Following the initiative taken in Poland in 1988 to form an international association of forestry students, IFSA was founded during the 18th International Forestry Students Symposium in Lisbon, Portugal.
The main objective of IFSA is to bring together forestry students from all continents so they may exchange information, views and experiences. Moreover, the association represents its members at the international level, e.g. as an observer at the meetings of Unesco and the FAO/ECE Timber Committee. Currently, 34 local and national forestry student organizations from 27 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania are members of IFSA. During the past few months, student organizations in many additional countries, including the United States and Canada, have shown their interest in becoming members of IFSA.
IFSA members receive a quarterly magazine, IFSA-News, and can take part in various IFSA activities, such as working groups, exchanges, scientific projects and international meetings. This year, IFSA started its participation in a so-called "Village Concept Project" in Ghana. During the multidisciplinary project, which is investigating the relationship between a community and its environment, forestry students will focus on forestry-related issues. The International Forestry Students Symposium (IFSS) is still the most prominent IFSA event. At the IFSS, IFSA representatives decide on the association's policy and activities. Together with forestry students from countries that are not yet IFSA members and with representatives from professional forestry society, they discuss current forestry topics, take part in excursions and have the opportunity to meet in an informal atmosphere. The 1993 IFSS was held in Serdang, Malaysia, while the 1994 symposium took place in Zurich, Switzerland. In Zurich, more than 100 students from some 30 countries focused on the central theme: Forests and Society: Prospects. In September 1995, forestry students will meet in Helsinki, Finland, and in 1996, the IFSS will leave Europe again to be hosted by Australia.
After having existed in a more or less "unofficial" form for four years, IFSA is now registered as a public charity organization in Göttingen, Germany. The IFSA secretariat, concerned with internal and external communication and the printing of IFSA-News, is also located here.
For more information on IFSA, its activities and requirements for membership, contact:
University of Göttingen,