NordGen Forest arranges thematic days twice a year, alternating between the Nordic countries. But this time was special because we did it in close collaboration with scientists and teachers at the forestry faculty of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. On top of this we had experts from Skogforsk (Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Holmen Skog and Sveaskog as speakers.
This thematic day was kind of an experiment. We wanted to create a meeting point for forestry students and professionals in the forest reproductive material sector to discuss how the forest seed supply sector and forest nursery sector could better attract young professionals. And I think we actually succeeded. More than sixty people showed up to find out what all it was about. The day took off with in depth lectures on seed and plant production in practice to give us a common base. During the lunch served at the student union building there was plenty of time for networking and small talk, and thereafter we continued with short presentations including a historical review, facts about traceability and plant quality etc. The presentations that followed set focus on breeding programs in the Nordic countries and the gains they deliver in terms of genetically improved plants, and how these improved plants are used in a sustainable forestry.
Finally, we got an expose on various scenarios on how forest regeneration may look like in the future, and as often is the case, our various expectations about future triggered the discussions.
The day ended up in group discussions about our various views on how to develop better contacts between young foresters and companies. A good way to engage young people in the sectors is when companies provide topics for a bachelor or master thesis. The participants of the thematic day all agreed that this kind of meeting also itself had been useful.
It was very nice to meet the students and to enjoy the open-minded atmosphere of the student union building. I was encouraged that the forest seed and plant production sectors will continue to develop and grow in the future, together with interested young people.
*That is at least what the citizens claim
Presentations from the thematic day can be found here
Text: Claes Uggla, chair of the NordGen Forest Regeneration Council.
Photos: Inger Sundheim Fløistad, researcher at NordGen Forest
NordGen Forest is a Nordic body dedicated to forest regeneration, plants,
seed and genetic resources.
The mandate of NordGen Forest is to address conservation and sustainable
use of forest genetic resources, by being a forum for researchers,
practitioners and managers working on forest genetics, seeds, planting
stock and regeneration, and by facilitating the flow of scientific information
and knowhow between these groups.