Online Courses: Apply to “Forest Governance, Public Relations, and Community Development”

About the Forestry Online Education Program

This is an excellent opportunity for lifelong learners to improve their knowledge on forest management in a time of rapid change due to deforestation, biodiversity loss, as well as climate change. These series of online courses explore the core values of sustainable forest management and the necessary conditions to achieve it, aiming to equip mid-career professionals, young faculty, upper-level forestry students, as well as those interested in sustainable forestry management with the skillsets to be able to do so effectively. Since its launch in 2016, the program has attracted over 6000 learners worldwide, allowing for a diverse and truly international learning experience.


The Course in Details

Course Period: April 8 – June 2, 2019

Course Instructor Name: Anil Shrestha, Email:
Course Running Manager Name: Michelle Zeng, Email:

Course Description

The world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas between 2010 and 2015. Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, including 70 million indigenous people. A good forest governance can address the success of the programs that focus on restoration of the forest as well as fair benefit sharing among a wide range of actors and sectors through effective participation. This course “Forest Governance, Public Relations, and Community Development” is focused on the importance of understanding and effectively managing the social or human dimension of forestry. As reflected in its title, the course is divided into three modules with 11 topics considered to be social pillars in promoting sustainable forest management. The first module on forest governance presents the importance, concepts, and principles of “good forest governance”, and the realities on the ground by analyzing the dynamics that exist between the various forest governance institutions. The second module on public relations provides a basic understanding of public relations as it may be applied in sustainable forest management through science communication. The third module on community development highlights forestry as a form of development intervention and how it can better contribute to the achieving the goal of community development.

Course Commitment

8 weeks, 3-4 hours/week

Course Prerequisites


Course Goals

The goals of this course are to introduce you to the concept of forest governance and its practice for community development so that it contributes our understanding on effectively managing the social or human dimension of forestry.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the role of forest governance, public relations, and community development in promoting sustainable forest management;
  • Explain the concepts, principles, strategies, and practices of forest governance, public relations, and community development in the context of sustainable forest management;
  • Analyze the dynamics of forest governance institutions, and evaluate the national and international governance initiatives in terms of their contribution to sustainable forestry;
  • Apply the principles of public relations in promoting sustainable forest management;
  • Analyze the limitations of current forestry initiatives in advancing local community development, and recommend appropriate strategies for how forestry interventions can better achieve local community development; and
  • Synthesize some lessons from tropical countries on how human dimensions of forest management can better contribute to sustainable forest management.


Learning Activities

This course contains online lecture and supplementary readings on various aspects of forest governance, public relation and community development.  Learners are required to watch assigned online videos, read supplementary readings when needed and most importantly actively participate in the group discussion.

  • Self-Introduction
  • Pre-course survey
  • Group formation (Collaborative learning is the key aspect of this course where learners across different country share their learnings and experiences within a group of 5 to 6 people)
  • Online video watching & Supplementary readings
  • Online topic self-test quizzes
  • Discussion topic/group discussion
  • Peer review of group discussion summaries
  • Post-course survey


To Register

Complete the following form before April 5th, 2019: