2023 Annual Conference

Topic: Communication – a neglected topic in higher forestry education and further education?

11 – 13 April, 2023 in Sopron (Hungary)

Host: University of Sopron - SOE, Faculty of Forestry, Sopron (on behalf of the SILVA Network), co-organized by the IUFRO Education Group

Read more: First Announcement

Registration: https://forms.office.com/e/xARxp7Erce

About the Conference:

Human life on Earth can only be sustained with the survival and proper functioning of natural systems, especially forests. However, large-scale deforestation and forest degradation takes place in many countries in the world. In other parts of the World, the unstoppable process of urbanization increasingly leads to the physical and mental separation of people from nature. More and more this is resulting in total refusal of active measures in forests aiming at wood production. In political decision-making and economic processes, you barely find representatives of forest related sciences. While we are exceeding the limits of our planet's carrying capacity, awareness of that wicked problem is limited and nature-based solutions are underrepresented in the political discussions on problem solving.

Representatives of the forestry profession agree that a certain amount of utilization of forests for wood production is necessary. However, the use of wood in the construction and furniture industry, the replacement of fossil-based energy production with renewable wood, and the utilization of forest by-products do only cover a part of societal needs. In addition to this, the demand for ecosystem services such as the provision of good air and clean water, recreation/tourism, and nature conservation is increasing. The latter demands often appear in an ideological form, increasing the conflict between farmers and foresters, lay people, NGOs and representatives of nature conservation in the assessment of the various possibilities of multi-purpose utilization of forests.

What can professionals of higher forestry education and further education do against the unfavourable processes described here? What and how to communicate? To what extent can forest sciences assess and determine the weight with which different societal needs are satisfied? How can the gap be bridged between the knowledge background and perceptions of forest scientists, political decision makers and lay people? And how can this be used to adapt the contents of teaching and further education in forest and nature related disciplines?

Join us in sharing experiences!

We are looking forward to contributions from students, lecturers and administrative staff with regard to…

…adapting aims for higher forestry education and further education in times of moving targets:

  • what 'products' of the forests do people use every day without realising about their origin?
  • to what extent does the importance of forests in urban agglomerations remain as a living space while urbanization is increasing?
  • Which role is left to forests and forest-related jobs in rural areas?
  • How and with what emphasis can we present these differing needs in education and professional communication?
  • How can we connect the processes of forest utilization and logging with the indispensable role of wood-based products in our everyday lives?
  • How can higher forestry education address the increasing demand of biomass for bioeconomy and bioenergy whilst taking into account the louder calls for wilderness and nature conservation?
  • How can we effectively communicate the deliberate energetic utilization of wood as a renewable energy source for the replacement of fossil energy carriers?

… levels, content and tools of communication in forestry education and forest management:

  • What are the most important facts and messages to be told in forestry communication to lay people?
  • At what levels and with what content should communication of forestry topics appear in order to meet global, national and local social needs?
  • How can the comprehensive, theoretical foundations and the local, practical solutions in the practice of forest management and forestry be linked with each other?
  • How can the differences between the social needs of forested regions with different languages, social systems and development be overcome?
  • How can access to forests be ensured for urban people at different levels of education and in everyday life?
  • How can the communication and promotion of forestry training follow labor market processes?
  • What are the most effective means/media of communication to reach different target audiences?

Abstract Submission

Participants are invited to submit an abstract by 15th February 2023

Please email your abstract – of up to 300 words – to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The SILVA Board will decide on contributions (oral presentations / posters) and all applicants will be informed as soon as possible after the deadline. Confirmed and peer-reviewed papers will be published in the Conference proceedings (SILVA Network Publications).


Draft Programme

Tuesday: 11th April 2023

11.00 – 12.30

Conference Registration

12.30 – 14.00

Lunch – Nyugat Restaurant, SOE Campus, RK hostel building

14.00 – 14.30

Welcome speech: Dr. habil. Bálint Heil, dean of the Faculty of Forestry, SOE
Introduction – Prof. Dr. Attila Fábián, rector SOE
Conference Opening: Prof. Dr. Norbert Weber, President SILVA Network

14.30 – 17.30

Session I. 

16.00 – 16.20

Coffee break


Wednesday: 12th April 2023

9.00 – 12.00

Session II. 

12.00 – 13.30

Lunch – Nyugat Restaurant

13.30 h – 16.30

Session III. 

16.00 – 17.00

Coffee break and Poster Session

19.00 -

Conference Dinner – Sopron, City Center

Thursday: 13th April 2023

9.00 – 15.00

Field excursion. (TAEG Educational Forestry Ltd., Fertő-Hanság National Park)

15.00 –




 20221212 UniSopronVenue

The conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Forestry, University of Sopron (SOE). Our location gives us a unique opportunity to host the conference in a pleasant environment within a 17.2 ha botanical garden, established in 1922 to give home to the former Academy of Mining and Forestry of Selmecbánya, moved here after the 1st World War.

Address: SOE Campus, H-9400 Sopron, Bajcsy-Zs. u. 4.



Registration & Fees

An early bird fee of €190 applies until February 21, 2023, after which a full fee of €220 will apply.

For students, we offer a discounted registration fee of €110.

(Registration fees include welcome reception, coffee breaks, lunches and conference dinner, attendance at all sessions and at the field trip, and a copy of the conference proceedings. Taxes are included).

The conference fee must be paid in advance against a payment request issued based on the personal data included in the registration form.

Registration form will be offered soon.


Participants should make their own arrangements for accommodation when attending the conference. For your convenience a pre-reservation shall be offered for Hotel Sopron (https://hotelsopron.hu/en) and Hotel Fagus (https://fagushotel.hu/). For this please indicate your hotel preference via the conference registration at the SILVA Networks homepage. Still, when appropriate number of guests confirmed, we will invite you to book your rooms individually. Please feel free to choose any other hotel you like!

Travel to/from the conference

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and payment. The SOE campus is located in a 17.2 ha botanical garden, less than a kilometre from Sopron city centre. Access to the city and to the nearby hotels (within 2 km range) is easy by local bus (tickets will be available at the conference welcome desk).

Distance to Vienna International Airport is only 73 km on highway, or you can use the frequent train connections of CityAirportTrain Vienna to Vienna centre and connect to Sopron.

Organization and local organizer details

 Dr. habil Bálint Heil (Local organizer):  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 Prof. Dr. Norbert Weber (SILVA president):  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 Sandra Liebal (SILVA secretary general):  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.