46th International Forestry Student´s Symposium


August 6th – 21st 2018


Chapingo Unido por el Ambiente (CHAUPEA) is a student organization formed in 2014 by students of the Forestry and Natural Resources careers of the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo as an initiative that seeks to “provide students with a platform to develop their own research projects, in addition to maintaining a relationship with society through its results and the activities carried out, which allow the development of skills and abilities that are required as future professionals. “

The symposium was aimed at students of forestry and related sciences who belong to the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA). Also, to Latin American students who do not belong to IFSA in order to increase the participation of this region within the association, through the link with the Latin American Association of Forest Science Students (ALECIF). The objective was to exchange knowledge about forest resources.

The symposium lasted sixteen days in which workshops, cultural exchanges, assemblies, visits to archaeological sites, companies and field trips were held. 68 students from 28 different countries participated.


ROUTE: The route that was followed during the IFSS 2018 was in the states of Mexico, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Mexico City.

DURATION: The event lasted 16 days.

PARTICIPANTS: 68 participants from 28 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Colombia. Costa Rica, Cuba, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Slovakia, Mexico, Holland, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Serbia, Malaysia, South Africa, Switzerland, China-Taipei, England and U.S.



Day 1: Inauguration and 1st IFSA plenary session

The event was attended by institutional authorities from the environmental sector, such as Dr. Sergio Barrales Domínguez, principal of UACh; Edgar Conzuelo Contreras, Director of the Protector of Forests of the State of Mexico (PROBOSQUE); Ernesto Herrera Guerra, General Director of Reforestamos México A.C .; Salina Abraham, President of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA); Dr. Sandra Rodríguez, representative of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Eduardo Valdez Hernández, Executive Director of Fundación Chapingo; Dr. Ángel Leyva Ovalle, Director of the Division of Forest Sciences (DICIFO); Itzhak E. López González, IFSS Chairman, OC-CHAUPEA; Ismael Flores Torres, President of ANECH; and Engineer Jesús Cuanalo, General Director of INyDES.

The inaugural act was in charge of Dr. Sergio Barrales Domínguez, principal of the Autonomous University of Chapingo. In his speech he highlighted “the great challenge that is the environmental and social balance that allows forest exploitation without environmental depredation,” he concluded.

While Salina Abraham, head of IFSA, mentioned that students have the responsibility to be humble, respectful, tolerant and prepare to create a better community and to conserve and practice their language. In the afternoon, the first IFSA plenary session was held, where the change to the IFSA statutes and the first call for the new board of directors was addressed.

Day 2: Conferences and Teotihuacan Archaeological zone

For the second day of the IFSS, the participants in the morning attended several talks on different topics, which caused great interest among them. Firstly, Adriana Salvatierra, representing “GIZ Mexico” spoke about the problems in the formulation of conservation projects in Mexico, followed by Carlos Valdez from “GAFMEX”, who spoke about the current situation of the Mexican forest industry. Finally, Ernesto Herrera from “Reforestamos México A.C.” gave a talk about the importance of productive projects, conservation and society.

Subsequently, at the end of these presentations, the event continued with the visit to the archaeological zone of Teotihuacán. Once arriving at the planned point, immediately the participants from all over the world were impressed by these imposing architectural monuments. The experience that they were in the “place where man becomes a god” was for everyone something unique.

After the visit to the Aztec city, he returned to the UACh, where the second plenary session of IFSA took place, which was the last activity of the day.

Day 3: Magisterial conferences and Mexico City

Within the seminars held during the 46th IFSS, on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, two conferences were attended, the first was in charge of Dr. Juan Carlos Carrillo, program coordinator of the Mexican Center for Environmental Law A.C. (CEMDA), with the paper entitled “Relationship of public policy between international agreements and national environmental law”, where the main objective was to publicize the regulations that govern Mexico in the environmental sector and specifically in forestry. The second conference “Mexicans by nature ” was presented by Dr. Carlos Galindo Leal, General Director of Communication of Science of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), and had great importance for the development of the IFSS , since in addition to informing attendees relevant data about Mexican biodiversity and actions for its conservation, both from the Mexican government and from civil society, it also contributed with the technical tour because its conference provided previous knowledge to the participants about the different ecosystems that exist in the country.

Because one of the objectives of the IFSS is to make the culture of the country known, this day a visit was made to the National Museum of Anthropology and History of Mexico City, in which attendees were able to observe the most important archaeological and ethnographic collections of the country, allowing them to obtain a panorama of the cultures that have and continue to be in the history of our country. Likewise, a tour was made through the Butterfly Garden of Chapultepec, where we had the opportunity to handle some animals and learn about different species of butterflies that live in Mexico.

Day 4: Workshop and International Night

The day began at 6:00 am, when the members of the Organizing Committee who were in charge of performing the wake up call began their activities and thus as planned began with that task at 7:00 o’clock, at 7:30 the trucks were already at the reception and they started to board them, just a few minutes later we arrived at the cultural services building inside the Autonomous University Chapingo, where breakfast was ready to be served. At 9:30 am, all the participants had already been divided into two groups and began to move because both groups had to attend different workshops:

Group 1 attended the IFSA-IUFRO workshop “Forestry entrepreneurship” located in the multipurpose room in the CELEA building and they remained there until 3:00 p.m. Meanwhile group 2 attended the workshop “How to do reforestation campaign with civil society, experiences and feedback” by Fundación Chapingo in the period from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, ending the workshop of Fundación Chapingo the group 2 went to San Ignacio field because at 1:00 p.m. a tour of the entire university had been planned starting from the San Ignacio field, going through all the departments and facilities of the UACh and ending with the entrance to the rectory , ending at 2:30 pm. As soon as the institutional tour finished all the group 2 went back to the building of cultural workshops to eat and to meet with the group 1 half an hour later in the same place.

At 4:00 pm, the transfer to the Carlos Román de la Vega auditorium located in the department of DICIFO where the presentation “Mexican corn and climate change” taught by Dr. Carolina Ureta Sánchez in the period of 4 was planned: 30 pm – 5:00 pm but for certain reasons the Doctor could not present at that time and her presentation was postponed until the period of 5: 30-6: 00 pm, from 5: 00-5: 30 pm took place in the same audience the presentation “Mexico: Forest fires history” presented by the PhD. Dante Arturo Rodríguez Trejo. At the end of both presentations, the transfer to the Hotel Chapingo was made so that all the participants could begin their preparations for the international night.

The international night began at 7:30 p.m. in the lounge provided by the Hotel Chapingo, starting with a folkloric dance and then the dinner began, ending the dinner, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the presentations of each country began. in which they presented food, drink, clothes, music, etc. That he represents his country. The Mexican night officially ended at 12:00 AM.

Day 5: Chignahuapan and its community forest management

The first place we visited was the Magic Town of Chignahuapan, Puebla. Being a great attraction not only for its high richness and cultural and gastronomic diversity, also for being a reference in the forest production of the state, for its great coverage of temperate forests and for having one of the most successful ejidos in the state and in the country.

It is so, according to the schedule of activities, it started from the Autonomous University Chapingo at dawn and with the bath of the first rays of sun with a fixed course towards the Ejido Peñuelas, Pueblo Nuevo, Chignahuapan with a distance of 160 km.

The National Forestry Commission catalogs it within its teaching communities as a successful model of forest management due to its great productive diversification. These are forest management, community organization, wild fungi for mycorrhization and ecotourism. The visit was planned to see community forest management and how they are organized within the ejido.

The first stop was the forest germplasm bank Pueblo Nuevo, where equipment could be seen in the drying area as an extractor-desaller, a seed sorter-cleaner, gravity separator, a mini oven for drying fruits and seeds. The process includes storage and for that it has two cold chambers (each with a storage capacity of 2.5 tons of seeds), and there is a laboratory with advanced technology equipment where the seeds are analyzed.

It should be noted that this equipment is unique in the area and that positions them with much advantage over other communities. This could be appreciated by the participants and the doubts and answers were always present accompanied by a great interest in learning. It was possible to take advantage of the visit so that the attendees could understand the processing of the seed by carrying out these activities themselves

The second stop within the ejido was carried out in the forest nursery and the production process could be appreciated inside a semi-technified nursery. It explained the importance of mycorrhization for pine species that were had and how you can take advantage of wood industry waste, such as sawdust, to make substrates for seedlings. The third was at the sawmill. It showed the processing of the wood and how the demand of the area influences the sizing of the products. Finally, the small coal industry was shown. The next destination after visiting the ejido would be the center of the city of Chignahuapan.

Day 6: 3rd plenary session and Salto de Quetzalapan, Chignahuapan, Puebla

On the sixth day of the Symposium, the 3rd IFSA Plenary Session was held, in which, as part of the agenda, the following countries were nominated for the 2020 headquarters of the IFSS: Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and Serbia; the postulates to perform one of the positions in the IFSA Management (president, vice president, treasurer and executive secretary) gave a brief presentation on their motivations and goals, as well as the nominees for the position of Director and for the Official Links, this The last one is in charge of being in contact with the different organizations with which IFSA works. Finally an explanation was given about the Commissions that are part of the Association and the students in charge of the organization of the Symposium in Estonia the following year they presented progress in the budget and a first itinerary proposal.

Day 7: Multifunctional Forest Reserve “El manantial”

This reserve is in charge of Ing. León Jorge Castaños Martínez, who has been nominated as the next director of CONAFOR. During this visit, much emphasis was placed on the forestry policies that currently govern the sector and how they have changed over the years.

In the 250 ha of the property was shown the diversification of products that can be obtained and how this helps not only in obtaining more income, but the conservation of forest resources and environmental services.

It showed the production of Christmas trees, care, maintenance and how it is marketed. It should be noted that this type of production is also carried out in countries of North America and Europe, and the characteristics of the target market and how it influences the final product were compared.

Another industry that is in the property is the obtaining of essential oils of species of local flora, like washing, mint and even of arboreal species like pines and firs.

Day 8: Bosque del ciclo verde company

On our ninth day of the Symposium, we arrived at the Bosque del Ciclo Verde located in the community of Las Vigas in the state of Veracruz, a family business that shares its dreams every Christmas promoting forest culture and sustainable management. At the beginning of the day attendees received a presentation on the organization of the place and the relationship created by the forest and Christmas to obtain higher sales, in addition to mentioning the advantages they had due to their geographical location. Later they were offered a snack consisting of atole de masa and a pambazo, something typical of the region.

The tour began with the explanation of the Finnish type bonfires that are found around the theme park, then we will learn how to collect seeds depending on the type of pine we have, from there we walk to the oldest tree in the park , in which it is customary to give him a hug to free you from your bad vibes. The tour continued and we came to some caves where the spring is located, from which the park is supplied with water.

Finally, we came to an area where there was a natural forest, that is, it had not been modified, the hand of man had not disturbed the ecosystem and we could appreciate how natural selection causes trees to not develop with favorable characteristics for the wood industry. The tour culminated with a buffet style meal and live music entertaining. In the remaining time of the day, visitors could perform different activities such as riding, riding a tractor or enjoying the afternoon around a campfire.

In the evening the organizing committee celebrated one of the visitors for the reason of her birthday, breaking a piñata in the traditional Mexican style and ending the day with a little meeting.

Day 9: 4th plenary session

This day started with the departure from Zapotitlan, Puebla to Xalapa, Veracruz, where the 4th plenary session of the General Assembly was programmed.

On this plenary session there were elected the Officials of IFSA 2018 – 2019 (also named as IFSA7).

Additionally, the presentation of candidatures for host country was discuss during this session, as an agreement from the previous session.

As we can see, this day had such an important role in the decision making process, because from this day has started the new administration in the organization, planning and working to achieve a productive year.

During the evening we also shared some special music from Azul&Guerra, a guitars duet of Chapingo’s graduated that have compositions of flamenco and instrumental rock.

Day 10: Mesophilic forest and Playa la Mancha (Subtropical forest)

During this day Coatepec visited the mountain forest or fog forest in the Francisco Javier Clavijero botanical garden, where multiple public scientific collections are found, spread over eight hectares, exhibiting 6,000 specimens belonging to 700 plant species.

We had the opportunity to take a tour in this arboretum where we could appreciate the biodiversity that characterizes this forest in the Forest of Fog Sanctuary.

Then we continued towards Playa la Mancha, both in Veracruz, which has a predominant vegetation of subtropical forest.

With this, the exploitation of two completely different ecosystems was observed.

Day 11: Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve

After visiting coastal and temperate zones in Veracruz, attendees to the IFSS 2018, we headed to the Tehuacán Puebla Region towards the Botanical Garden Helia Bravo Hollis in the Municipality of Zapotitlán Salinas, where upon arrival we made a tour of the same by local guides with knowledge about the species that houses the garden.

The Botanical Garden, is located within the polygon of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve shared by the states of Puebla and Oaxaca; In the garden you can see a large number of cacti, many of them endemic to the region and even in some category of protection or at risk.

There was a complete tour, where attendees were explained the use that many of these species have in the region, such as food, ornamental and cultural use, of around 81 species present in the garden.

Day 12: Route of the Mezcal in Oaxaca, take advantage of the forest

At 5 o’clock in the morning the “wake-up call” began, a dawn in the tropical desert of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Reserve, one of the Mexican ecosystems that apparently gave the surprises that the IFSS had for them. A long trip to Oaxaca, with high expectations, arrived at the Hotel Fortín Plaza, a contrast after having camped in the botanical garden. The plenary session begins as a conclusion of the vote for the new Liaison Officers (LO), the Regional Representatives (RR) and the new “IFSA 7” table. In this first part of the day, it was a good time for the LC CHAUPEA, which started taking IFSA posts to obtain more opportunities for the UACh and for Latin America; Head of the Commission of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and Regional Representative for Latin America.

He left at 12:30 p.m. to arrive: 1:30 at the King of Matatlán, a cooperative that benefits more than 17 communities. I feel in the production chain the final part and the space to promote your product. He was received with the emblematic dish of Oaxaca; The black mole that was accompanied by the snow of the place and sandwiches like the red sausage and the quesillo that ends up being a traditional appetizer of Oaxacan cuisine.

Mexico’s biodiversity reaches alcoholic beverages and its main source is Maguey, the genus Agavaceae, which shows the extent to which biodiversity and cultural diversity influence the country. of them there are more than 200 cataloged species, although to produce mezcal only 14 different species are used, in accordance with NOM-070. The tour was given by the demonstration factory of the king of Matatlán where the mezcal procedure was explained, from the existing species, with live specimens in his didactic garden, the production process, to the final product.

Day 13: National tree and village of El Tule

We visited the tree “El Tule”, the longest specimen from Mexico and the national tree (Taxinus Mucronatum), explained some details of care and the tourist importance it has had for the municipality of Santa María el Tule.

Beyond biodiversity, it is also culture. Returning to the city of Oaxaca, the free time to get to know any day in the center made it wonderful for the eyes of people who never saw a Oaxacan wedding, which started from the church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, calendula, marmots and band made a Show the meaning of Guelaguetza as close as possible.

Last gastronomic stop, the welcome to one of the largest cultural centers of Mexico could not be unnoticed with the most emblematic dinner of the State, Tlayudas el Negro prepared the buffete of Tlayudas to the attendees. The charm ended the day, eyes full of red glow for the fireworks and love for Mexico to record in 28 countries a holistic Mexico.

Day 14: Monte Albán

A visit was made to the archaeological site of Monte Alban located 15 minutes from the city of Oaxaca de Juárez. Mote Albán was one of the most important centers of Mesoamerica serving as the capital of the Zapotec culture. The importance of the visit to this site is to denote the ties that ancient cultures had and their respect for the natural resources they possessed, which they visualized as deities to which they worshiped for their generosity. The archaeological site of Monte Albán is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Due to the high cultural value it represents for Mexico. Subsequently, the transfer to the Zoquiapan Experimental Forestry Station was made.

Day 15: Experimental Area Zoquiapan

Two recreational activities took place this day, a walk around the forest and a “rally” of games.

At the afternoon we made a feedback of the symposium in order to know the perceptions, opinions and comments of the attendees about all the past days of the event, about the forestry sector in Mexico, the management, social, economic and cultural issues of this sector, as in the country in general; and a small talk with advices to the hosts of the next IFSS.

Day 16: Forest plantation in the PINETUM

The last day of this great event was very significant for all present, in this one was attended by the authorities of the DICIFO and a plantation was made in one of the experimental areas of the Division of Forestry Sciences known as “El Pinetum Maximino Martínez “in which you have a collection of different pine species. The area was established in 1985 at the IX World Forestry Congress; Due to the fact that not all species survived on this occasion, some of them were re-established in order to record such an important event. After the M.C. Luis Pimentel Bribiesca gave an introductory talk and proceeded to carry out the planting by the attendees as well as the Organizing Committee.

After this, thanks were expressed by the Director of the Division, Dr. Angel Leyva, the Vice President of IFSA, Lisa Prior, the President of the Organizing Committee Itzhak López and finally José Carlos Martínez de Reforestamos, who presented a present to each of the participants.

In this way the event culminated with great satisfaction from both the attendees and the Committee, for all the knowledge, experiences and great coexistence that took place during the sixteen days that were undoubtedly very enriching for all.


Mexico hosted the 46th International Forestry Students ‘Symposium (IFSS), an event organized by the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), which brought together more than 80 forestry students from 28 countries, with the objective of achieving cooperation among them in addition to giving voice to young people in international forest policy processes.

Our country, through the local committee Chapingo Unido Por el Ambiente (CHAUPEA) of the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACh), was chosen as the IFSS headquarters during the 27th IFSA assembly held in Austria in 2016.

The IFFS started with the theme “Forests and communities: beyond biodiversity” with the collaboration of the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), Reforestation, JUMEX, Fundación Chapingo, WWF, PROBOSQUE, CAAFF Environmental Consulting and UACh.

As part of the activities of the IFSS, a tour of the State of Mexico, Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz and Oaxaca was carried out with the objective of showing the biodiversity of our country through the different ecosystems: xerophilous scrub, low deciduous forest and mesophyll forest of Montain.

During these days the forestry development of the forests could be appreciated from the perspective of the communities, where very important factors such as land tenure and the fusion of natural and cultural wealth motivated by a holistic vision of each place intervene.

In addition, as part of the program, talks and experiences were held with indigenous peoples, social leaders, responsible companies with the environment, researchers and academies.

In general, the young participants in the IFSS consider that there is a great challenge in the forestry sector due to policies, land tenure and culture in the forests. They also recognize the great effort made by social groups every day to achieve the sustainability of forests.

Based on this experience, CHAUPEA seeks to encourage students from universities in Mexico and Latin America to be part of the IFSA through local committees, and thus be able to work together at local, national, regional and global levels, achieving greater participation in projects, congresses, symposia and other events, fostering leadership and commitment to a better quality of life.