In early February members from forest research institutions in Quebec, (Canada), Catalonia (Spain) and southern France met in Montreal for the kick-off meeting of the project NEWFORESTS. The meeting included a live broadcast of the event to be held on the Tuesday the 4th to those interested in the project (more to follow at CEMFOR and CEF).
The NEWFORESTS is a new exchange programme bringing together researchers from 5 research institutions: two from public research centres in Spain, Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) and Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), one French institution, Bio-Archaeology and Ecology Centre (CBAE), and two Canadian Universities (University du Québec à Montréal, UQAM, and in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, UQAT) hosting two of the main hubs of the Centre for Forest Research (CEF).
Building from previous collaborations (i.e. LIA MONTABOR, FOREST COMPLEXITY MODELLING), the aim of the NEWFORESTS project is to create a competitive platform at the international level to analyse the responses of forest ecosystems to global changes and integrate current knowledge in sound and innovative forest management and planning approaches. The general objective of the program is to determine how to effectively integrate woodland management (including non-management options) into strategies aimed to adjust and mitigate global change.
The project is organized in 5 thematic work packages ranging from the basic understanding of forests dynamics, biodiversity and functioning to research on interactions between global change drivers determining disturbances regimes and the integration of the gathered knowledge into advanced modelling tools and sound management guidelines at different spatial scales. A fundamental aspect of the program is that it stresses not only the responsibility of human society as a major driver of global change, but also recognizes that we have an opportunity to mitigate this change through informed, proper management decisions.
General objectives of the project kick-off-meeting were:
- Discuss the general governance of the NEWFORESTS project aiming at ensuring exchanges between the consortium institutions in the topics covered by the program of work.
- Identify, propose and develop a program of activities for the consortium in the forthcoming months and years.
- Introduce the members of the consortium to each other in more detail to enhance reciprocal knowledge of main research carried out and to facilitate the establishment of research exchanges.