16 and 17 November 2023

Transforming forests

International conference in English
Conference and interactive sessions

What role do forests globally play in sustainability transformations – and what does this mean for Dutch Forests? 

16th and 17th November 2023 on the occasion of the inaugural addresses of Prof. Dr. Georg Winkel (Chairholder Forest and Nature Conservation Policy) and Prof. Dr. Maria Tengö (NatuurCollege Chair Human-Nature Relationships in the Anthropocene) 
Wageningen University Campus

Take part

We invite scientists and professionals, designers and artists, policymakers and civil initiatives to take part in the exchange about different visions on forest landscape futures globally and locally, and about the best options for their role in transformative change. Our aim is to enable researchers and practitioners to intensively exchange thoughts about new inspirational concepts and practical opportunities in our search for solutions to the multifaceted crises we are facing today. 
November 16, 2023
The first day (Thursday November 16th) will focus on cutting edge scientific insights in the possibilities and trade-offs of sustainability transformations relating to forests and forestry from an international perspective. A number of renowned researchers will present their inputs for the debate, culminating in the inaugural addresses of Georg Winkel and Maria Tengö. 
Photo’s by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Program Day 1 Thursday November 16th

08:30 Arrival with coffee and tea
09:00 Opening Maria Tengö, Georg Winkel, and Bas Pedroli

09:10 Forests in the Circular Bioeconomy: a bioeconomy transition vision
Marc Palahi, Circular Bioeconomy Alliance and Lombard Odier Investment Managers

09:35 Forests, Biodiversity and Water: a forest conservation vision
Douglas Sheil, Forest Ecology and Management Group, Wageningen

09:55 Forests under Climate Change: a climate adaptation vision
Gert Jan Nabuurs, Wageningen Environmental Research and Forest Ecology and Management Group

10.15 Forests and local people: a community-based transition vision
Carol Colfer, CIFOR and Cornell University

10:25 Coffee Break

10:55 Plenary discussion including speakers
Koen Arts and Agata Konczal

11:55 Lunch break

PART TWO: HOW TO MOVE FORWARD – knowledge and processes for transformative change

12:55 Sustainability transformations in a complex world: shifting perspectives
Belinda Reyers, Pretoria University, South Africa and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Sweden

13.15 Knowledge and ethics in sustainability transformations: capacities for pluralism
Guido Caniglia, KLI Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Austria

13.35 Co-producing sustainability transformations: fostering collective imagination
Josie Chambers, Utrecht University

13.55 Plenary discussion including speakers and wrap up
Jeanne Nel

15.00 Coffee break

16.00 Inauguration Prof. Maria Tengö (NatuurCollege Chair in Human-Nature Relationships): Towards sustainability –reciprocity and pluralism in human-nature relationships

16.30 Inauguration Prof. Georg Winkel (Chair of forest and Nature Conservation Policy): The Forest of Ours? Governing forest transitions

17.00 Reception

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November 17, 2023
On the second day (Friday November 17th), we will focus on the topical issues in the societal debate about transformational changes in forests in The Netherlands. Inspired by the insights resulting from the first day. Short introductions will lead us to a range of topics under three themes:
– what types of nature or agriculture correspond with forests in The Netherlands? Is there any space left for the forests? As a socio-ecological system, what do forests need in order to function properly?
– what do we need from the forests? Can forests respond? How do we imagine us as people of the forests?
– how does what we know and have always known affect how we co-exist with forests? And what does that mean for the future development of forests?
Photo’s by Anthony Cantin and Chris Whatley on Unsplash

Program Day 2 Friday November 17th

08.30 Arrival and coffee/tea

09:00 Interview of Princess Irene by Matthijs Schouten.

09.30 Opening Recap day 1
Discussion of ideas and insights Rianne Kat, Jeroen Sleijffers, Paul Roncken

10:00 Start of participatory workshops
Discussion on statements in relation to presentations of speakers day 1.

11:45 Lunch break and Birgit Elands Thesis Prize award ceremony
Location Gaia 1

13:00 Continuation of workshops
Focused on the action perspective

Workshop Baselines: Forest Ecosystems in the Netherlands
– Sustainable forest management in the Netherlands –Dutch forests facing new challenges – Ute Sass-Klaassen (WUR/VHL)
– Space: Planning new forests amongst many other priorities –Nienke Welle (Forest Match Maker Probos)
– The ways we imagine ourselves as part of the forest – Ruben Smit (Ecologist/filmmaker)

Workshop Action: Forest Use
– Wood in the transition towards a Biobased economy in the Netherlands
– Nature with Autonomy: the Forest that Belongs to Itself –Stichting “Bos dat van zichzelf is”
– A serving community, mutuality between Human and Nature –Boudewijn Tooren and Simoon Fransen (Creabitat)

Workshop Knowledge: Forest Knowledge and Stewardship
– Cultural and spiritual significance of Nature – Developing Guidelines for Conservation – Bas Verschuuren (WUR)
– Continuing a long line of land and forest management –thinking 7 generations ahead – an Estate owner’s vision on the future.
– Knowledge and Stewardship – a special session by the board of NatureCollege

14:30 Feedback session

16:00 Closing happening

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Divided into several interactive sessions, we will exchange experiences, methods and future visions based on local practice, and formulate solutions to be recorded for a publication about the conference.
Contact  [email protected]
This conference is financed by NatuurCollege, Wageningen University, Provincie Utrecht and held in collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Transforming Forests

Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld
Prof. Dr. Georg Winkel
Prof. Dr. Maria Tengö
Het bos dat van zichzelf is

Ruben Smit
Ute Sass-Klaassen