Scientists and stakeholders gathered to the Joensuu Forestry Networking Week 2010
Globally, water and its quality and availability are of highest importance. Forests play an important role in this, as they protect the quality of water reserves, and regulate the water flow, preventing other areas from flooding. However, forests also use water and change its quality by intercepting rainfall, and by taking it up from the soil, and bringing it into the air. This was the topic of the Joensuu Forestry Networking week organised for the second time in Joensuu, Finland last week. The event gathered scientists, professionals and stakeholders in forestry from various regions in Europe to discuss the issues regarding forests and water in Europe.
Mr. Franz Prinz zu Salm-Salm, Chairman of the Forest-owners Association in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, addressed especially the protective role of forest for water reserves. The forests, he says, provide high quality water, and water companies should pay for this service. This is one example of the many environmental services that forests provide. In the Mediterranean area with drought periods, the role of forests is quite different, and a delicate balance must be found between the use of the little water by forests, and still having forests in order to protect soils and prevent erosion. In the boreal zone with generally ample water, the forest management on drained peat lands is of importance, and has an influence on the water quality. Here, forest management should be carefully planned in order not to affect the water quality.
The programme of the Joensuu Forestry Networking Week 2010 was divided between lectures, workshops and an excursion. The topic of the week “Forest-water interactions in Europe” was discussed in four working groups addressing special conditions in Mediterranean, Temperate, Alpine and Boreal areas. The results of this work will be published in a web publication after the event. This year’s excursion addressed the methods on how the information can be gathered from forests and water and how to monitor the methods used by scientists and stakeholders.
The Joensuu Forestry Networking Week is a yearly event organised jointly by the European Forest Institute, the Finnish Forest Research Institute, University of Eastern Finland and North Karelia University of Applied Sciences. It was sponsored by the Foundation of European Forest Research, Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation, Finnish Ministry of the Environment, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, OP-Pohjola Group, Regional Council of North Karelia and City of Joensuu.
- Dr Gert-Jan Nabuurs, EFI, gert-jan.nabuurs(at)efi.int
- Prof. Jari Parviainen, Metla, jari.parviainen(at)metla.fi
- Prof. Paavo Pelkonen, University of Eastern Finland , paavo.pelkonen(at)uef.fi
- Director Ulla Asikainen, North Karelia University of Applied Sciences, ulla.asikainen(at)pkamk.fi