October 23, 2016, an AP-FECM meeting took place as a pre-conference event to the IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania at the Beijing Forestry University. The meeting demonstrated all the noteworthy work the AP-FECM has done and created an effective networking platform for our member universities to develop future cooperation.
During the meeting, Dr. John Innes, Chair of AP-FECM Steering Committee, who gave thanks for the contributions of Beijing Forestry University (BFU), as well as the continued support from the APFNet. Mr. Guilin Qu, Executive Director of APFNet, took this time to highlight the future growth and collaboration of two cultures, west and east, to further forestry education globally and specifically in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Weiming Song, President of BFU, welcomed all participants to this event and encouraged future cooperation through the AP-FECM.
The developments of forestry education were the main focus of the meeting. Dr. John Innes and Dr. Guangyu Wang, Director of Executive Office of AP-FECM, presented on the strides that AP-FECM has taken and plans to enhance forestry education.
Participants had in-depth discussions on AP-FECM’s activities. The SFM online courses, being the first forestry online education program of its kind, have already been successful with nearly 2000 interested learners. Phase II of this project will expand the current courses with six new courses regarding sustainable management of tropical forests. It was widely agreed by participants that accessibility of nature science is restricted by environmental factors, hence, online courses can fill the gaps and advance forestry education in a way of flexible learning.
The Asia-Pacific Forestry Survey and the Annual Report are another important projects going on recently. There are 20 members and regional experts confirmed their participations to these projects. The Annual Report is expected to be published in 2017. It will be a unique opportunity for forestry schools to raise their academic profiles worldwide.
After the meeting, participants visited Jiufeng National Park – the research forest and the original campus of BFU. Creation of Network among regional institutions and experts is a vital success for this event.