Forestry Education and Research: Reality, Challenges and opportunities. A. Temu, G. Kowero, A Yaye & S. Chakeredza

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1 Forestry Education and Research: Reality, Challenges and opportunities A. Temu, G. Kowero, A Yaye & S. Chakeredza

2 Introduction Forestry Education is: Relatively new in SSA (Technical 1930+; professional 1950+) Curricula borrowed from colonizing countries (British, French and Portuguese) Focus was on timber and conservation Rest were recognized as Minor Forest Products

3 Purpose of Education and Research Designed for Public service - management of the public forests, as a service, rarely as business and private industry (lumber, boards, poles, pulp and paper) Assumed two forest systems: Natural and plantations Two main functional areas: Production and conservation

4 Forestry Institutions are still: Small administrative offices, university departments or research institutes, not commensurate with mandates! Understaffed relative to the real needs Currently the more forested countries have the least capacity both human and institutional! Aging staff, despite the new challenges (in which they were not trained)

5 What is changing in forestry? Rapidly rising number of stakeholders on forests New perspectives and recognition of the roles of Trees outside forests TOFs The expanded and differentiated demands on forests and tree resources, especially exposed in climate change science Demand for education and research in nontraditional areas: Society, Cultures, Policies, Agroforestry, biodiversity, Climate change, energy, water, nutrition etc.

6 Interesting dynamics: changes in education and research Past emphases Botany Biometry and mensuration Silviculture Forest engineering Forest Management (SFM) Economics Wood technology Forest Policy Pathology, entomology and fire management Forest Inventory New subjects Species and System Ecology Biodiversity conservation (above and below ground) Agroforestry Trees outside forests Community forestry Climate change and REDD+ Non wood tree products Research tools in forestry Landscape approaches Gender, equity Payment for envir. services (PES)

7 Biodiversity, Climate change, Agroforestry, PES, Nutrition, Energy, Environment We add on new areas but the compromise is reduction or deemphasis of some topics. Forestry Education & research???

8 Institutional Reforms Revised research strategies Revised education programmes and curricula Some retraining of educators and researchers Development of new learning resources BUT Dearth of publications persists MSc and PhD theses based largely on questionnaire surveys, RRA,.. Diminution of physical science Few publishing outlets! Limited resources to implement strategies!

9 The challenges Much of the new knowledge emerges from work done outside SSA So it is contextually deficient E.g. ANAFE survey on capacity for REDD+ implementation in SSA in 2011 revealed a serious capacity gap at the level of all actors, particularly lecturers and researchers. The gap is similar at the institutional level. They are not equipped for this task!

10 The missing links Foresters are not driving all the processes of Land degradation, but there is disproportionate dependency on forests for solutions! Greatest influences on GHG emissions and even ecosystem services/products are in the public domains, with market forces and the private sector at the centre! This begs the question Who should know and practice forestry?

11 Forestry knowledge is essential for: General public Policy makers and implementers Graduates of almost all disciplines (agriculture, livestock managers, park managers, civil engineers, lawyers ) Forest stewards (technicians and professionals in forestry) This implies the need for primary and secondary school level forestry education

12 Is Forestry education in SSA successful? Lack of information on the investments and the performance 1960s to 1970s analyses of manpower requirements done but no follow up actions From1980 to 2005 Deep silence on forestry education in SSA, and declining investment in forestry education. New forestry education programmes Malawi (Mzuzu University), South Africa (University of Kwa Zulu Natal) Zambia (Copperbelt University). At Stellenbosch University Forestry was down graded TO A DEPARTMENT from a faculty In 2010 UKZN programme was closed!

13 Shifting paradigms 1. Forestry is becoming a very wide field of science and practice 2. Local forest Resource management is gaining ground, so public understanding of forestry is imperative 3. New ways of using forests without harvesting the trees (e.g. off-setting carbon footprints.) are introducing new concepts and objectives for forestry. 4. Managing for posterity is emerging (e.g. via biodiversity conservation)

14 Shifting paradigms 5. There is a rising need to develop and manage tree resources outside forests random development of this could lead to unintended ecological impacts! 6. Forestry is increasingly becoming the science of managing diverse ecosystems and landscapes with a wide variety of resources biotic and abiotic, macro- and microscopic. The trees are central to maintenance of the ecosystem.

15 Conclusions 1. Forestry education and research are no longer just about forests. Land use, livelihoods and environment issues are included. 2. Some aspects of forestry should be taught and practiced at school levels 3. Basic forestry principles should be included in all university and technical training curricula 4. Future forestry education may need to branch out to produce specialists in managing major forests and other enterprises ( a la civil engineering and other specialized engineering programmes). E.g. Industrial Forestry, Urban Forestry, Agroforestry, Conservation forestry.

16 Conclusions 5. Proximate disciplines such as agriculture, horticulture, hydrology, land management, wildlife and meteorology must contribute more in shaping the future forestry education and foresters. 6. Invest more at the technical level training where we need very large numbers of graduates to help transform land use practices in all sectors 7. Strategic planning and investment are essential

17 Thank You Asanteni

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