IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress – Scientific Session 301: Enhancing Forest Education through Regional Cooperation

IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress

On September 19-20, the Asia Pacific Forestry Education Coordination Mechanism (AP-FECM) attended the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) 125th Anniversary Congress in Freiburg, Germany to host a Steering Committee Meeting and the Scientific Session 301-Enhancing forest education through regional cooperation.

The main goals of these two events are to strengthen regional collaboration in promoting forest education, expand the AP-FECM’s global networks, as well as to showcase the report on Higher Forest Education in Asia Pacific as part of the AP-FECM initiatives that was made possible by the generous support of APFNet.

The report on Higher Forest Education in Asia Pacific is the first of its kind as it established an information baseline for forest education in the Asia Pacific region that not only highlights trends but also bring to light some brilliant initiatives as well as challenges that the region faces in forest education.  The official version will be published online soon.

In updating the current progress of AP-FECM’s initiatives, it was crucial to highlight the significant success of the Sustainable Forest Management online courses which has had a high traffic globally – a recorded more than 36,000 views and nearly 3,300 active users from 90 countries over the period of January 2016 to August 2017.

Steering Committee Meeting on Sept.19, 2017

Major Outcomes

The discussions generated during the events created a sense of unity not just between the Asia Pacific region, but also globally with Europe and the Americas as the promotion of international collaboration was deemed crucial in addressing the global issues we face. The achievements of different key members in the AP-FECM network was celebrated, especially in their efforts to increase student/faculty mobility, reduce knowledge gap, as well as curriculum adaptation to meet current demands.

Dr. John Innes presenting the Forest Education Report in Session 301

AP-FECM suggested some tangible actions that could be taken regionally and globally to address some of the issues that forest education is facing globally. An interesting discussion on enrolment trend globally puts the Asia Pacific region at a comparative advantage with its continuously increasing enrolment rate. With some key members of AP-FECM showcasing some collaborative examples among universities, there is a hopeful note that more future collaboration could blossom.

Session 301 – Enhancing Forest Education through Regional Cooperation

The session also ignited interests in the AP-FECM initiatives, especially garnering a lot of buzz with the SFM online courses. Some valuable discussions, including courses in tropical forest would be developed, Certificate and graduate level SFM online program would be created, additional language options might be provided, as well as more actions would be considered to advance development in forest education worldwide.