International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) today announced
the appointment of Prof. Mike Wingfield as new President. IUFRO's International
Council elected him during a meeting at the 24th IUFRO World Congress, which is currently taking place in Salt Lake
City, Utah, United States. Mike Wingfield follows Prof. Niels Elers Koch who
served IUFRO - the only worldwide organization devoted to forest research and
related sciences - as President for the past four years.
successfully strengthened global networking in forest science served by a
well-functioning IUFRO Headquarters, Board and Management Committee.
Furthermore we held the first-ever IUFRO Regional Congress for Africa in 2012
in Kenya and another IUFRO Regional Congress in Latin America in 2013 in Costa
Rica", said Niels Elers Koch summarizing some of IUFRO's major achievements
during his time as President. He also noted with pleasure a strengthened
collaboration with the International Forestry Students' Association, IFSA, among
other global alliances.
Wingfield, IUFRO's incoming President, said "Much as IUFRO has enriched my life
so deeply, it is my wish that the same will be true, particularly for the many
young forest scientists in the world". He particularly highlighted IUFRO's
special relationship with IFSA and his commitment to build this bond as
actively as possible in the future. Furthermore, he referred to IUFRO's great
responsibility as the global network for forest research "to provide solid and
reliable data that will underpin some of the most important decisions relating
to our fragile and highly threatened world. He added, "Never before has the
world relied so heavily on its natural resources and forestry links these
resources in every possible way." He underlined the essential role of forests
for a sustainable future of our planet.
Michael (Mike) Wingfield, Professor and
Founding Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute
(FABI) of the University of Pretoria (South Africa) has been involved in IUFRO
activities for more than 30 years. He has served as IUFRO Vice President in the
2010-2014 Board Term. As a researcher, he is broadly interested in the health
of trees and has conducted research on tree pests and pathogens. He is a fellow
of various scientific societies including the Royal Society of South Africa and
the American Phytopathological Society. He has received honorary doctorates
from the University of British Colombia, Canada, and North Carolina State
University and received the highest scientific award (Kwame Nkrumah Scientific
Award) from the African Union in 2013.
The 24th IUFRO World Congress "Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research" (http://iufro2014.com/) aims at showcasing the scientific expertise and activities in current
forest research to address the range of sustainability challenges and opportunities. The Conference is being held until
the 11th of October in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is
organized by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
and hosted by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture Forest Service in cooperation with the National
Association of University Forest Resources Programs (NAUFRP), the Society of
American Foresters (SAF), and the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF/IFC).