As singer-songwriter – and recent Nobel Prize winner – Bob Dylan, once said: The times, they are a-changin’.
That’s certainly true in the forest sector where challenges such as globalization, climate change and societal demands have altered how we view, study and use the forest.
As the forest industry changes to meet new and evolving demands, so too does the focus on forest education.
Forest studies that once concentrated primarily on wood as a resource are now a rarity. Environmental sciences, environmental management, land use, agroforestry and forest science, plus traditional forestry studies are all among today’s educational mix for those with an interest in the woods. Read more…
Keynote speaker at the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania – Forests for Sustainable Development: The Role of Research
Professor Lee, the overarching theme of this IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania is “Forests for Sustainable Development: The Role of Research”. When you gave your opening speech as President of IUFRO at the XXIII IUFRO World Congress 2010 in Seoul, you stressed the importance of sustainability, equity, growth and development and the need to understand that “Forest is our life, our hope, and our future.”
Q: What would you say has been achieved in the quest for sustainable development since the 2010 IUFRO World Congress?
A: Since then the important role of forests for life, hope and future has been further strengthened internationally by collaborative partnership activities, (e.g. co-research, advanced studies, site visits, trainings, conferences, etc.) especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as nationally by the Forest For Life National Movement in Korea. Read more…
Education in the Field of Forestry
Moderator: Hans Heinimann, Coordinator IUFRO Division 3, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Friday, 14 June 2013, 8:00-10:00 (Santa Rosa 2)
Find more information on the IUFRO Task Force of Education in Forest Science at:
In this session the speakers gave examples of specific education systems and related in Latin America, Europe and the USA.
One major expectation of forest education is a shift in the focus of the general research field from “forestry” to “forests” including the transformation of the future graduates’ image. There is also evidence that linear career progressions have decreased and thus, roles and skills of forest students are required to adapt to changes.
One of the major future challenges for developing student skills is that education needs to be outcome driven; in many systems however it is still content driven. The employability and thus, the adaptation of education systems to the demands of future employers have gained far more importance.
Moreover the need for teachers to cultivate curiosity, passion and creativity in their students has been identified. General demands put forward for consideration in the process of transforming forest studies include the approach of convergent thinking and a shift away from linear thinking.
The gender and minority involvement in forest and natural management studies also requires more research. Furthermore, the accreditation of study programs and thus the comparability of degrees have been addressed by the speakers. Complex issues that involve changing demographics, structure of universities, social trends, and state budgets are among the challenges which many education institutions face.
In conclusion, the main change of education that is required is that foresters are expected to have greater competencies in many different subject areas including the fields of natural resources and landscape management.
Presentations in this session:
Education in forest science in the XXI century – expectations and reality. (Piotr Paschalis- Jakubowicz, Warsaw University, Poland)
Escuelas medias de ensenanza forestal: ¿son necesarias? (Osvaldo Encinas, ULA, Venezuela)
The European system of higher education after the Bologna reform – Dreams and realities, Hans R. Heinimann (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Trends in accredited forestry education programs in the United States. (Kevin Ohara, University of California, Berkely, USA)
Evolution and changes in forestry curricula over the last decades as exemplified by Faculty of Forestry in Krakow, Poland. (Gil Waldemar, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland)
Trends in Undergraduate Enrollments in Forestry and Related Areas of Natural Resources in the U.S. with Respect to Gender and Race/Ethnicity. (Terry Sharik, Michigan Technological University, USA)
“Forest and Trees: Serving the People of Africa and the World” was a fitting theme for the 1st IUFRO-FORNESSA Regional Congress & ITTO/AFF Forest Policy Day held at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya June 25-29. The closing ceremony held late Friday afternoon after the last of the Scientific Sessions adjourned, brought reflections of the week and outlined the importance it had for the region and its people.
Adopted from the discussions and the sessions held throughout the week, The Nairobi Resolution was read allowed to the 350+ scientists, policymakers, and forest stakeholders in attendance at the Congress. The resolution which comes a week after the Rio+20 Sustainable Dialogue on forests reinforces the commitment of African countries to “promote science, technology, innovation and traditional knowledge in order to face forests main challenge: how to turn them productive without destroying them”.
The participants of the Congress voiced 7 commitments for the future:
- Adopt people-centred approaches for forest research and education focusing on environmental, social and economic pillars;
- Further expand the scope of forest research, training and education to address issues relevant to global sustainability including land use, livelihoods and environment issues;
- Increase information sharing and knowledge management through fostering regional cooperation and networking in African forest research and providing opportunities for scientists to contribute to global issues;
- Combine traditional knowledge with formal scientific research results to design forest and tree management systems to meet local and broader societal needs at varying spatial scales;
- Develop reward systems for successful uptake and adoption of research outputs and build impact analysis in the research project design;
- Invest in science-society communication, including the training on effective communication of research findings, to improve the impact of research for all beneficiaries and improve the link between research, policy and practice; and
- Provide effective platforms for engagement of scientists, policy makers and stakeholders through national, sub-regional and regional mechanisms.
In a region that faces many obstacles using forest and trees to meet local livelihood needs while ensuring a biodiverse and environmentally sustainable landscape the resolution outlines an optimistic future for Africa – it’s forests, it’s trees and it’s people.
Read The Nairobi Resolution in its entirety at https://www.fornis.net/content/nairobi-resolution.
PDF at http://www.iufro.org/download/file/8798/3684/regcong-africa12-congress-resolution_pdf/