Call for Congress Sessions

Proposals should be submitted online using the Session Proposal Form. Proposals will not be accepted after 1 August 2018.

The Congress Scientific Committee invites submission of session proposals for the 2019 IUFRO World Congress. In keeping with the spirit of the Congress title – Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development ‐ the Congress Scientific Committee is developing a program that will highlight the contributions that forest science is making to address the significant environmental, social and economic challenges facing our world. The Congress program will reflect the forest science community’s diverse contributions across the full range of natural and social science disciplines, with special emphasis on key issues and research areas identified in IUFRO’s 2015‐2019 Strategy (

Who may submit a session proposal?

All who share an interest in the future of forests and forest science are invited to submit session proposals. We encourage proposals that involve collaboration between two or more IUFRO Divisions  or Task Forces and/or with organizations not formally associated with IUFRO, and from university students at all levels. We strongly recommend IUFRO officeholders and others actively involved in IUFRO Research Groups, Working Parties, and Task Forces communicate with their respective Division representatives on the CSC (or Task Force coordinators) before submitting proposals – this will greatly facilitate broader involvement of IUFRO divisional units and Task Forces in the scientific program and avoid overlaps among sessions.

Session proposals from non‐IUFRO member organizations are encouraged although preference will be given to those that are prepared jointly with IUFRO Divisional Units and Task Forces (see for more information) – if assistance is needed to identify appropriate partners within IUFRO, please contact any member of the CSC.

Preparing and submitting a session proposal

Proposals should be submitted online using the Session Proposal Form. Proposals will not be accepted after 1 August 2018.

In the online template inform the session organizer email, name, IUFRO affiliation (if applicable) and session title. It will also be necessary to inform session objectives and content in relation to Congress theme(s). If other than the 5 themes of IUFRO 2015-2019 Strategies, inform 2 Divisions or Task Forces to which the session most closely aligns. Moreover it must be informed the number of expected size of the audience and the proposed session format (i.e., presentation of individual papers and/or posters, moderated panel discussion, or other forms of presentation) and names of proposed speakers (if known), their organizational affiliations and indicative titles of their presentations. Proposed sessions should be organized to be nominally 2 hours in length. For sessions involving oral presentations, we recommend that 15 minutes be adopted for standard oral presentations. However, we encourage proponents to be innovative, and to consider panel discussions, interactive poster sessions and other ways to engage Congress participants.

Please note that the abstract submission process (later this year) will be open to all, so session organizers may need to include papers or posters that were not originally proposed for their sessions. Please be aware of this possibility and the need for flexibility in designing your session**. In the event that the number of accepted abstracts for a particular session exceeds the number that can be accommodated in a single session, organizers may be given an additional session slot in the Congress program.

**All oral and poster abstracts in English, Portuguese or Sapanish will be submitted online between September and mid-December 2018. Individuals submitting abstracts will be asked to select the session(s) in which their presentation is most relevant. During the abstract review process by the CSC in January‐February 2019, the allocation of accepted abstracts to specific sessions will be made (with some consultation with session organizers). The final program for all sessions will be determined only after the Congress registration deadline for presenters, when the participation of presenters is confirmed (end May 2019).

Criteria for selection

Session proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the Congress Scientific Committee with primary consideration given to their scientific quality and relevance to the Congress themes. Other factors that will be considered are: the involvement of two or more IUFRO units (Divisions, Task Forces, Research Groups and Working Parties) and/or non‐IUFRO organizations; geographic and gender diversity of proposed session presenters; and the involvement of students and young scientists. We strongly encourage submissions well in advance of the August 1 deadline.

Acceptance decisions will be made no later than 31 August 2018. An open Call for Abstracts will be issued in September, with online abstract submission until 15 December 2018, and acceptance decisions provided by 28 February 2019.

Responsibilities of session organizers

Session organizers of accepted proposals are expected to communicate with prospective presenters regarding submission of abstracts (online, from mid-September to mid-December 2018), and will be asked to review abstracts submitted for their sessions during the abstract review period (i.e., in mid-December 2018 to end February 2019). Session organizers may be asked to assist the CSC in the editing of accepted abstracts. They will also be responsible for moderating sessions (or assigning session moderation responsibilities) and are encouraged to pursue publication options for papers presented in their sessions.

Abstracts of papers and posters presented during the Congress will be published in a special volume of the International Forestry Review, as was done for the 2014 Congress in Salt Lake City. As formal Congress proceedings with full papers will not be published, session organizers should explore alternative publication options (books, special issues of journals, etc.) for their sessions.

We look forward to hearing from you and for your active participation in the design of an excellent scientific program for the 2019 IUFRO Congress in Curitiba, Brazil.

Timeline Summary

21 MAY 2018

Call for Session Proposals

1 AUGUST 2018

Deadline for the submission of Session Proposals

31 AUGUST 2018

Decision advised on Session Proposals


Call for abstracts

15 DECEMBER 2018

Deadline for the submission of abstracts

28 FEBRUARY 2019

Authors advised of decisions on their abstracts

31 MAY 2019

Registration deadline for early-bird registrations and presenting authors


Congress begins

The IUFRO 2019 Congress Scientific Committee

2019 Congress themes (based on IUFRO 2015-2019 Strategy)

Forests and trees provide a wide range of environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits to people in rural communities and urban centers worldwide. Their conservation and sustainable management are closely linked to globally important societal challenges related to environmental protection, sustainable economic development, food security, human health, water and energy resource provision, and climate change. The best available scientific knowledge is needed to effectively address these issues at multiple scales (locally, regionally and globally) and provide a strong basis for forest, agroforest and forest landscape management practices and policy decisions. The scientific program for the IUFRO 2019 World Congress will bring together scientists of all ages, from throughout the world, across the full range of forest‐related disciplines, who are engaged in research, education and application of science‐based knowledge to address these challenges and meet the changing needs of our increasingly globalized society. The program will be organized along the following five themes: Forests for People; Forests and Climate Change; Forests and Forest Products for a Greener Future; Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions; and Forests, Soil and Water Interactions.

Forests for People

Forests, woodlands and agroforests play a vital role in the lives of people in both rural and urban communities, supporting livelihoods, food and energy security, and human health and wellbeing. This theme, which focusses on social, cultural and economic aspects of the management and use of forest resources, covers a broad set of topics such as nature‐based recreation and tourism, landscape planning and management, nature protection, indigenous people and community forest management, forest work, human health and wellbeing, agroforestry, integration of forestry in other land uses, urban forestry, forest ethics, forest history and culture, gender issues in forestry, rural development and community wellbeing. Congress sessions within this theme will explore the linkages between human well‐ being and quality of life related to the environmental, economic and social goods and services provided by forests both for urban and rural populations. They will also examine the roles of policy, planning, forest governance, formal and traditional knowledge, communication, education and training in the maintenance, enhancement, valuation and optimization of benefits derived from forest ecosystems and forest products and services to people at local, regional and broader spatial scales.

Forests and Climate Change

Understanding and anticipating the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems and the services they provide to people are critical to efforts to develop and implement effective policies and management strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Sessions within this theme will consider climate change effects on forest ecosystem structure and function; interactions with other natural disturbance and forest management regimes; monitoring and modelling of climate‐change related impacts on forest ecosystems, landscapes, and communities; environmental, social and economic implications of forest‐based climate change adaptation strategies and mitigation opportunities (such as REDD+); silvicultural, planning and policy options for managing and restoring natural and planted forests to enhance carbon storage and other ecosystem services, as well as adapting natural and planted forests to climate change; the role of sustainable production and use of wood‐based products in climate change mitigation (including wood‐based substitutes for less ”climate friendly” materials); and the contributions of forest genetics, restoration ecology and landscape ecology in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including incentives and issues of trans‐ boundary emission trading schemes.

Forests and Forest Products for a Greener Future

The future of sustainable forest management in the face of forest loss and ever‐increasing demands for food, timber and wood fiber, water and other ecosystem services, and uncertainties posed by globalization and economic, social and environmental uncertainty, is a fundamental challenge for the forest research community. Innovation in the field of forest products, goods and services together with sustainable and environmentally responsible wood production systems and forest operations will play an important role to meet these challenges. Sessions within this theme will explore: trends in the demand for traditional and innovative forest products, ecosystem goods and services; increased use of wood in construction; managing conflicting needs of forest stakeholders; changing societal values, and institutions and forest governance structures under different socio‐cultural conditions and their role in sustainable management and use of natural and planted forests in the future. Other topics include development of new forest management approaches and processing techniques for environmentally and socially acceptable products and services; emerging landscape management (i.e., green infrastructure) approaches; valuation of benefits derived from non‐wood forest products and ecosystem services; bioenergy and the bioeconomy; and forestry education, research and training to meet future needs.

Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions

The conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity (at genetic, species and ecosystem levels) is fundamental to the maintenance of habitats responsible for providing environmental, economic, social and cultural goods and services on which people in both rural and urban communities depend. Addressing the threats to forest biodiversity – including deforestation, forest fragmentation and degradation, unsustainable use, alien invasive species, and climate change ‐ requires a more profound scientific understanding of the role of biodiversity in the provision of ecosystem services, and the impacts of biodiversity loss on responses and resilience of forest ecosystems, habitats and species at different spatial and temporal scales to natural and human‐induced disturbances. Sessions within this theme will explore these issues as well as such topics as the impacts and efficacy of different forest management practices on biodiversity in protected areas, community management, and more intensively managed forests for timber, non‐timber forest products and agroforestry systems; landscape level strategies for forest biodiversity conservation and restoration; and challenges in achieving a balance between biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization of forest resources.

Forests, Soil and Water Interactions

Forests and forest cover play a crucial role with regard to sustaining the availability and quality of water critical for human well‐being. The linkages between water, wetlands and forests show the importance of managing ecosystems at watershed or landscape scales in order to protect these vital services. There is an urgent need for improved understanding of the interactions between forests, trees, soil and water (including riparian and coastal ecosystems) as affected by large‐scale natural and human‐induced disturbance, including climate change, as well as effects of land‐use, land‐cover change and forest management on watershed hydrology and provision of water‐related ecosystem services. Sessions within this theme will consider these broad issues as well as more specific questions such as: water consumption of growing tree crops compared to other land uses; region‐specific interactions of forests and water; water consumption of forest plantations and forest bioenergy systems; and governance and institutional arrangements related to management of forested watersheds.