Helena Freitas received her PhD in Ecology from the University of Coimbra, in collaboration with the University of Bielefeld, Germany, in 1993, and did postdoctoral studies at Stanford University, USA, between 1994 and 1996. She is Full Professor of Biodiversity and Ecology at the Department of Life Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra since 2003, and holds the UNESCO Chair in Biodiversity and Conservation for Sustainable Development since 2014 (http://unescobiodiversitychair.uc.pt).
Helena Freitas joined the General Council of the University of Coimbra (2009-2011), was Vice-Dean of the University of Coimbra between 2011 and 2015, with Institutional Relations, Museums and Sports, Director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra from 2004 to 2012, having prepared and coordinated her requalification program, President of the League for the Protection of Nature (1999 (2002-2005), founder and President of the Portuguese Society of Ecology (2004-2013) and Vice- President of the European Society of Ecology (2009-2012). She is currently Coordinator of the Center for Functional Ecology - science for people and the planet (cfe.uc.pt), Scientific Coordinator of FitoLab - Phytosanitary Laboratory of the Pedro Nunes Institute (https://www.ipn.pt/laboratory/FITOLAB), and is part of the Scientific Council of the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra. In July 2019 she was selected to join the Mission Board for Climate Change Adaptation, including Societal Transformation from the European Commission and in August 2019 she was nomitated Focal Point for Portugal in IPBES – Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The scientific areas of specialty are related to: Ecology; Mediterranean Ecosystems; Forest and Agriculture; Ecology and Management of exotic and invasive species; Conservation of Nature, Biodiversity; Physiology of the tree; Diversity of Plants and Fungi; Tolerance to Stress and Bioremediation; Environmental policy; Bioenergy; Conservation of Nature; Microbial ecology; Ecology and Society.
She coordinated or participated in several national and international projects and consortia, including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Supervised or co-supervised 40 doctoral dissertations. She is the author of more than 300 international scientific publications and several publications promoting and disseminating science. She publishes regularly in the national and regional press, in particular on environment, territories and society, planning and development policies based on knowledge (Publico; Industria e Ambiente; Jornal do Fundao).
Professor at CETT, Barcelona School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy, affiliated with the University of Barcelona. PhD in didactic social sciences and heritage at the University of Barcelona. He is the research director at CETT. Also, he is the academic director (since its creation in 2015) of the UB Chair of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy CETT, the first chair in tourism in the city of Barcelona, with the support of Barcelona City Council. In addition, he is co-director of the academic journal Tourism & Heritage Journal. His research activity is focused on cultural tourism and particularly on tourism and cinema. For the past ten years, he has participated as a speaker in more than thirty-five international and national congresses, symposiums, and seminars, and has also led several projects regarding the topics mentioned previously. Concerning the cinema and tourism binomial, he has published five books (two of them translated to English), the most recent the second enlarged edition of “Barcelona, una ciudad de película” (November 2018), 6 book chapters, a dozen of scientific and popular articles, and 15 digital guides.
Alex Gesse has a postgraduate degree in Business Administration and an E-MBA at EAE Business School of Barcelona. He is finishing a degree in Sociology and studying a degree in Psychology. He is a Public Health and Forestry advisor to the Union of South European Foresters (USSE), as well as to other public institutions. He has collaborated as a consultant specialist in the Expert Group on Human Health and Wellbeing to Forest Europe. Within his work with the Forest Therapy Hub, together with a multidisciplinary team, he has developed The FTHub Method and the Liquid Interactions Model (LIM) for Forest Therapy, a broader and integrative approach that brings together the latest scientific evidence in nature and health and traditional approaches, nowadays known as nature connectedness (or relational approaches to nature). FTHub has manualized programs for health prevention, specific mental health populations and children at risk of social exclusion. The FTHub Method and the LIM Model are based on more than 20 Forest Therapy pilot projects and research conducted in collaboration with universities and other institutions. FTHub projects have been referred to as case examples in several international publications and congresses from different geographies. Alex is the author of “Feel the Forest: The experience of Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), Penguin Random House Editorial Group, co-author of “Baños de Bosque: 50 Rutas Para Sentir La Naturaleza” (Forest Bathing: 50 Routes to Feel Nature), Petit Fute, and “Feasibility and experience of a Forest Therapy intervention for adults enduring stress” (Forests for Public Health, Chapter 6, Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2020).
Specialized in tourism, Master in Tourism Economics and Management at Ca' Foscari University CISET of Venice. Management, promotion and development of tourist destinations, management and organization of events of national and international importance. Certification of Sustainable Tourism and Director of Valsugana, first destination in the world for sustainable tourism in accordance with the criteria of the GSTC - multistakeholder participated by UNWTO.
Ricardo García Mira is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of A Coruna, Spain, where he leads the People-Environment Research Group (1995-2022). He also is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Policy Research of the University of Bath, UK (2016-2022). He was President of the International Association for People-environment Studies - IAPS (2014-2018). He is currently the President of the Institute of Psychosocial Studies and Research "Xoan Vicente Viqueira". He is a "Fellow" member of the International Association of Applied Psychology - IAAP (2019), and he was declared Doctor Honoris Causa by the University 'Alexandru Ioan Cuza' of Iasi (2018). He is currently the General Coordinator of the research consortium ENTRANCES in a H2020 project working on the social aspects of energy transition towards clean energies (2020-2023).
Associate Professor of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Derby. I am happiest spending time in nature and was really pleased to be able to bring together my passion for the outdoors and health and wellbeing research by becoming a Forest Bathing researcher and practitioner. Working closely with The Forest Bathing Institute, I conducted the first UK research into Forest Bathing. Most of my current research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of Forest Bathing and making it accessible to wider audiences.
Dr. Stanislovas Čepinskas is ISFT member from 2020 and one of the founders of former NGO "Living forest" 2018-2021. He promotes healing forests in Lithuania (mass media, presence meetings, articles, taking part in legislation preparation). His aim is that Healing forests have to become an equivalent branch of the forest sector with allocated suitable forest areas.
Montse is Professor and researcher at the Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and other Institutes for training and personnel development. Currently, she also works as a consultant on psychological wellbeing and regenerative tourism, and one of her lines of research focuses on psychological benefits of nature activities and Forest Bathing. Montse Subirana has a PhD in Psychology, a Master’s degree in General Health Psychology, a degree in Psychology, a degree in Tourism, and a postgraduate degree in New trends in Leisure and Tourism. She is a published author of more than 15 books and short stories. Her writings explains culture, history, travels, and sometimes also philias and phobias. She promotes love for nature, authenticity, landscapes and its uniqueness. Furthermore, she has published more than 25 articles and works on ethnography and heritage, and has been awarded several literary mentions.
Dr. Karin Lehmann,has lived in Heringsdorf/Usedom, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) since 1984. Her fields of activity at the municipal enterprise “Kaiserbäder Insel Usedom” have centered around “Art & Health”, and “Health tourism”. She is the initiator of the of the project "1st Curative and Healing Forest in Europe", as well as its successor “Child Health - 1st Children’s Health & Curative Forest by the Sea as Therapeutic Environment”. She is the Chairwoman of the Seaside Resorts/Seaside Sanatoria at the DHV (German Assoc. of Seaside Sanatoria), and has been member of the European Committee of the European Spas Association (ESPA).
Jan Schmidt is Co-Head of the Department at the „International Certification Office Healing Forest“ which is operated by BioCon Valley® GmbH. BioCon Valley® is the network of the health economy and life science in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Its work is supported by the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which is a pioneer in the field of therapeutic use of forests. Jan is responsible for applying the standards and procedures that are relevant for the evaluation and certification of Healing Forests in Europe and worldwide. Further he is promoting the idea of Healing Forests beyond the borders of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Germany. Starting from a position in the PR sector and science communication, Jan has worked for more than ten years of in the field of EU funding and EU project management, namely in the position of a Project Officer at the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme´s Joint Secretariat.
Gisela Immich, M.Sc. works as a researcher on various CAM topics at the Chair of Public Health and Health Services Research, LMU Munich. Her main research interest includes the topic of "forest and health" through research into interrelationships, the professional education of forest medicine trainings for lay people and medical professionals, and the development and implementation of cure and healing forests in Bavaria. She is an expert in climatotherapy, chronobiology, CAM, preventive medicine and mindfulness approaches in nature and co-author of the book "Forest Therapy", published by Springer Nature in 2019 and 2022.
Eric Pfeifer is Professor for aesthetics and communication - emphasis on music as a medium at the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg, Germany; doctoral supervisor and lecturer at the Sigmund Freud University Vienna, Austria; psychotherapist (systemic therapy, logotherapy/existential analysis); music therapist; private practice for psychotherapy, nature therapy, music therapy, counselling and supervision; research interests: nature in psychotherapy and arts therapy, nature and mental health, silence in nature, nature and meaning in life, music - health - wellbeing, psychotherapy research; website: http://www.eric-pfeifer.de; mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Timothy McCall is a PostDoc in the working group Sustainable Environmental Health Sciences at the Medical School OWL at Bielefeld University in Germany. His research focuses on the interdisciplinary field of environment and health, especially the areas of environmental psychology, climate adaptation, environmental burden of disease and urban health. His research questions always have a special focus on gender-specific, socio-economic and socio-demographic determinants. He currently leads a junior research group on (the topic of) Therapeutic Landscapes and Psychiatric Care Facilities.
Dr Rik De Vreese studied forestry at Ghent University (Belgium) and received his PhD in Human Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is coordinating the Sino-European Horizon 2020 project "CLEARING HOUSE" which is focusing on urban forests as nature-based solutions in Europe and China. His research focuses on the relations between humans and trees, in the urban and peri-urban sphere. More specifically, Dr De Vreese has been involved in research on integrating ecosystem services in governance, decision-making and urban planning, mainly with a transdisciplinary lens. He is also involved in the Green4Care ERASMUS+ project.
Dr. Armin Thelen is chief physician at the Clinic for Transplant Medicine at Müritz Clinic in Klink in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. After professional positions at the Virchow Clinic of the Humboldt University of Berlin and the University Hospital of Leipzig, he focused on transplantation and liver surgery. Since 2021, Dr. Thelen has been leading a study on the treatment of back pain at the Müritz Clinic in cooperation with the University Hospital Hamburg. The study is investigating the effects of therapy applications in the healing forest.
Anette Bosselmann is working for the State Forestry Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - Forest Service and Energy GmbH and is responsible for the area of Forest & Health, as well as for the further training courses Forest Therapy and Forest Prevention.
Dr. Eliseth Leão (Lis Leão) is leader of the e-Nature Research Group: Interdisciplinary studies on connection with nature, health and well-being (The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq). Her main research interests include the effectiveness of nature-based interventions, as well as connectedeness and engaging with nature on human well-being and biodiversity conservation, from the perspective of One Health and Planetary Health. She serves as an expert on the nature and health committees of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health (USA), and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) - International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Nurses Climate Challenge EUROPE. She is a bird watcher and wildlife photographer.
Dr. Jana Vilman's main areas of work and research are focused on the development of local area via collective brand certification scheme, concepts of collective brands management and on the design management of sustainable tourist destinations. Jana works for DMO Tourism Bohinj who has created a comprehensive sustainable tourism model, which bases on local economy and prioritising local people.
Carlos Fonseca is PhD in Biology – Wildlife Conservation and Management from University of Aveiro and currently is the Chief Technology Officer of the ForestWISE – Collaborative Laboratory for Integrated Forest & Fire Management (www.forestwise.pt) and Invited Professor at the Department of Biology of the University of Aveiro (www.ua.pt/dbio), Portugal. He was the Director of the Master in Applied Ecology (2010-2019), vice-Director of the Doctoral Programme on Biology and Ecology of Global Changes (2011-2020), and he belonged to the Board of the Doctoral School (2015-2019). He was also invited Professor or Researcher at University of Lúrio (Mozambique), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) and at Universidad de Asunción (Paraguay). He focused in the management and conservation of the wildlife, forestry ecosystems management and sustainability of rural areas. He is author or co-author of more than 200 scientific papers (see https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carlos_Fonseca8), 21 books, 19 book chapters and more than 350 presentations at national and international congresses and other scientific and technical events. He is PI of several competitive scientific projects funded by national and international programmes. He supervised 19 PhD concluded thesis and 52 MSc concluded thesis. He was one of the 12 experts of the Independent Technical Commission created by the Portuguese Parliament to analyse and determine the facts related to the big rural fires that occurred in 2017.
João Silva has a degree in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto and currently is getting a Master's Degree in Science Education and Communication at the same University.
Since 2018, still during its Biology degree, he started his research activity inter field of Environmental Psychology. Today, he cooperates with researchers of the Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute and of the "Applications in One Health" laboratory of the Public Health Institute of University of Porto.
M. Amos Clifford began his career as a wilderness guide in 1974. He earned two degrees from the University of San Francisco, where he later taught in the Graduate School of Education. Amos served as a psychotherapist for over a decade. He is founder of Sky Creek Dharma Center, a meditation and retreat center in Chico California. For several years he taught restorative justice to schools and NGOs internationally. In 2012 he founded the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT), where he and colleagues developed the ANFT Standard Sequence of Forest Therapy and the Relational Forest Theory approach. He now guides, teaches, and lectures internationally. Amos is the author of Your Guide to Forest Bathing, now available in 10 languages.
Dominik Mühlberger is Head of the Green Care FOREST Unit at BFW, which implements research and pilot projects in forest-based Green Care in Austria. His work is supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Tourism, which has been working since 2014 to develop the forest as health, social and educational space. Dominik acts as an interface between forest owners and the general public, intending to create diversification opportunities for forest owners, realising offers for vulnerable groups in our society and bringing knowledge about the forest and its health-promoting effects to the appropriate target group. Green Care FOREST activities range from implementing training courses for preventive and therapeutic health activities in the forest to healing paths, forest kindergartens and social forest work. Internationally, he is currently involved in two Erasmus+ projects (Green4C & Forest For Health) on forest-based care.
With a Degree in Environment Engineering and Master in Territorial Planning and Impacts bt the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the Nova University of Lisbon. Currently is getting a PhD in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies at the Social Sciences Institute of the University of Lisbon.
Is author and co-author of several publications on its speciality area and regular collaborator with some newspapers, and was the coordinates of the Portuguese case study on the European project "Participatory Spatial Planning in Europe — PSPE”.
Since May 2019 is president of the Directive Board of ICNF - Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests.
Ana Belén Noriega, Forestry Engineer, MBA in Project management, is since 2006 the Secretary General of PEFC Spain, Association to promote Sustainable Forest development through Forest Certification.
She has a vast experience in international forest policy, advisor of the Ministry of Environment of Spain as international forest policy adviser since 1999.
Head of the Liaison Unit Madrid, FOREST EUROPE" Ministerial Conference of Protection of Forests in Europe, Pan European Criteria and Indicators for Forest Sustainability (Madrid, 2015).
International sustainability forest policies occupies most all of his professional activity as an advisor of the Ministry of Environment in official institutions (European Council, FAO, European Commission, UNEP, UN Conventions such as CBD, UNFCCC, UNFF, ILO, etc.). Member of several advisory/expert groups for European Comission, UNECE Forest Communicators Network, UNCEFACT, Fores Europe Green Jobs, promotion of National Forest Certification in South America. Member of the BoD Professional Association of Forest Engineers. PEFC Sustainable Forest Management Expert Group, Textile and NWFP certification, EU policy.
She began her professional career leading her own environmental consulting firm in the establishment and monitoring of health control and conservation networks in Protected natural areas and National Parks Network.
b. 1980, has a degree in law - branch of Economics - by Law Faculty of the Coimbra University.
Begins his political path in 2005 as a Municipal Assembly member and, later, in 2009 as Municipal Alderman. From 2011 to 2013, was the Vice-Mayor of the Municipal Authority of Penela. From 2013 to 2021, was the Mayor of Penela’s Municipality. In his political career was responsible, among others subjects, by the local and regional policies dedicated to innovation, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, sustainability and social network projects.
Began his professional career in 2006 as a Lawyer, mostly dedicated to administrative law, companies and commercial issue
Member of the ADXTUR Board (Schist Villages Tourism Development Agency), Mentor and Head of the SMARTRURAL LIVING LAB (member of the European Network of Living Labs) and Municipality Manager of ERMIS Project (Interreg IVC Programme) and President of Mondego's Castle and Medieval Walls Agency.
Head and Coordinator of the regional development strategy “PRPI - Programa de Revitalização do Pinhal Interior”
Guest Assistant Teacher of Coimbra University (2018/2019 and 2021/2022).
Sound artist. Since 2008 he develops an ongoing project in collecting the immaterial sound heritage of several areas of Portugal, through field recordings, that can be found at luisantero.yolasite.com and luisantero.bandcamp.com.
Has a degree in Artistic Studies and a postgraduate degree in Portuguese Cultural, Traditional and Popular Heritage.