Global members of the International Union of Forest Research Organisation will converge in Rotorua in March next year for a conference dedicated to propagation technologies for forestry.
Scion is hosting the event, which will be the sixth international conference for the organisation.
The conference, titled ‘The might of vegetative propagation for healthy and productive forests to face climate challenges’, will take place over five days.
Dr Jana Krajnakova, a senior researcher for tissue culture and project leader at Scion, said the event would bring together researchers, university professors, and PhD students from around the world to collaborate, exchange knowledge, and address specific research topics in forestry, and more generally woody plants.
“Program sessions will cover all fields of application of vegetative propagation to preserve, assess, improve, adapt, and deploy tree genetic resources in resilient and productive forests,” she said.
Examples of vegetative propagation technologies include cutting, grafting, layering, and tissue culture (micropropagation, including somatic embryogenesis) will be discussed.
Dr Krajnakova said that in the context of rapid climate change, there was an urgent need for cost-effective, efficient tree vegetative propagation bio-technologies for supporting the development of precision forestry and delivery of forest products and services.
“IUFRO serves as a platform for scientists and experts worldwide to collaborate on various aspects of forest research by facilitating communication and promoting the exchange of knowledge and expertise.”
“A level of prestige comes with being the host organisation. It demonstrates our leadership, expertise, and commitment to evolving knowledge in vegetative propagation technologies while providing the opportunity to highlight our recent advancements in this area.”
Scion has carried out significant work in vegetative propagation technologies, with many notable achievements, including developing and refining various vegetative propagation techniques, developing and applying elite clonal forestry, and extensive research on tissue culture techniques for plant propagation.
Planned field trips include visits to Scion’s clonal forest and Minginui Nursery, where propagation technology restores land and creates community employment opportunities.
Henri Bailleres, Scion’s General Manager for forests to timber products, said there was a marked societal dimension in forestry through the historically strong and practical involvement of te ao Māori.
“As part of this, there will be a dedicated space for Māori researchers to present their research and knowledge experience in indigenous propagation.”
Bailleres said indigenous knowledge and practices were crucial in New Zealand’s forestry.
“This inclusion highlights the intersection of indigenous knowledge, sustainable forest management, and global collaboration, all of which are crucial aspects of the conference’s goals and objectives.”