The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has engaged the Management Committee of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) to strengthen ties and promote the conservation of natural resources.
During a courtesy call and stakeholder engagement held at UENR’s Sunyani campus in collaboration with sector players such as the Forestry Commission (FC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana, the participants exchanged ideas on how to leverage each other’s expertise for mutual benefit.
In his opening address, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of UENR, emphasised the significance of natural resources, such as forests and water, for sustenance of life on the planet and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said the engagement would foster robust collaborations among university’s staff, students and partner organisations like the FC, EPA and Form Ghana.
Prof. Asare-Bediako further expressed UENR’s enthusiasm to be part of that initiative and its eagerness to collaborate with IUFRO to enhance the sustainability of natural resources.
Dr. John Parotta, President of IUFRO, said the organisation’s vision was to serve as the Global Voice of Forest Science by promoting a sustainable future for both forests and society.
He emphasised IUFRO’s commitment to advancing research excellence and facilitating the exchange of knowledge by fostering the development of science-based solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the forests.
Dr. Parotta underscored the pivotal role played by IUFRO in providing a diverse thematic structure for forest-related research, saying within that framework, scientists collaborated on a voluntary basis, addressing research needs and priorities of IUFRO’s esteemed members and stakeholders, including policy and decision makers, industry practitioners and civil society.
He highlighted some of the fruitful collaborative activities between IUFRO and its members in Ghana, saying those collaborations notably revolved around crucial areas such as forest landscape restoration, teak resources and education, actively promoting and supporting regional forest science collaboration through its Forest Research Network for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Parotta underlined the importance of collaborating to integrate scientific knowledge into global policy forums, as well as working alongside with the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) among others.
He said approximately 15,000 scientists had 70 meetings each year and those scientists represented 630 member organisations with 800 voluntary office holders who hailed from 115 countries, encompassing 250 research units.
There was a symbolic tree planting ceremony at the campus to signify the commitment to environmental sustainability and the fruitful outcomes of the meeting.