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The VITERBO DECLARATION on “Safeguarding functional beech forest ecosystems”

Researchers emphasize the need of implementing scientific knowledge on the complex structure and dynamics of old-growth beech forests worlwide to inspire new models of sustainable management, able to maximize forest contribution to global biogeochemical cycles and maintain their resilience to changing environmental conditions.

The irreplaceability of old-growth beech forests is contingent to their complexity and historical integrity, which make them a unique natural heritage. There is therefore an urgent need for the cessation of logging in old-growth forests, and for legislative powers to safeguard all remaining areas of old-growth ecosystems, and restore them across the landscapes.

An output of the 11th International IUFRO Beech Symposium “Natural and Managed Beech Forests as Reference Ecosystems for the Sustainable Management of Forest Resources and the Conservation of Biodiversity” (18-21 September 2018, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy) attended by 80 scientists from European Union, Switzerland, Turkey, Iran, Japan, USA and Canada.

The complete document has been published on IUFRO Group 1.01.07 webpage




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The 11th International Beech Symposium (18-21 September 2018, Viterbo, Italy): Natural and Managed Beech Forests as Reference Ecosystems for the Sustainable Management of Forest Resources and the Conservation of Biodiversity

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About 80 scientists from 15 European countries, Turkey, Iran, Japan, Canada and USA joined the conference organized by the IUFRO Group 1.01.07 “Beech Ecology and silviculture” at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo (Italy) to present their research on beech biology and response to environmental factors, beech forest structure and dynamics, beech forest management, biodiversity and its conservation in beech forests. ITALIANO

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Three invited keynote lectures (Neil Pederson from Harvard University, USA; Hanns Knapp from University of Greifswald, DE; Jacob Heilmann-Clausen, University of Copenhagen, DK) were accompanied by 43 oral presentations – among which 5 were selected as special talks with extra time – and 32 posters.

At the end of the second day, one hour was dedicated to an open round table discussion moderated da Pierre Ibish (University of Eberswalde, DE) and involving all invited speakers and sessions’ chairmen, focused on future priorities in beech forest research. On the last day, the participants visited the Monte Cimino UNESCO beech forest.

A group of participants remained for a 4-day post-conference fieldtrip to visit the UNESCO beech forests in the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, hosting the oldest European beech trees, and the Gargano National Park, with highly diverse refugial mixed beech forests.

The post-conference fieldtrip activities were reported on several newspapers and web media.

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The World Heritage Beech Forests Conference, Vienna, 23 July 2018

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The World Heritage Beech Forests Conference was held in Vienna, Austria on 23 July 2018. Eighty-four participants from 15 States Parties came to discuss the challenges and future of the UNESCO World Heritage “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe.

The conference supported the upstream process and enabled direct communication with UNESCO and IUCN as well as among States Parties, and was therefore a unique possibility to communicate needs, existing tools and new options directly among all parties concerned. In three sessions Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, along with Mizuki Murai (IUCN), Pierre Ibisch (Eberswalde University of Sustainable Development), Alfredo Di Filippo (Università della Tuscia), Marian Gic (SOPSR) and Patrick Huvenne (Agency for Nature and Forests) together with Kris Vandekerkhove (Research Institute for Nature and Forests), presented the complexity of this serial UNESCO World Heritage site, with its 78 component parts in more than 40 protected areas across 12 European countries.

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