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Title: Forest products research in IUFRO history and potential

Author: Youngs, Robert L.; Youngquist, John A.;

Date: 1999

Source: [ICEUPT `99 : International Conference on Effective Utilization of Plantation Timber : timber and wood composites for the next century : May 21-23, 1999, Chi-Tou, Taiwan, R.O.C. : proceedings. Chi-Tou, Taiwan : Forest Products Association of R.O.C., 1999?].:p. 627-632 : ill.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: When silviculture researchers in central Europe were gathering together to form IUFRO in 1892, forest products researchers were occupied with making useful forest products and conserving the forest resource through wise use. Forest products researchers did not become an active part of IUFRO until 50 years later. Research in forest products was stimulated by World War I and II1wood was essential for airplanes, ships, packaging, construction, and derived products. As World War II drew to a close, the newly established United Nations provided a forum for bringing together efforts that would encourage world stability and peaceful development. Utilization of forest resources was an important element in this effort, and those involved in this area found common ground. Initial efforts were focused on mechanical conversion of wood, but wood quality, wood chemistry, and wood protection soon captured the attention of researchers. Meanwhile, IUFRO had been growing in both size and scope. The organization recognized the need to include the effective utilization of forest products, together with other aspects of forestry, as a key element in ensuring that forests could meet the increasing demands of society. Thus, forest products research was incorporated as Section 41 of IUFRO at the XI Congress in Rome in 1953. This program was greatly expanded at the XIII IUFRO Congress in Vienna in 1961. The rapid growth in size and scope of IUFRO during the next decade led to a complete reorganization, which was formalized at the XV Congress in Gainesville, Florida in 1971. From this arose Division 5, which included subject groups on wood quality, wood engineering, wood protection, and wood processing, each with several specialized working parties, and a project group on properties and utilization of tropical woods. All of these reflected the increasing scientific and technical needs for wise use of the forest resource in both domestic and international industry and the increasing trade in forest products from the tropics as well the industrialized world. Since that time, the program of Division 5 has broadened to recognize new needs for research on forest *products as scientists in various parts of the world have sought a forum for sharing ideas, notes, and accomplishments. The results have been many: (1) new knowledge of wood quality factors, (2) new approaches to the efficient use of wood as an engineering material, (3) effective processing methods to deal with the growing diversity transmitting and discussing information- of resources, processing conditions, and product needs, (4) effective, environmentally friendly methods of wood protection, (5) new concepts related to composites of wood and other materials, (6) methods for dealing with the growing trade in tropical woods, (7) more efficient use of wood for energy, (8) better understanding of non-wood products, their sources, and their derivatives, (9) improved use of bamboo and rattan, (10) new advances in growth ring analysis, (11) broader understanding of marketing techniques to effectively match products to consumer needs, and (12) sustainable forest development and its interdependence with the environment, economies of the world, and the varying needs of people for products of the forest. We face new challenges as we consider the future of forest products research in IUFRO. No major problems are purely technical and disciplinary-they are social, economic, psychological, and traditional. Here are some points we should consider as we plan for what will be reported at the XXII Congress and beyond: (1) Develop depth and disciplinary strength within our groups and working parties, aggressively joining with others in this and other Divisions to focus on solutions to problems; (2) actively plan joint efforts with specialists from different fields to identify and solve forest-related problems. (3) Develop planning an

Keywords: Forest products, Wood products, Wood utilization, Research, Technical progress, History

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Youngs, Robert L.; Youngquist, John A. 1999. Forest products research in IUFRO history and potential. [ICEUPT `99 : International Conference on Effective Utilization of Plantation Timber : timber and wood composites for the next century : May 21-23, 1999, Chi-Tou, Taiwan, R.O.C. : proceedings. Chi-Tou, Taiwan : Forest Products Association of R.O.C., 1999?].:p. 627-632 : ill.

 


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