Here it is the interview to the third trainee, Damiano, who has just started his traineeship at the EFI Bonn office.

Who are you?

Ciao a tutti! My name is Damiano and I am from Florence, Italy. I am currently finishing my Master’s degree in Forestry Sciences at the University of Florence. I have mostly focused my studies on silviculture, ecology and wood production, but I have lately discovered a new passion for forest education, communication and policy through my IFSA engagement.

Why did you apply for the DTE traineeship program and how did you hear about it?

In Italy Forestry Sciences are still really close to the classic concept of forestry and so is my education. IFSA has allowed me to discover new fields which are very important and fundamental for the contemporary forester. Once I heard about the possibility of working in the EFI-IFSA-IUFRO project on forest education, employment and green jobs in the forest sector, I thought that this would be the best opportunity to broaden my knowledge.

Being the DTE program led by IFSA (among others), news spread very easily in IFSA. How could I have missed out on news like this? 🙂

Give a little outlook on your specific placement: What is the topic? What are your expectations? What are you most excited about?

My traineeship focuses on assisting the project staff in the preparation and execution of a knowledge exchange workshop in Bonn, Germany. The workshop will include experts and students with experience in the fields of employment, education and green jobs in the forest sector. I am really excited to join the very active EFI Bonn team and to live in Bonn, famous to be a global hub for climate change and sustainability policies.

What is your relationship with IFSA?

My relationship with IFSA is quite an old one, and it began when I established an LC at my university in 2015. Ever since, I have been an IFSA Official. I started as Regional Representative of Southern Europe for two years, then continued as Head of FAO Subcommission; recently, I was elected as Vicepresident. Let’s say that through IFSA, I have both travelled a lot and made very good friends!

What is your relationship to forests and what is your favourite tree?
I initially started to study Forestry Sciences because of my interest in wild animals, but once I discovered how spectacular and incredible trees were, I completely fell in love with them. Since then, walking through a forest hasn’t been the same. Regarding my favourite tree, that is a good question! I like many trees, but it has to be cork oak (Quercus suber) because of the unique product you can get from it and its historical, sylvicultural and ecological importance.

What do you see currently as the biggest challenge for forests/forestry/the forest sector?

Forests have the potential to be a key solution for many ecological, economic and social aspects/issues, but we are often not able to make the global population aware of it. Therefore, in my opinion, one of our main challenges is the lack of educational and communication skills.