February 21, 2019
21. November 2017
During the second half of November, Dr Andreja Kutnar and Dr Matthew Schwarzkopf of the InnoRenew CoE, travelled to Argentina and Chile to learn about the wood value chain in the region, develop potential collaborations for projects, and transfer knowledge and technology with foresters and industry there. Their trip was led by Dr Guillermo Martínez Pastur who is a principal researcher at the Austral Centre of Scientific Investigations (CADIC), part of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). His institute is located in Ushuaia, Argentina and is located in the southern most region of the Tierra del Fuego province.
Throughout the trip, Kutnar and Schwarzkopf learned about forest management, silviculture, silvopasture management, and the wood products industry of Argentina and Chile. From Ushuaia, they travelled to several locations within the Santa Cruz province to the north. The first stop was Río Gallegos, which is the home for the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA). The next stop was a visit to the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral (UNPA), which are very interested in learning about wood technology that adds value to local wood species.
Dr Pablo Peri of INTA and Lucas Monelos of UNPA met with the group to discuss silvipastoral management and future collaboration with InnoRenew regarding utilization of local wood species. Of particular interest was the collaboration between the InnoRenew CoE and a new division of CONICET, the Centre of Research and Transfer of Santa Cruz (CIT). CIT will specialize in knowledge and technology transfer of agricultural management and natural sciences. As a new group, the InnoRenew CoE was able to provide insight in the development process, how to focus on research topics, and general information regarding building up a new institution.
The next stop of the trip was in Coyhaique, Chile. While in Coyhaique, they visited the Forestry Institute of Chile (INFOR). INFOR’s mission is to contribute to the Chilean forestry development through sustainable use of forest ecosystems, benefitting society, transferring knowledge, and innovating products and services. INFOR and the InnoRenew CoE quickly found similarities between their institutes and were very happy to make a connection through the help of Jaime Salinas Sanhueza, a researcher of silvopasture systems and native forest management.
At the same time, a seminar was held entitled, ‘Towards the long-term study of the native forests of Patagonia’. This seminar had talks given by Jaime Salinas Sanhueza, Dr Guillermo Martínez Pastur, Dr Andreja Kutnar, and Dr Matthew Schwarzkopf. The topics included native forest recovery, long-term management of Nothofagus antarctica (Ñire), natural forest and silvopasture management in southern Patagonia, presentation of the InnoRenew CoE and best practices, and collaboration between academic institutions and SMEs within the forest value chain of the EU. The event was attended by members of INFOR from all over Chile. After the seminar, the group went to a forest plot to discuss management practices with land owners, forest workers, government bodies, and researcher. The visit was very beneficial to see all stakeholders together discussing best practices. From all of these interactions Kutnar and Schwarzkopf are very excited to continue the InnoRenew CoE’s collaboration in South America and already have new ideas for future projects and research in the area.