On this International Day of Forests, staff at the European Forest Institute are celebrating. Here’s a brief glimpse at the diversity of EFI activities, including promoting sustainable materials, a webinar on forest solutions to fight climate change, setting up a genetic conservation unit and Director Marc Palahí writing about forests and education.
The EFI T-shirt is made from sustainable wood-based textile fibres, an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic (petroleum-based) materials, such as polyester. Synthetic textile fibres, which represent 63% of global textile production, result in high carbon emissions and other environmental problems like microplastics which put the health of our oceans at risk. New technologies developed in Europe now make it possible to produce renewable wood-based textile solutions that can replace synthetic fibres and contribute to a more sustainable world.
Climate change webinar
EFI Principal Scientist, Hans Verkerk will take part in a webinar on Forest solutions and perspectives to fight climate change. The webinar, organised in collaboration with the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change Foundation, takes place at 15h CET and also features Marco Marchetti of the University of Molise, Italy and Donatella Spano, University of Sassari, Italy.
Meanwhile in Scotland, the UK’s first forest genetic conservation area was set up in Beinn Eighe nature reserve. Scientific partners hope to protect the unique DNA fingerprint of the area’s totemic Scots pine trees with the area becoming the UK’s first Gene Conservation Unit in the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN), which has its secretariat at EFI.
Forests & education
And finally, EFI Director Marc Palahi writes in Spanish newspaper El país about forests and education as a catalyst to change the world. He underlines the urgency of transforming our world at a scale and rate that we have never done before. Education, according to Palahí, is key to building a new economic paradigm and ensuring that our society prospers within our planetary boundaries, in harmony with nature. He stresses that we should not only think about transforming our education systems but also the environment in which future generations are educated. The 21st century’s digital revolution has a vital role at the centre of modern education but science shows that outdoor learning, living near green spaces, urban forests, trees and construction with wood are also essential components for improved societal well-being, for all generations.