Sharing experiences, discovering animal tracks and learning about mountain forestry in the alpine region

By the end of January, IFSA LCs from all over Germany gathered in south Germany for this year’s Germany Meeting. The Chiemgau alpine region provided the perfect setting to bring together 20 student representatives from different German Local Committees, such as Eberswalde, Göttingen, Freiburg, Freising, Rottenburg and Tharandt.

LC Freising organized a weekend full of sharing experiences, learning and discovering the German Alps. After a small tour around the campus and visiting the forestry faculty of the Technische Universität Munich in Freising, we headed south to spend the afternoon learning about research efforts in the national park Berchtesgaden. Many thanks to Dr. Seibold, who gave us interesting and valuable insights about alpine ecosystem research, especially about habitat diversity.

The national park Berchtesgaden itself welcomed us with great weather and a wonderful winter landscape. We learned about the national park’s Golden eagle monitoring project. Together with project leader Jochen Grab we discovered animal tracks in the snow while he explained the importance of communication skills for young forestry professionals in a very enthusiastic and inspiring way.

Other highlights : Walking, hiking and sledging along the winter mountain landscapes, we set a focus on contemporary topics in Bavarian mountain forestry, such as the regeneration of protective forests and grazing rights.

Switching from the snow back into our warm cabin, we spent the rest of the time with an interactive session. What does IFSA stand for, how it works and discussing current topics like : The agenda for different LCs, the common challenges and the future opportunities which exist etc. Exchanging thoughts, information and experiences benefited all members and motivated us to share the IFSA spirit in the future. We also had a fun and engaging coffee hour video call with Johannes Herzog (Head of Carbon and Sustainability Sub-Commission), putting a spotlight on main drivers for climate change and respective sustainability measures that can be taken by every individual. Rounding off the day, the regional evening brought regional delights, songs and a lot of fun to the table. Just to give a small taste: Self-made medlar and sloe jam, fir lemonade and ancient low German song treasures.

We really appreciate being part of IFSA that made it possible to share such a great time together with new friends. Thanks a lot to everyone who joined the Germany Meeting – looking forward to the next one!

Best wishes,

LC Freising