Global status and needs for strengthening forest education - charting a path forward

Date and time: Monday, 12 October, 11:00-12:00

Session outline
This event will highlight the needs and means for strengthening and modernizing forest-related education. It will provide a forum for discussion and feedback to inform actions needed for inclusive and equitable forest education in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. The session will present ongoing work of the Global Forest Education Project, including preliminary results of an assessment conducted across six regions, pilot initiatives which aim to fill important gaps, and steps for developing a global vision and framework for national and subnational actions related to the enhancement of forest education.

Session objectives

  • Raise awareness of the need to strengthen forest education, as the fundamental basis for optimizing forests’ and trees’ contributions to the SDGs.
  • Inform stakeholders of the project’s contributions to this and its aim to launch a global initiative to upgrade forest education.
  • Provide insights to the status of forest education through a round table involving regional lead partners of the project.

Q&A

This is a compilation of questions relevant to the topics covered during the World Forest Week event, raised by participants, and answers provided by the experts from FAO and partner institutions during the event. The answers provided here only reflect the personal views of the experts and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever, endorsement, nor recommendation on the part of FAO or the partners institutions involved in the webinars. FAO reserves the right to alter, limit or discontinue any part of this services at its discretion. Under no circumstance shall FAO be liable nor held responsible for any loss , damage, liability or expense suffered that is claimed to result from the use of information posted here, including without limitation, any fault, error, omission, interruption or delay.

1. Should rebranding ‘forestry’ for a new generation of students mean a change of name?

Comment from a participant: Here at the University of Melbourne we recently reviewed our Master of Forest Ecosystem Science. Based on stakeholder and potential student feedback we renamed it the Master of Ecosystem Management and Conservation with an immediate boost in student interest and enrolments. The new program is based on the principles of forestry, bushfire management, ecosystem function and climate change, but has more focus on community engagement, policy and governance and new technologies. Forestry is seen as too narrow by many prospective students.

Response from the project secretariat: Thank you for sharing this information. We invite others to inform us, through the forest education survey or sending us an email at [email protected], of their experiences with anging the name of forestry programmes (or not) to reflect a broadening or reorientation of the curricula.

2. Why not cover Non wood forest products and wildlife management and forest role in combating climate change not duly covered in the study

Response from the project secretariat: Thank you for your perspective. We have included several questions in the global forest education survey about the adequacy of the curricula of forest-related programmes. We urge you and others to take the global forest education survey and provide feedback on the subjects that you feel should receive greater coverage in curricula at different levels of education.

3. For how long will the LSSC online course be available?

Response from ITTO: The LSSC Online will be available for at least the next 2 years, continuation pending further financing being available

4. Does the Kids-to-Forests program also included the teachers?

Response from FAO: To answer the question about whether the Kids-to-Forests program involves teachers, most definitely. Teachers are a key part of the programme, which develops K2F facilitation skills and confidence of the teachers to integrate forestry elements into teaching of other classes. The most success of the programme has been in the Philippines, where the Department of Education has endorsed the program in several provinces. This formal endorsement has been important to encourage teachers to get engaged with the K2F activities.

5. In my spare time (occasionally), I and my foundation & also partners used to give storytelling for grade 4th - 6th elementary schools, recently in combination ways, offline & online through zoom meetings. I use the Orangutan hand puppet as the 'messenger' in giving storytelling. The topic is around Eco literacy - introducing forest & environment to children (as a part of forestry education as well. However, it seems that it's not really easy to enrich/develop storytelling topics/materials, is there any guidance for this matter or is there any world wide program of this that we can adopt to? And do you have any suggestion for what we have been doing? Thank you very much

Response from the project secretariat: Thank you for sharing our experiences. We agree that storytelling is a powerful way to get messages across. We do not know of any global programme that gives guidance on how to effectively do this. We invite others to share information, either through the survey or by email at [email protected], on sources of such expertise or advice so that we can
disseminate the information.

6. What could be the reasons that traditional/indigenous forest-related knowledge are not given sufficient attention in forest education. How can it be improved in the changing consumption
patterns.

Response from the project secretariat: The reason varies by country and could include insufficient awareness and understanding of traditional and indigenous forest-related knowledge, underestimation of the value of this information; difficulties in making the links between this knowledge and scientific knowledge; challenges in incorporating traditional and indigenous knowledge into curricula, etc. We urge you and others to take the global forest education survey and provide feedback on traditional and indigenous forest related knowledge and how it can receive greater coverage in curricula at different levels of education.

  • For more information about the Forest Education project please visit the project page here
  • For more information on the ITTO LSSC online learning course please visit the webpage here
  • To get in touch, please contact:  [email protected]

last updated:  Tuesday, November 17, 2020