As of January 2017 CERE member Dr Camilla Widmark, a senior researcher and vice head of the Department of Forest Economics at SLU in Umeå, has been appointed as Head of Office for EFINORD, the northern regional office of the European Forest Institute.
“A world where forests significantly contribute to sustainable wellbeing” is the stated vision of the European Forest Institute (EFI). EFI focuses on the themes bio economy, resilience and governance, while EFINORD mainly focus on themes concerning bio economy focused on increasing sustainable biomass production and ecosystem services. One main focus of EFINORD is to create networks and networking opportunities between researchers and organisations in the North-Atlantic-Baltic region. Opened in 2010, EFINORD is among the youngest of EFI’s regional offices with somewhat 30 partner organisations in the Nordic countries, around the Baltic Sea and in the North Atlantic region. EFINORD has been situated at SLU, Umeå since 2014.
The institute regularly organises seminars, workshops, an annual meeting in which all partner organisations are invited, and provide a newsletter among stakeholders. Educating younger researchers on topics related to the three main goals of EFI is another focus area. A recurring State-of-the-art PhD course with prominent scholars as lecturer was launched in 2016 with the topic “Payment for Environmental Services and Market-Based Instruments” and is going to continue this year with “International Forest Policy”.
Camilla’s main role in the coming three years will be to organise these manifold activities to develop and connect knowledge and facilitate the sustainable management and use of forest resources. Specifically, she plans on strengthening the network by meeting EFINORD partners. The EFINORD flagship for the upcoming three years is the POLYFORES project, coordinated by Camilla, an international research project concerning decision making support for forest ecosystem services
With its main office situated at the Forestry Faculty, EFINORD’s physical proximity to both SLU and CERE is considered advantageous. EFINORD’s focus on increasing forest research contributes to strengthening CERE’s activities in this particular branch of natural resource economics. Both institutes provide an exceptional network within their fields and, the relationship between CERE and EFINORD is ever growing and will render intriguing possibilities.