[Indonesia, 17/11/2023] – The International Forestry Students’ Association Local Committee at Universitas Gadjah Mada (IFSA LC UGM) proudly announces its participation in the 51st International Forestry Students’ Symposium (IFSS). The event, held From August 16th until September 1st, 2023 in Germany, was a space for knowledge and cultural exchange that enabled the students to participate in various forestry activities, exchange ideas, and network. IFSA LC UGM managed to have two delegates, namely Nilo Wijaya (Forestry Education Commissioner IFSA LC UGM) and Clara Citra Arundati (Head of Human Resource Development Commission IFSA LC UGM), to represent IFSA LC UGM in the 51st IFSS. The primary emphasis of the symposium revolves around professional development, encompassing essential aspects such as understanding the fundamental characteristics of German forests and forestry, the enduring concept of sustainable forests, and addressing the impacts of climate change, including strategies for both adaptation and mitigation.
Figure 2. Hiking group in Mount Lusen, Bavaria
As promised, the 51st IFSS served as a platform to cultivate interactions and engagement among more than 100 international students. It facilitated an invaluable learning experience by exploring local forestry practices through lectures, excursions, and panel discussions led by industry pioneers. Additionally, the symposium provided a vibrant space for cultural exchange among students from diverse global backgrounds. The activities included workshops, poster presentations, and various engagements to foster cross-cultural interactions. The itinerary was set for the participants to experience a range of topics. These include exploring the German forestry structure, its historical and traditional uses, the nuances of various forest types, the dynamics of climate change, and strategies for both mitigation and adaptation. To ensure the fulfillment of this diverse program, a comprehensive trip spanning two weeks covered multiple regions across Germany, specifically Eberswalde, Dresden, Erfurt, Bavaria, Freiburg, Cologne, Bonn, and Göttingen.
IFSA LC UGM delegates enthusiastically participated in the program arranged by the 51st IFSS Organizing Committee (OC). Throughout the event, IFSA LC UGM delegates actively contributed to various discussions, sharing their research findings, perspectives, and experiences in forestry, while also learning from the wide spectrum of knowledge presented by other participants from different corners of the globe. Delegates from IFSA LC UGM had the privilege of showcasing their research poster titled Analysis of Financial Feasibility of Sukobubuk Rejo Forest Farmer Group (KTH) in the Social Forestry Area in Pati District at the event. The presentation received positive responses, with enthusiastic feedback from participants worldwide.
IFSS provided an unparalleled opportunity for the IFSA LC UGM delegates to network, collaborate, and foster relationships with peers, experts, and professionals in the field of forestry. Regarding networking, the IFSA LC UGM delegates, along with other attendees, seized the opportunity to interact and engage with esteemed IFSA partners actively. Among these were notable organizations such as Forest Europe (FE), European Forest Institute (EFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (SDW), Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturgemäße Waldwirtschaft (ANW), and Global Landscapes Forum (GLF). This interaction provided a valuable platform for meaningful connections and discussions with key stakeholders in the field of forestry and environmental sustainability, especially in terms of forest policy and youth participation in policymaking.
The 51st IFSS unfolded over several eventful days filled with lectures, workshops, forest excursions, and enriching discussions. The event’s inaugural day set the stage with lectures on German forests, their management, and their crucial role in combating the climate crisis. Participants were also immersed in a workshop, emphasizing sustainability within the IFSA, underscoring the importance of environmentally conscious forestry practices. The symposium encapsulated diverse experiences, including a forest walk, a and sponsor marketplace. Furthermore, excursions to various sites, including Technische Universität Dresden and the Forstbotanischer Garten Tharandt, provided a hands-on understanding of German forest dynamics, ecological systems, and forestry practices. The subsequent days were packed with the IFSA General Assembly sessions, marking significant transitions in the organizational structure, financial planning, and the establishment of sub-commissions. The assembly also witnessed engaging workshops on climate justice, global forestry, and innovative forestry strategies. Insightful lectures and industry perspectives from Egger illuminated the future of timber resources in Germany, sparking valuable discussions about industry sustainability and challenges in the forestry sector.
Excursions to Bavarian National Park and Freiburg delved into topics like mixed species forestry, alternative tree species, and selective reforestation strategies to tackle climate change. The Lower Saxony Forestry Office Lauterberg excursion emphasized forest protection of bark beetle, structured reorganization, and the establishment of new forest areas for hunting purposes. The symposium concluded with panel discussions on global forestry practices, climate change, and future challenges, highlighting the applicability of solutions in both temperate and tropical regions. Additionally, a review workshop on the 51st IFSS offered a comprehensive evaluation of the event, showcasing the enriching experiences and insights gained throughout the symposium. The event concluded with a vibrant closing ceremony, celebrating the collective experience with anticipation for the next agenda.
The experience garnered at the 51st IFSS has undoubtedly fortified the commitment of IFSA LC UGM to further initiatives that promote sustainable forestry practices, environmental conservation, and the global exchange of knowledge in the field. IFSA LC UGM looks forward to maintaining its active engagement and eagerly continues to participate in upcoming IFSA events, notably the highly anticipated 52nd IFSS 2024 in Romania. As the delegates return to Universitas Gadjah Mada, they are enthusiastic about sharing the insights and experiences gained at the symposium with their local community.
IFSA LC UGM delegates for the 51st IFSS would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the following:
- Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), with a special mention of appreciation to the Directorate of Student Affairs;
- the Faculty of Forestry at UGM, with honorable recognition for the Social Economy of Forestry Laboratory within the faculty;
- the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) and IFSA LC UGM, specifically acknowledging the Board of Directors, Consulting Members, and the IFSA LC UGM Family;
- the Organizing Committee of the 51st IFSS, the Germany Federal Ministry of Agriculture, and the sponsors who contributed to the success of the event;
- Asosiasi Pengusaha Hutan Indonesia (APHI);
- the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Berlin, Germany;
- IFSA SAN;
- the Sukobubuk Rejo research team.
Moreover, we express our heartfelt appreciation to all other supporting entities whose contributions and assistance were invaluable in ensuring the success of our participation in the IFSA LC UGM delegation for the 51st IFSS. This unwavering support has played a pivotal role in delegation accomplishments, and the delegates deeply value the involvement and dedication to the delegation’s success.