18th IBFRA Conference

Our Boreal Our Future:

The Science, Policy and Practice of Addressing Change

Bangor, Maine, USA

Unfortunately, due to a number of extenuating circumstances, the event has been cancelled. It is with regret that this has had to happen as the program was shaping up to be quite interesting and an informative and engaging one. We apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment this may cause. We are exploring options for a major IBFRA scientific event to take place over the next year.


Original conference description

The boreal forest is the world’s largest terrestrial biome, covering 8% of the world’s land surface and comprising 29% of the world’s forest cover. The boreal forest serves an important role in the global carbon cycle, provides significant economic and social benefits to many nations, provides important habitat for plant and animal species, and still contains large areas that remain free of direct human disturbance. Climate and other environmental changes in combination with increasing resource development will lead to significant changes to this forest. The implications for policy, both within the boreal zone and globally, are enormous. The key to developing appropriate and effective policy responses to emerging challenges in the boreal region is having access to knowledge with a sound scientific basis. The 18th international conference of the International Boreal Forest Research Association hopes to develop such a basis and is being hosted by the USDA Forest Service and the University of Maine in Bangor, Maine, USA. Invited keynote speakers, scientific sessions (oral and poster) and panel discussions will explore new scientific findings and their linkages with policy relating to the addressing change in the boreal. Designed to engage and inform scientists, resource managers and policy makers, the conference themes will address the current and emerging challenges for the boreal, the role of science in addressing those challenges and the links between science, policy and practice.

Proposed Conference Topics

Confluence of Policy and Science: How can practical policies be developed in the context of emerging science and ecosystem/social attributes of boreal forests?

Monitoring/Biometrics: Emerging remote sensing technologies especially as it pertains to these remote forest ecosystems (e.g., Landsat, LiDAR, TLS, or drones)

Carbon Science & climate impact of boreal forest management: As these forests contain tremendous stores of carbon, refining our understanding of these carbon pools in the context of climate change is paramount to future trajectories of atmospheric CO2 levels

Mega-Disturbances: The influence of large-scale droughts, wildfires and pests is expected to increase in boreal forests with stark implications for ecosystem services provided by these forests

Current and Adaptive Forest Management: Current management practices will be examined in the context of future adaptive practices that may mitigate the negative impacts of climate change

Ecosystem Modeling: Emerging research that explores future trajectories in terms of productivity and resilience with policy implications

Engaging Communities: The practice of engaging communities to empower adaptation and improve sustainable management of boreal forest resources will be explored

The Future Forest Sector: The potential of the forest industry in the future boreal forest

Risks and Uncertainties in Boreal Forests: What is the role of the boreal forest in the global landscape and what risks and uncertainties are associated with these particular systems?

Forest Biodiversity: Consideration of the full suite of boreal species especially those at risk in addition to the conservation and protection of unique boreal features

Call for Abstracts

The submission process for contributed abstracts is now open. The deadline for submission is February 28, 2017 with speakers and presenters being informed of acceptance by mid-March, 2017. Accepted abstracts will be assigned to the most appropriate theme and session. Please visit the conference website to submit an abstract or for additional information. You can also proceed directly to the abstract submission site.

We are accepting special session proposals which should include a title, abstract, organizer, and names and suggested titles of constituent talks (if applicable) of proposed special sessions.  In addition, the type of proposed special session should be indicated.  The following formats will be considered: panels, research sessions, open discussions for science missions, and short workshops. The special session proposals can be sent to the Head of the Scientific Committee, Christopher Woodall (cwoodall@fs.fed.us) prior to February 28, 2017.

For more information, visit the conference web site: http://2017ibfra.org

2017 IBFRA Conference YouTube Playlist

IBFRA Conferences

Each IBFRA conference focuses on issues of global concern such as global change, biodiversity, climate change, disturbances and the global carbon cycle, as well as on issues requiring increased coordination within the boreal community such as classification, inventory and monitoring. All IBFRA conferences have directly or indirectly contributed to an increased understanding of the science supporting sustainable development in the circumpolar region.

Past conferences have included:

  • USA (1992, 1997, 2004)
  • Norway and Sweden (1993)
  • Canada (1994, 2000, 2013)
  • Finland (1995, 2015)
  • Russia (1996, 2002, 2011)
  • Norway (1998)
  • Sweden (2006)
  • China (2008)