Researchers and professor from the University of Valladolid resume projects in Vietnam

The trip aimed to strengthen relationships and coordinate efforts with local education centers and agencies. The visit included an event for the Erasmus+ VirtualForests project and discussions with the European Union delegation in Vietnam.

iuFOR members in Vietnam within the framework of the Erasmus+ BioEcoN project in collaboration with the Vietnam National University of Forestry. Photo: Irene Ruano/iuFOR.

The University Institute for Research in Sustainable Forest Management (iuFOR) has continued its work during the COVID-19 pandemic, managing to implement its program of activities in Vietnam with three projects carried out with partners from the region. In order to strengthen the relationships between the University of Valladolid and this corner of the world, a delegation consisting of Ph.D. Felipe Bravo Oviedo, Professor of Forest Management and researcher at iuFOR; Ph.D. Irene Ruano Benito, a postdoctoral researcher at iuFOR; and Ph.D. José A. Reque Kilchenmann, Permanent Associate Professor of Silviculture and Academic Secretary of the Engineering Technical School of Agricultural Engineering, are in Tonkin region between April 23-28.

There are multiple reasons that drive this trip after more than three years of online work, which results in a varied agenda. In addition, a meeting will be held with the officials of the Spanish embassy in Vietnam to coordinate efforts and give greater projection to the work being carried out in that country. Similarly, working sessions will be organized with some of the country’s main education centers, such as the Vietnam National University-Hanoi University of Science (VNU-HUS), the main host of the visit, the Vietnam National University of Science (VNUF), Thai Nguyen University of Science (TNUS) and Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF).

In collaboration with them, field visits will be made to the monitoring devices that we have installed in Vietnam (4 permanent plots, called marteloscopes, each covering one hectare of surface area). On the other hand, and with the intention of establishing ties for future collaborations, the delegation is visiting some Vietnamese territorial management agencies (NIAPP), as well as other contacts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

During this visit, a multiplier event of the Erasmus+ VirtualForests project is being held, coordinated by the University of Valladolid and integrating teams from Spain (CESEFOR), France (AgroParisTech and IEFC), Germany (HNEE), and Vietnam (Vietnam National University-Hanoi University of Science, VNU-HUS). Nowadays, two Vietnamese students are doing their PhD at the Palencia Campus and the aim is to increase our impact in that country so that more students complete their training at iuFOR and E.T.S. of Agricultural Engineering in Palencia.

Our colleagues will also be received by the European Union delegation in Vietnam, with whom the successes achieved with the three projects within the Erasmus+ program, which are in different stages of implementation, will be extensively discussed. And without leaving the community umbrella, the regional representative, EURAXESS Worldwide, will exchange views in order to facilitate alliances for future calls for Marie Curie doctoral scholarships.

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iuFOR (University Institute for Sustainable Forest Management Research) is a mixed research and development unit between the INIA and the University of Valladolid, which is a forum for scientific and technical cooperation that carries out joint research activities, innovation, development, dissemination and technical support in the areas of forest management, silviculture, modelling, and biodiversity conservation.