Rediscovering wood: The key to a sustainable future, The international conference and exhibition on the art and joy of wood, Bangalore, India, 19-22 October 2011

In collaboration with the Government of India, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will be holding an international conference about wood products and sustainable development. This message is to announce the first call for papers and inform people that registration for the conference is now open.


The overall aim of the conference will be to examine how the production and use of wood products can contribute to sustainable development and how greater demands for sustainability might present new opportunities for development of the wood products sector. Within this general direction, three themes for the conference are proposed:
 
* Emerging trends in economies and lifestyles: what are the main trends affecting wood use and how can these be utilised to strengthen the forest products sector?
 
* Stories portraying the winds of change: case studies showing how some wood producers and users have already developed strategies or innovated to build successful enterprises based on changing consumer demands and needs.
 
* Wooden paths to a sustainable future: how can the linkages between wood use and sustainable development be strengthened and used to promote more and higher-value wood use?
 
Given that the economic and environmental dimensions of wood product use have been discussed many times before (e.g. at technical and marketing conferences, green building events, etc.), an aim of this conference is to focus, in particular, on the socio-economic, aesthetic and cultural dimensions of wood use (what the organizers define as "the art and joy of wood"). Papers on other aspects of wood product development will also be considered, so long as they fit under one of the themes described above (focus will be on solid wood products rather than paper or non-wood forest products).
 
The conference will last for three days with an optional field trip on the fourth day. It will be held in the J N Tata Auditorium complex at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the expected level of participation is about 250 people. There will also be a commercial exhibition and a handicraft market where 70 exhibitors are expected (open to the public). Diverse social and cultural programmes are also planned (artisans exhibitions, photo and non-technical poster competition, "music from wood" concert, field trip, etc.) to give participants a practical, "hands on" feeling for the themes of the conference.
 
More background about the aims and objectives of the conference is presented in the conference brochure (available at: http://www.artjoywood.org/documents/AJWConferenceBooklet.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1) and details of the programme and procedures for registration and submission of papers are given on the conference website (www.artjoywood.org). The organizers hope that this event will be innovative - looking at aspects of wood product development and utilisation that may not have been covered in great detail before - and the participants will come away with some new perspectives on developments in the sector.
 
Contact Persons:

Dr. Adrian Whiteman, Forestry Department, FAO, Rome (Adrian.whiteman@fao.org)     
Dr. Illias Animon, Forestry Department, FAO, Rome (Illias.Animon@fao.org)

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