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Abstract

Forest management is becoming increasingly complex due to the need to balance highly varied interests by an increasingly wide range of stakeholders. A widening range of recognized products and services from trees and forests is also challenging the ecological, social, and economic criteria that are often applied in making choices of management options. The boundaries of forestry are being extended to include the management of trees in landscapes outside forests. This brings in a wide range of interests, people and institutions. There is a gap between what is being learnt in forestry schools and the new societal expectations.

Designing forestry education that is responsive to the social, economic, and environmental challenges is an emerging complex issue. New forestry education programmes are emerging but without sufficient global guidance on the coherence, content, quality or relevance. Concerted efforts are needed particularly at global and regional levels to design, coordinate and link relevant institutions and stakeholders to help transform forestry education. Hence the purpose of this book which documents various ways of improving forestry education.

The book covers five main areas namely: •Forestry education challenges and coping mechanisms currently in use; •Challenges in curricula, teaching and learning experiences, tools and methods, and the way forward; •Global factors influencing the forestry profession and tree/forest management practices; •Synthesis and way forward; and •Views from various organisations.

The future of forestry education in Africa, we believe, would need to focus sharply on the needs of societies and incorporate the participation of the whole chain of stakeholders, be based on a strong scientific body of knowledge, updated experiences, constant research and first class pedagogy. However, most importantly, forestry colleges and schools must employ dedicated teachers and this means attractive working conditions, stimulating professional opportunities and possibilities to constantly interact with the forestry sector and civil society.