By Juliet Owuor a Junior Resercher at EFi workigng on “Global Student networking and green jobs in the forest sector project – A joint EFI-IFSA-IUFRO Capacitiy Building Project“.

On 22-23 June 2019, stakeholders and audiences from across the globe gathered at the Maritim hotel in Bonn, Germany for the Global Landscapes Forum. They had one goal in mind: discussing the transformative role of rights and rights-based approaches for securing a more just, sustainable and prosperous future for all. Among the exciting topics of focus was the role of the youth in achieving the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. IFSA was not left behind at this memorable event and was counted among the dozens of organizations present. Based on our mandate to shape a world that appreciates forests through forest education, we took part in the learning café session titled ‘Diving into the diversity of high-quality landscape education’. The session was a collaboration with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR).

The one-hour session in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere had over 20 participants who were keen on finding out about IFSA’s contribution towards education. We presented some activities in collaboration with the IUFRO-IFSA Joint Task force on Forest Education. They included: The background study co-authored by Dr. Mika Rekola Paper on “Forest Education Needed in all Schools Around the World”. The paper presented at the 14th session of United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in New York explained the role of forests in contributing to sustainable development and lifestyles.

The joint task force had recently held a global competition on best practices on forest education. The submissions exhibited a high degree of innovation and the evolution of teaching methods. This is promising and proves that the forest sector is dynamic and no longer rigid as perceived.

The mentorship tool kit, developed by IFSA, YPARD and others was the icing on the cake for the session. It was a great pleasure taking the participants through the contents of the toolkit and showing them how and where to download it for free. Mentorship is crucial as we aim to ensure continuity by passing down skills to the younger people as well as creating a lasting mentor-mentee relationship.  

The session was wrapped up with questions from the participants and we called it a day! We are glad that we were able to impact people with knowledge on forest education. See you soon in the next event near you!

For more details on the presentation, click here.