applies to the Swedish Forest Agency, the National Veterinary Institute (SVA) and the Swedish Board of Agriculture. The ministry is headed by Minister for Rural Affairs Peter Kullgren (Christian Democrats). As of 1 January, Sweden is also taking over the presidency of the EU for six months (sweden2023.eu). One of the priorities of the Swedish presidency is the bioeconomy, its role and potential for Europe. This ties in well with a lot of the work we do at the Faculty of Forest Sciences.
Future forest monitoring
SLU is planning several events linked to the presidency. On 1–2 February, Anna-Lena Axelsson and Göran Ståhl will be hosting an international meeting and workshop at Ultuna, focusing on future forest monitoring and with several relevant EU players taking part. As I wrote in one of the autumn newsletters, forests are becoming more of a topical issue in the EU as biobased forest materials are highlighted as part of the green transition.
I hope that the Swedish presidency will inspire us all and that we’ll continue our successful international work. One proof of this is that already next year, on 23–29 June 2024, the IUFRO world congress will take place in Sweden, with SLU acting as congress secretariat. A big thank you to everyone who’s taking part in planning the congress. Many of our research environments have been successful in bringing home substantial resources from various funding bodies. Take the next step. Apply internationally, and I’m thinking primarily of applying for EU grants together with colleagues from other countries.
2023 is a jubilee year. The experimental forests and the National Forest Inventory will both celebrate 100 years. 100 years of experience and data from forest and land inventories is something unique. It’s worth remembering that the National Forest Inventory delivers official Swedish statistics and therefore is a significant commitment for the faculty.
For many of us, the first month of a new year means applying for funding. For others, it’s a new year of teaching, lab work or planning the upcoming field season. Something that unites us, no matter what our tasks are, is that we’re keen to test new ideas. An exciting new idea for research that’s tested for the first time in an application is an important part of academic freedom. Thinking freely. Developing ideas. Being critiqued. Returning to the drawing table, rewording your idea to make others understand why it needs realising to solve a major problem. The same happens in the lab, or the classroom. Our knowledge isn’t static, it changes as we gain new knowledge and experience. So be brave, test and evaluate new ideas!
Hope to see you around!
Göran Ericsson, dean, Faculty of Forest Sciences