Following the stimulating 3-day conference a declaration has been issued stating the importance of and urgency for international recognition of intact forests. The organisers would be pleased to hear from individuals and organisations who would like to be associated with the declaration. Those interested can contact us through the conference email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Download declaration (English) | French | Russian | Portuguese | Indonesian.
To bring together researchers and practitioners attempting to define and map "intact forests", those assessing the threats acting on these areas and the societal values derived from them, as well as those able to speak to the effectiveness of current efforts to maintain these values. An intended outcome of this meeting will be a declaration for participants to sign, identifying promising areas for further action to maintain current levels of intactness and the additional research needed to support that goal.
The working definition of "intact forest" for the purposes of this conference is 'forest free of significant anthropogenic degradation' where anthropogenic degradation includes all human activities known to cause physical changes in a forest (including faunal changes) that lead to declines of ecological function. However, we appreciate the implementation of this definition across regions and ecotones will vary, and we intend this meeting to contribute to the development of an inclusive framework for achieving that.
All forest ecosystems are considered – tropical, temperate, boreal. The conference is not limited to systems with no trace of human influence – indeed it is commonly stated that such places no longer exist and in many cases have not existed in the recent past. The definition above is expected to stimulate scientific and policy debate around questions such as:
The conference will have two main technical sections, each approx. 1.5 days and spread over 4 sessions:
Each session will comprise a combination of formal presentations by prominent scientists and practitioners as well as a carousel round of 3-4 five minute presentations to allow for a broader range of perspectives to be represented, followed by ample plenary discussion.
Additional sessions will be devoted to introductory presentations, to discussion of a proposed 'Intact Forests Declaration' which delegates will be invited to sign as well as a closing synthesis.
There will be space at the venue to present posters.
This recently published paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution highlights many of the issues to be discussed at the conference. Read paper.