Higher education systems in the field of forests have been facing challenges. Students and faculties in universities are decreasing in number. Many of the faculties and departments of forestry are merged with other majors and changing their title. Expectations of stakeholders for forest education have been altered by global changes and rising concern over the environment.
Fields of forestry are experiencing a transition from conventional forestry, which focuses on single and tangible products of timber, to a new type of forestry that recognizes the intangible values of forests, such as environmental services and biodiversity habitats, and the crucial role of forests in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. In response, we need to seek a contemporary renovation of forestry human resource development.
ASEAN has great potential in green growth and development, and the role of qualified human resources is significant in regional forest and forestry development. This session explored the challenges and opportunities that forest and forestry education is facing and explored a new way forward.
Presentations from the Learning Event:
Universities, education and training organizations, and international/regional organizations were invited to discuss the following questions:
- The reality of forestry education – What do stakeholders and society expect from university graduates? What kind of challenges do forestry students, technical officials, and young researchers confront in performing their work on the ground? How are education and training institutions responding to those challenges?
- Challenges and opportunities in forestry: What are the challenges in conventional forestry and opportunities in new demanding fields of forestry? Which fields of forestry require enhancement of human resources and capacity?
- A way forward: What are the priorities for renovation of forestry education and training systems? How do we apply those ideas in the Asian region?