An aerial view of a forest in Gävle, Sweden. Geranimo, Unsplash

What do forests mean to you?

We asked participants at IUFRO Stockholm 2024

Forests provide us with a nearly endless list of resources, from tangible ones like fruit, wood, paper and cotton to intangible ones like oxygen, clean air and recreation.

But what do forests mean to us, subjectively – and what brings delegates to the world’s largest event on sustainable forestry of 2024?

We asked participants at the 26th IUFRO World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, for their thoughts.

Eric, PhD student

“Forests are life. Forests are what we live in. For me, the day the last tree dies is when humanity will die.”

Marcella, professor

“Forests have been the chance to see the world – to see organisms and species all over the globe. Forests are an opportunity to connect with people and places everywhere.”

Doris, scientist

“I work with communities that are so connected with forests – you can’t look at developing communities without thinking about forests, which are so critical to them.

“It’s so important to protect and manage forests and ensure that they have access to the forests and get a fair share of any benefits that come from them.”

Krish, graduate student

“For me, forests mean mental health. Forestry has changed me a lot – in my perspectives, ideologies, everything.”

John, professor

“Forests are my whole life. I grew up in the forest, I studied them, I love to hike them, I love to manage them, and they’re one of our most precious resources.”

Isabelle, PhD student

“For me, a forest is a great place to mingle, where a lot of things come together. It’s a combination of nature, trees growing there, a habitat for wildlife, and also a spot for recreation.”

Annie, forestry researcher

“Forests mean more than a job or a livelihood to me. As a city girl, I think it’s my duty to not just conserve but also to take action to protect forests, and to advocate for those actions.

“We are advocating for all the problems related to forests, but very little action is being taken. I want to be someone who takes actions that are concrete and sustainable.”

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