Faced with new challenges in a changing context, higher education and training in forestry in the Asia-Pacific region requires a closer linkage and synergy between forestry colleges/universities and forest-related organizations. To this end, a Forestry College Deans Meeting was convened from 21-23 July, 2010 in Beijing.
The event, collaboratively organized by APFNet, TNC/RAFT, Beijing Forestry University and FAO, brought about 80 participants from 37 regional forestry colleges/universities and 6 international organizations.
Themed with “Forestry Education towards Sustainable Forest Management”, the meeting aims at enhancing communication among universities/colleges, and exploring the possibility of initiating a mechanism to enable long-run cooperation on talent cultivation for forest sector.
Dr. ZHU Lieke, Vice minister of State Forestry Administration, Mr. Sheng Jianxue, Deputy Director, Ministry of Education of China, Mr. Qu Guilin, Director-General, APFNet, Mr. Zhang Xingsheng, Managing Director, TNC North Asia Region, Patrick Durst, Senior Forestry Officer, FAO/RAP and Mr. Yin Weilun, Chair of the Meeting, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, President of BJFU addressed the opening Ceremony.
Presentations were made to share lessons learned and good practices in forestry education reform and discussions in plenary and groups were organized to seek for an action plan. The meeting was concluded with a better understanding of existing concerns, key strengths and weaknesses of forestry colleges/universities in the region as well as a prioritized set of actions to improve curriculum development. The participants agreed to set up a mechanism for forestry college deans to meet on a regular basis for jointly promoting cooperation of forestry colleges.