23.10.2013 - 26.10.2013 Atburðir

Afforestation to protect soils, rehabilitate derelict land and sequester carbon

An International Workshop held in South Iceland 23rd to 26th of October, 2013.

3nd Announcement

(remember submission of abstracts before 10 October 2013)

Online Registration is now closed

If you would like to attend the workshop and follow the lectures, please send an e-mail to Olafur Eggertsson (

One day fee including coffee and lunch:  7.500 IKR (ca. 50 Euro)

Icelandic Forest Research (Research division of Iceland Forest Service).

Venue: Hotel Hvolsvöllur, south of Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

Globally, desertification is a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern in different regions of the world. A Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (PACD) was adopted in 1977 by the United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD). In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro called on the United Nations General Assembly to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INCD) to prepare, by June 1994, a Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in Africa. The Convention was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994 and entered into force on 26 December 1996. With the Selfoss Declaration on Sustainable Forestry in August 2007, desertification and restoration of forests on wastelands within the Nordic countries was brought to bearing within Nordic cooperation.

Among the Nordic countries, Iceland is unique with regard to its volcanic activity, low forest cover, near-total deforestation in past centuries and widespread soil erosion. For this reason, land degradation, desertification and restoration of productive forest functions on degraded land by afforestation is a pressing issue in Iceland. However, land degradation resulting from deforestation has in the past occurred in other Nordic countries in and are a major issues throughout much of the world. The aim of the workshop is to share knowledge on these issues and to compare and contrast conditions in different countries.


  • Afforestation for rehabilitating damaged and derelict land
  • Restoration of ecological, economic and social functions of forests on formerly damaged land
  • Multifunctional use of forests on formerly degraded land
  • Forests for protecting and improving easily erodible soils
  • Forests for other protective functions
  • Factors influencing the afforestation success (climate, habitat, forest management and silviculture)
  • Afforestation for mitigating climate change, restoring biodiversity and wood production (incl. wood biomass)
  • Economic, ecological and political aspects of afforestation.

Programme (might take minor changes before the conference)


Wednesday, October 23th, 2013 (arrival day)

Registered foreign guests will be picked up at the International airport (REK)  send your arrival time to Olafur Eggertsson (
Registration at Hotel Hvolsvöllur (95 km from Reykjavík)
Welcome reception and dinner

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 (conference day)

09:00-09:20    Registration

09:20-09:30    Welcome by Aðalsteinn Sigurgeirsson

09:30-09:40    Björn Helgi Barkarson from the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources

09:40-10:20    Keynote speaker 1: Hreinn Óskarsson „The Mt. Hekla afforestation project“

10:20-11:00    Keynote speaker 2: Carsten Schröder: "Two centuries of afforestation and land rehabilitation of heathlands in Northwest Germany".

11:00-11:20    Short coffee break

11:20-11:40    Úlfur Óskarsson „Afforestation of volcanic wastelands – problems and solutions“

11:40-12:00    Johann Thorsson “Soil carbon sequestration: A component of ecological restoration”

12:00-13:00    Lunch 

13:00-13:20    Throstur Eysteinsson: “Successes and failures over 20 years in reclamation/afforestation of Hólasandur, North Iceland”

13:20-13:40    Hreinn Óskarsson „The lesson for afforestation from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption“

13:40-14:00    Dennis Riege "Lupine-facilitated afforestation of desertified land in Southwest Iceland"

14:00-14:20    Þorbergur Hjalti Jónsson „Does planting stock and polythene affect the long term height growth of poplars and willows on barren glacial outwash planes”

14.20-14.40    Kjell Andreassen: “Growth, yield and biomass production in afforestation tree species in Northern Norway”

14:40-15:00    Coffee break

15:00-15:20   Brynhildur Bjarnadóttir: “Soil respiration from various surface types within a young afforestation area in East-Iceland”

(brake, we walk from the Hotel to the Saga Centre)

15:40-18:00    The Saga Centre in Hvolsvöllur (

19:00-22:00    Conference dinner at Hotel Hvolsvöllur

Friday, October 25th, 2013 (conference day)

09:00-09:40    Keynote speaker 3: Þorvaldur Þórðarson “Holocene Volcanism in Iceland: Nature of activity and environmental impacts”

09:40-10:10    Camillo Eichmann „Signals of volcanism in trees“

10:10-10:30    Björn Traustason „The extent of volcanic wastelands below the tree line in Iceland“

10:30-11:00    Coffee break

11:00-11:30    Aksel Granhus "A Norwegian perspective on afforestation as a measure to mitigate climate change"

11:30-11:50    Halldór Sverrisson, “Legumes as preculture for afforestation of eroded volcanic soils in Iceland"

12:00-13:00    Lunch 

13:00-13:40    (Invited speaker) Shashi Bhushan: “Process of afforestation and its role to protect natural resources in India: A district level analysis”

13:40-14:00    Edda Oddsdóttir “Mycorrhiza in eroded soil – is it there and does it really matter?”

14:00-14:20    Brynja Hrafnkelsdóttir „Broom Moth (Melanchra pisi) damage to trees and lupines on volcanic wastelands“

14.20-14.40    Ólafur Eggertsson “Drumbabót; Well preserved forest remains unveiling a major Jokulhlaup due to volcanic activity in Mt. Katla in South Iceland” (One of the sites visited during the afternoon excursion)

14:40-15:00    Coffee break

15:00-18:00    Afternoon excursion to the glacial out-wash plain formed by the Markarfljót River, plantation forest and ancient forest remains (Drumbabót)

19:30-21:30    Dinner at Hotel Hvolsvöllur

Saturday, October 26th, 2013 (excursion day)

Field trip, Þórsmörk including lunch box and coffee
 The bus will end in Reykjavik (around 20:00)

Conference chair

Dr. Adalsteinn Sigurgeirsson, Icelandic Forest Research (

Abstract submission:

Abstracts must be submitted by email to indicate oral/poster presentation. Abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page. Submit the abstract before 10 October 2013.

Local organisers:

Adalsteinn Sigurgeirsson, e-mail: Icelandic Forest Research, Iceland                               Arnór Snorrason, e-mail: Icelandic Forest Research, Iceland                                                 Hreinn Óskarsson, e-mail: Iceland Forest Service, Iceland                                                   Ólafur Eggertsson, e-mail: Icelandic Forest Research, Iceland

Organizing and scientific comity

Dr. Adalsteinn Sigurgeirsson, Icelandic Forest Research, Iceland
Prof. Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, Forest & Landscape, Copenhagen University, Denmark.
Prof. Per Gundersen, Forest & Landscape, Copenhagen University, Denmark
Dr. Bernt-Håvard Øyen, Institutt for skog og landskap, Norway
Dr. Per Holm Nygaard, Institutt for skog og landskap, Norway
Tróndur Leivsson, landsskógarvørður. Skógrøkt landsins. Faeroe Islands