Our Newest Online Course: Restoration of Degraded Forest Ecosystems & Forest Plantation Development

About the Forestry Online Education Program

Forest provides multiple ecosystem services and functions, which are invaluable for human wellbeing. However, each year about 13 million hectares of tropical forests experience deforestation causing severe consequence for biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and livelihood of millions of people. Sustainable forest management in this changing context is key to address these issues for prosperity of biodiversity and humans. In this context, this free online course aims to promote sustainable forest management (SFM) education particularly in Asia-Pacific region to mid-career professionals, young faculty, senior forestry students and those who are interested in sustainable forest management.

Supported by Asia Pacific Forestry Network, this course (Restoration of Degraded Forest Ecosystems & Forest Plantation Development) was designed by the University of Melbourne.

The Course in Details

Course Period: October 15 – December 11, 2018

Course Instructor Name: Anil Shrestha, Email: anil.shrestha@ubc.ca
Course Running Manager Name: Michelle Zeng, Email:  michelle.zeng@ubc.ca

Course Description

This is a course about the principles and practice of tree growth for restoration of degraded forests and for forest plantation development. The course consists of three modules and starts with an overview of elements of forest ecology directly relevant to seed and vegetative regeneration and ecosystem processes related to the growth of a forest. Different stages of stand development are described and an understanding of the impacts of site, climate, and soil factors on forest functioning is developed throughout the course. A brief introduction to forest carbon and nutrient cycles is given as essential background to understanding limitations to forest productivity. The second module deals with restoration of degraded forests and starts with a global perspective of the context for restoration activities in different parts of world and the Asia-Pacific region in particular. The properties of degraded forests are described, and the aims of restoration activities discussed. The interaction between forest restoration and climate is explored with case studies from tropical and temperate zones, including indicators of restoration success. The third module covers the theory and practice of plantation forest development. The module covers plantation management starting from plantation purpose and species selection to techniques for site preparation, tree establishment, and optimizing growth to thinning and pruning.

Course Commitment

8 weeks, 5-6 hours/week

Course Prerequisites


Course Goals

The objectives of this course are to introduce you to the theory and practice of: (a) forest restoration and (b) forest plantation development. You need to understand how forests regenerate and develop through stages of maturity, including the emergence of a range of crown classes in a stand. The objectives of this course include revising the ecosystem paradigm and the key ecosystem processes of nutrient cycling and forest productivity, because trees in restored forests and plantations are limited by access to light, water, and nutrients.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Define and describe the main processes of forest functioning including forest carbon and nutrient cycles
  • Recognize and describe properties of degraded forests and principles of forest restoration
  • Explain restoration strategies and describe methods to assess success of restoration activities
  • Describe in detail all stages in the development of a forest plantation enterprise, and give examples from existing plantation projects in the Asia-Pacific region

Learning Activities

This course contains online lecture and supplementary readings on various aspects of sustainable forest management in changing context. Learners are required to watch online videos, read supplementary readings when needed and most importantly actively participate in the group discussion.

  • Self-Introduction
  • Group formation
  • Online video watching & Supplementary readings
  • Online topic self-tests quizzes
  • Discussion topic/group discussion
  • Peer review of group discussion summaries

To Apply

Complete the following form before October 10, 2018.