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: Programme

Registration: https://forms.office.com/e/97hw6Sh6e4

Please note, that the registration for onsite participation is already closed. However, we warmly invite you to register for online-only attendance.

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?

   2023 Silva network conference add

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?

Read more: Second Announcement

Draft Programme

For more detailled information, please download the 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 – 15.00 Welcome speech, Introduction & Conference Opening
15.00 – 16.30 Session I. 
16.30 – 17.00 Coffee break
17.00 – 17.45 Poster session

Wednesday: 12th April 2023

9.00 – 12.00 Session II. 
12.00 – 13.30 Lunch – Nyugat Restaurant
13.30 – 16.00 Session III. 
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break
16.30 – 17.00 Group discussion about potencial activities in quality assurance
17.00 – 17.30 General Assembly of SILVA Network


Conference Dinner – Sopron, City Center

Thursday: 13th April 2023

9.00 – 15.00

Field excursion. (TAEG Educational Forestry Ltd., Fertő-Hanság National Park, https://www.ferto-hansag.hu/en)

15.00 Departure



 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.

University of Sopron - 2030 Climate Action - International Green Gown Awards 2022 winner - YouTube

University of Sopron - 2030 Climate Action - International Green Gown Awards 2022 winner





Registration & Fees

Please note, that the registration for onsite participation is already closed. However, we warmly invite you to register for online-only attendance.

For online-only participation, you can register here: https://forms.office.com/e/97hw6Sh6e4

For online-only participation a full fee of €50 applies. For students, we offer a discounted registration fee of €20 for online-only participation.

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


Participants should make their own arrangements for accommodation when attending the conference. Please book your room individually.

For your convenience a pre-reservation is offered for Hotel Sopron (https://hotelsopron.hu/en or directly https://hotelsopron.hu/en/online-booking (english) and https://hotelsopron.hu/de/online-buchung (german)) and Hotel Fagus (https://fagushotel.hu/ or directly https://fagushotel.hu/de/online-buchung/suche (german)). 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.

If you are traveling to Sopron by airplane, the best destination is Vienna International Airport. For the next etap I recommend the train to travel from Vienna to Sopron.

The easiest way to get from the airport to the main station is from the airport train station. The airport railway station is located under the airport. When you went out form the baggage-pick-up-area to the arrivals hall, turn right and go down. You can buy tickets at the ÖBB cash desk in the arrivals hall or at ticket machines. Such machines can also be found at the bottom of the station. It is important not to choose the CAT (City-Airport-Train), because it does not go to the Vienna’s Main Railway Station.

Every half hour (every hour 03 min. and every hour 33 min.) Railjet (RJ) or RailJetXpress (RJX) departs from airport station (usually from track 1, section D-F) and arriving at the main railway station (usually to track 8, section A-B) in a quarter of an hour. The REX6 (REgioeXpress) direct train from Vienna’s Main Railway Station to Sopron runs every hour (every hour 23 min.) from the Vienna’s Main Railway Station (usually from track 6, section A-B): REX6 line destination is Deutschkreutz; Sopron’s Railway Station is the 9th stop; journey time: 1 hour 16 minutes.

The website of the Austrian railway company is available at https://www.oebb.at/en/.

Taxis are waiting to the right in front of the Sopron railway station.

There is a bus stop to the left of the exit, from where you can take bus number 1 or 2 to the Fagus Hotel. The destination for both line is the Hotel Lőver, the journey time is a quarter of an hour. Stop 9th on line 1, stop 10th on line 2.

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.