When the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) held its 14th World Congress in early October 2014, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Yusuf Samsudin of Indonesia presented his paper describing the connections between public policy, political decision-making, and forest science. Samsudin, a recent graduate of the forestry program at Lambung Mangkurat University in South Kalimantan Province, discussed issues related to biodiversity and climate change from an international perspective. He incorporated information on the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, detailing the need for close cooperation between these bodies.
The IUFRO congress centered on the theme of how research helps sustain forests and the wellbeing of communities worldwide. The event drew close to 2,500 participants who represented a total of 100 nations, more than one-quarter of which are located in Asia and the Pacific Rim. Yusuf Samsudin’s presentation was one of well over 1,000 delivered at the congress, which featured five plenary sessions and nearly 200 poster and technical presentations.
Samsudin is one of a number of scholars throughout Indonesia whose studies and work on the international stage have been sustained through the support of the Tanoto Foundation. A project established by Indonesian-born self-made entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto and his family, the foundation aims to increase Indonesian students’ access to higher education opportunities, and to develop the country’s infrastructure and social service networks.
After his graduation from Lambung Mangkurat University, Samsudin pursued an internship with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; his tasks included his presentation at the IUFRO congress. He plans to continue his focus on sustainability issues in Indonesian and global forestry practices. He is scheduled to attend the Interlaken +10 conference in February 2015 in Switzerland. That event represents a country-led initiative to further the work of the UN Forum on Forests.