Forestry education is among those human development engagements that are urgently being delivered today.
A study done in Kenya, by Temu A & Kiwia A, examined how future forestry education can respond to expanding societal needs. The study is summarized below.
[04 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]
Future forestry education. Responding to expanding societal needs
Authors: Temu,A.; Kiwia,A.Produced by: World Agroforestry Centre (2008)
Forestry education in recent years has largely failed to adequately respond to the dynamics in forestry practice, the demands of the job market and the challenges of new global forestry paradigms.
This policy brief consolidates recommendations of the first global workshop on forestry education held in September 2007, at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Attended by 85 participants from 29 countries representing Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe, the workshop deliberated on vital issues for guiding, coordinating and linking relevant institutions and stakeholders in the process of transforming forestry education.
They agreed that:
- increased investment in forestry capacity is imperative
improved coordination mechanisms are key at national, regional and global scales to reinforce the quality and content of forestry education and training
- enhanced harmonisation of forestry with other related sectors is needed in order to achieve synergy of strategies and actions
regional and global mechanisms for collaboration in forestry education be established and sustained
The brief asserts that major changes in forestry education, research and practice are urgently needed to improve relevance and popularise forest science, technologies and practices. Obvious implications for neglecting forestry education are noted as:
- schools of forestry will continue to produce inadequate graduates, lacking the required expertise to handle the emerging complex societal and environmental challenges
- forestry professional ethics could deteriorate further, leading to indiscriminate destruction of natural resources - the backbone of human livelihood
- due to the link between agriculture and forestry, the destruction of forests may lead to water flow challenges impacting on food security
our knowledge and capacity to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change will remain weak, further accelerating global warming, flash floods and droughts
- further losses of biodiversity will deny the world of important plants and animals with the potential to solve health and other problems
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=39445&em=240908&sub=enviro