Young African Forestry Professionals Publication project (YAFP)
Forests contribute greatly to climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation, watershed functions, livelihoods and recreation. These developments have a great potential in promoting sustainable forest management and offering numerous career opportunities including green jobs. International forestry targets for Africa such as African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), African Forestry and Wildlife Commission action plan, African Union Sustainable Forest Management framework (2020-2030), PanAfrican Action Agenda on Ecosystem Restoration for building Resilience in the context of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) provides a platform for building a critical mass of young and talented individuals that would change Africa’s forest sector.
Nevertheless, there is declining interest among African youths in considering forestry as a profession they can pursue. Many perceptions that paint a negative picture of the profession also exist such as rigidity of the profession that is not up to date with the current trends, few job prospects among others. There is a need to raise awareness on the career opportunities that forestry education could offer to young people and to counter the existing negative perceptions.
The project’s overall goal is to motivate and inspire young people to pursue forest-related studies and careers in Africa by increasing the visibility of career options and young African role models working in forest-related fields. This will also help in offering visibility to the forestry profession in Africa.
To conduct a short outlook on forest education in Africa specifically tertiary institutions offering forestry and related programmes and enrollment trends.
To review regional and/or global networking organizations African young foresters can join both within and outside the continent.
To showcase success stories among Africa young forestry professionals and create awareness on career opportunities and success of young forestry professionals in the field of forestry.
The project would conduct novel student-based empirical research on forestry networking organisations; success stories of young forestry professionals; and a listing of tertiary institutions offering forestry and related programmes on the Africa continent. The results would be compiled into a book that will be published, printed and distributed to tertiary institutions offering forestry programmes in Africa and selected high schools. The electronic copy (PDF) version will also be widely distributed online through various social media platforms.
IFSA: International Forestry Students’ Association
IUFRO: Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education
The project is supported by IUFRO’s Special Programmes for Development of Capacities (IUFRO-SPDC) and the Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education
The project team made up of representatives from IUFRO and IFSA include: Alex Onatunji, Juliet Achieng Owuor, Mirjana Volarev, Scovia Akello, Opeyemi Adeyemi, Simone Massaro, Ezhilan Nambi, Dr. Sandra Rodriguez and Dr. Folaranmi Babalola.